My baby wakes at the crack o’ dawn, what can I do?
Alright this is a question often pondered by many a parent as they drag themselves out of bed just as the morning sun begins to peak out over the horizon. It’s really early, so early in fact that the TV is showing you only infomercials (no I do not want to buy the wonder cooker, it’s no where near as cool as my Thermomix) and when you do a quick mental note of exactly how long it is until bedtime…
Many baby trainers will tell you that you need to resettle. Or stick to a super strict routine.
But what if you don’t want to do CIO or controlled crying, don’t you have options? Absolutely.
Black out curtains
You can shell out the big bucks for real black out curtains or you can make your own. From tin foil and water.
While they certainly aren’t the most attractive decorating item in your nursery and they probably won’t fit any ‘theme’ you’ve got going unless your nursery theme was junkyard chic or babies first recycling pile, they do work.
All you need is a roll of tin foil, a bowl of water and a sponge.
Clean the inside of the window and wet a strip wide enough for the tin foil. Roll out a strip of tin foil wide enough to cover the entire width of the window and press against the wet section. Carefully, smooth out the foil with your hand. It will stick to the wet window. Then wet the next section above it and roll out your foil to fit and then press against it.
If some of the foil comes up smooth it out with the wet sponge again.
The sponge should be damp not dripping. You can patch any small holes by using a small piece of foil to fit the hole. It’s okay it the pieces overlap just ensure you wet the top of the bottom layer of foil.
Slow and steady means fewer holes and less time patching it up.
This is the blacked out room during the day.
Here’s what it looks like up close with the lights on.
May or may not have the added benefit of blocking the governments ability to read your families thoughts
Morning only bedsharing
Co-sleeping is defined as sharing a sleeping space INCLUDING being in the same room. Bedsharing is well sharing your bed.
Lots of parents bring their baby into bed with them when their baby wakes in the wee hours of the morning. I do. My son has been in a cot which is so close to where I sleep at night I can hear every movement every breath, anyway when he wake super early in the morning like 3am I bring him into my bed and he feed feed feeds and I sleep sleep sleeps.
Is it creating a bad habit? I don’t think so. Pretty sure when he finishes breastfeeding he’ll just have a glass of water instead or something. I’m not ever going to withhold fluids from a child in a hot climate day or night. That’s negligent.
Lots of mothers swear by this. Feeding your child while they’re asleep to encourage them to sleep longer because they aren’t hungry as early. I’ve never bothered with this but it works for other families.
Gentle sleep ‘training’
I don’t even like to call it training, how about guiding?
I sometimes see its really early and he is not falling back to sleep so I pull out all my settling tricks (not at once, that would be silly, and difficult, and confusing) and rock for a while, pat, feed, shhhhh, basically all the tricks from the No-Cry Sleep Solution. Set myself a time frame I’m happy to try for and as long as DS doesn’t get upset I try and get him back to sleep. If he gets upset then I sit and cuddle him in the darkness.
Being reasonable about my expectations
What is going on in your house when your baby is waking up of a morning?
My husband leaves for work early in the morning, he is up at 5am. As quiet as he tries to be, and he does try, this means there is sound in the house again. Shower, sink for shaving, a light turns on where there was darkness, the front door creeks open as he gets his things ready to leave.
He tries to be as quiet as possible which I really appreciate. But babies have sensitive ears. So I don’t expect my 10 month old to sleep much past 5. That’s when things get going in this house so that’s what his body clock is set to. So that’s when I settle to. If he wakes up at 4, I keep trying to settle until 5 and then I accept that the day has begun.
Black out curtains have gotten us an extra hour of sleep though, from waking at 4 to waking at 5. And I’ll take an hour of sleep any day. I’m sure when he is in high school I won’t be able to get him awake no matter how hard I try.