So you’ve started the Sleep Sense Program, and everything is going well, except for one little issue… Baby keeps waking up at five in the morning and refusing to go back to sleep! Don’t worry, it’s a very common problem and I’ve got some great tips for you in today’s video that will help get your baby sleeping in like a champ.
Today I want to talk about a question I get often from parents working on the sleep sense program. Their baby is doing really, really well, but they tend to be waking up in the 5:00 hour.
Now, first of all, if you’re only a week or two into the Sleep Sense program, this is really, really common. It has a lot to do with the consolidation of nighttime sleep. So your baby, up until the point where you started the program, was having really fragmented sleep, and the body gets used to that on some level, right? And once we’ve trained the body to start consolidating longer periods of sleep, that takes time for the body to get use to, too.
So what tends to happen is the baby starts learning some great skills, sleeping a ten-hour stretch, which, that itself feels like a miracle, right? And then, waking up at 5:00 thinking, “Alright, well, I did pretty good. I think it’s time to get up now.”
Now, even though this is worth celebrating, nobody really wants to start their day at five AM, and I get that; neither do I. And so what a lot of people do is they think, “You know what? He’s gone ten hours, he did so well, I’m going to give him a feed and put him back to bed.”
Now there’s two directions this can go. It could be fine. There’s about a 50/50 chance that you feeding at five AM, baby going back to sleep until seven, is fine for you both. You don’t mind, baby’s doing well, nothing is changing, and if it’s okay with you, then yay! Right? I think that’s worth celebrating if that’s okay with you.
The other side of the coin, though, is that baby starts to think, “ Well I get a nighttime feed, I’m not sure when it occurs, so I’m going to start waking up at three o’clock and seeing if it’s time for my feed. Or five o’clock becomes 4:30, becomes 4:00, becomes 3:30 and so on until you’ve kind of back-stepped your way into a middle-of-the-night feed again. So, what I want to suggest today is that if you are going to offer a 5:00 feed, that you keep a really close eye on that. If you start to see it back-stepping, you’ve got to pull it. Or, if your baby starts having random night wakings for no real reason, you’ve got to pull it. Because what it’s doing is confusing your baby, and that’s not fair. We don’t want to confuse the baby. And so you’ll have to get rid of it.
Now, there also might come a day where you decide, “You know what? I really don’t like getting up at five AM for a feed, even if he goes back to sleep again afterwards,” and if that’s the case then just go ahead and pull it. So what you would do is just go in every ten minutes or so, remind baby it’s still sleepy time, and hang in there until a more appropriate hour. I would say nothing before 6:00 AM would be considered morning, and the longer you do that, then Baby will start sleeping through that 5:00 wake-up, and sleeping until a more appropriate hour, which could be somewhere in the 7:00 time range.
Now, if you’ve just started the program and you’re having 5:00 AM wake-ups, just give it time. I really wouldn’t do anything. You know, treat it like a night waking, do whatever method you were doing for night wakings, and give it at least two or three weeks before you evaluate anything, because, like I said, it’s about the consolidation of nighttime sleep, and what I find from 12 years of being in this business, is that babies gradually get through that 5:00 and start waking up more in the 6 or 7s. Alright?
So, thanks so much for watching today! Sleep well!
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!