One thing that families will be surprised to hear is that we are an advocate for waking up your child in the morning.
NOW…before you decide to exit out of this blog, hear us out! I promise we are not crazy. You see, waking your child in the morning can actually give you MORE sleep and MORE predictability.
When babies are building sleep patterns and starting to find ways to maximize their sleep for day and night, the journey can be hard to predict. We often hear from families we work with before joining our programs,
“I don’t really know how to get on any type of schedule because my child can wake up anytime between 6-7 am and naps are short and unpredictable.”
Babies are unable to regulate their sleep rhythms to manage their total sleep for day and night right away, which is where we come in. Each child has a certain “sleep quota.” A “sleep quota” is unique to each child and refers to the amount of sleep they are capable of sleeping in a 24-hour period. We read so many charts and sleep goals for each age can range, however, each child actually has a very specific threshold that will fall in that range.
Why does this matter?
If your child has a specific sleep quota, and we go over the ranges for the day, it typically means some part of the night will be impacted. When there is too much night sleep (I know this sounds crazy), it can mean for a really short nap day, which then impacts nights the next day. Finding the right sleep goals for your child is key.
The best way to help your days stay consistent with a solid nap schedule that allows for natural sleep rhythms to start off on the right foot is to have the first nap of the day at the same time every day. That means, however, you may have to wake your child in the morning.
Let’s dive into what we mean by “waking.” That doesn’t mean you will be continuously waking your child every morning. In fact, if you are doing that, you may want to choose another “wake time.” Ideally, you want to choose a consistent morning wake-up time that is really close to when your child naturally wakes up.
For example, if your child wakes up anywhere between 6-7 am, you may want to consider your ideal wake-up time to be at 6 am. Why not 7 am? If you default to the later time, you may find yourself with very long wake times and unpredictable first naps since your first nap should try to stay the same most days. By waking your child at 6 am, on the earlier side of their wake-up range, you are able to have more control over that consistency.
By doing this, it allows you to be very consistent about the first nap of the day.
What better way to help you start off your day with your child than to feel confident knowing your day will be more predictable?
This practice is a key part of our approach to naturally building the desire for sleep of babies we work with to be able to fall asleep with a gentle approach on the first night within 30 mins. It is also a key piece to our approach that allows our families to predictably maintain nap schedules even as early as 3 months of age.
Does every child need to be woken up? No. Some children find ways to naturally wake up when needed. They can self-regulate their quote, but if you find yourself with unpredictable days, a pattern of good and bad naps, and multiple wake-ups in the middle of the night, this may be one strategy to start with.
And if you ever want more guidance, know that we are here, and our programs are here to support you in your sleep goals.
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Schedule a free 15-minute consult to learn how I can get you more sleep again.
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