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How to get your child to sleep later

sleeping man disturbed by alarm clock early morningSo you’ve been using The Sleep Sense Program and your baby is finally sleeping through the night. No more getting up every hour on the hour to rock your screaming infant, walk the halls or sing endless lullabies.

As close to perfection as this is, there’s still a hitch…even though your little darling is sleeping through the night, she might be waking up “extra early.”

Maybe your day now starts at 5 a.m. and your child full of energy and ready for some excitement. Before you reach for that triple latte, let me reassure you that this is a common issue for many recent Sleep Sense graduates!

You might fear that getting a solid night’s sleep now means you have to start your day at the crack of dawn, but you’ll be relieved to hear that doesn’t have to be the case!

Tips for getting your baby to sleep in until a reasonable hour:

  1. When you put your child to bed, make sure the room is dark. And when I say dark, I mean really dark! No moonlight peeking in the window, no door left half open letting in the light from the hall. You want pitch black so there is nothing for baby’s eyes to focus on. If she can’t see the fairy mobile over her crib, she can’t be distracted by the way the colorful wings flutter around.
  2. Do some detective work and try and figure out if something’s waking your baby at a specific time. Say he wakes up at 5:05, listen carefully at that time and see if there’s a garbage truck in the back alley, or a neighbor’s car starting up. If this is the case, you can try to block these sounds with a white noise machine by the baby’s crib.
  3. Stick to your minimum. If you can’t bear to start the day before 6:00, then don’t let your baby get up before then. If you pick her up when she cries at 5:00, she’ll get used to getting up at that time. If you don’t stop it she could start getting up earlier and earlier each day.

If you have a minimum hour you’re willing to get up, (within reason… your baby won’t stay calm and happy in her crib until 9:30 a.m.), then stick to it!

What you shouldn’t do:

While it might be tempting to move bedtime later, the truth is that 99% of the time, changing bedtime won’t help at all. In many cases it actually makes it worse. If bedtime is too late, your baby will be overtired, which can lead to restless sleep and…yup…waking up extra early.

Then you’ll just be back to square one, and you’ll have night waking AND early mornings to deal with. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?

If all else fails, just hang in there and wait it out. The good news is that as your baby’s body gets used to consolidated sleep, she will start sleeping later. Some babies just take a little longer to adjust.

Take care of yourself, eat well and try to go to bed early so you don’t feel like a zombie when 5:00 a.m. rolls around. Before you know it you’ll all be sleeping through the night and waking up at a reasonable hour!

The Sleep Sense™ Program for Baby Sleep and Child Sleep DisordersWant more help with common sleep issues? How about things like getting rid of sleep props or encouraging longer naps during the day?

I have answers for those questions and MANY more when you join The Sleep Sense Program. And don’t forget, it’s backed by a one-year, no-hassle guarantee!

Baby Not Sleeping Through The Night?

Get One-On-One Help!

Yes, The Sleep Sense™ Program is a great Do-It-Yourself guide for solving your baby or toddler’s sleep problems!

But if you’re looking for full-service, one-on-one help, I’m here to help!

The Sleep Sense Philosophy

Cry-it-out? Coddle? Co-sleep? Attachment parenting? Ferberizing?
If you’re going to let me help you with something as precious as your child’s sleep, you probably want to know a little bit about who I am and exactly how I think...

Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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