Recently, I shared an old post on our sleep training journey with Jr. Well, lately, I've needed to revisit The Sleep Lady's advice. It seems the Jr. wants to wake up way too early. I'm talking 5:00 a.m. When the time change occurred in March, we started keeping Jr. up about a half hour later, since the sun was still out. It just seemed ridiculous to put him to bed at 7:00 when the sun was still brightly shining in his window. Plus, he just would not fall asleep that early. He would remain awake crying and playing until at least 7:30 p.m.
Now, Jr. goes to bed at about 7:30 p.m. He goes to sleep easily and without fussing. Before we made this change, he would sleep until 7:00 a.m. consistently. Now, he wakes up very early. It almost seems that he has bionic baby ears and wakes up as soon as the dog or his parents moves or makes a noise of wakefulness. I know that part of this is that the sun comes up earlier. But, the sun is not up at 5:00 a.m.
The Sleep Lady (who is a sleep genius) in her book "Good Night, Sleep Tight" recommends that the baby not wake up prior to the set wake-up time, which should be not before 6:00 a.m. If the baby wakes early, she suggests that mommy or daddy go into the room and attempts to soothe baby back to sleep by rubbing the back, saying night-night, etc. No holding or engaging too much. Then, at the designated wake-up time, parents are to do a dramatic wake-up - open the shades, sing a song, turn on the lights, scream "good morning!", etc.
This makes sense, as we often just let Jr. wake up when he decides to be awake. But, he becomes so agitated if we don't pick him up when he wakes up, I'm having some trouble carrying this advice out (and so is hubby!) But, the Sleep Lady is not through. She also advices in her book that early wake-ups can be due to poor napping, too late a bedtime, etc. Overtired babies wake up early. (So bizarre, but so true). Afternoon naps at Jr.'s age should be no less than forty-five minutes.
Now that I'm home with Jr. during the day, I've been trying to make sure he gets a good afternoon nap. Unfortunately, that has done nothing for his early waking. We tried putting him to bed a little later hoping that would shift his sleep schedule a little. It didn't. He is consistently awake around 6:00 a.m. (no more 5:00 wakings, though!).
Hmmm, could it be that Jr. is just an early riser? Could it be that I should just count on 6:00 a.m. awakenings all summer? Well, at least we can get a good run in before it gets too hot.