“Mamamamamama” comes drifting down the hallway, realising it’s only 5am I jump out of bed and take my daughter downstairs to get ready for an early morning walk before she wakes my husband or other children. How my attitude has changed! Just a few weeks ago I would have groaned and grumbled and been grumpy until breakfast, frustrated at yet another “sleep issue”. However I have come to realise she is a naturally, an early riser, and I am working on becoming one too.
Early rising is a very common childhood habit. For many parents it can be a challenge which they try to “fix”. For some children this is necessary as the child may not be getting enough sleep, for many others however they are just naturally early risers and we say embrace it and try and make it work for you.
To determine which of these your child is ask yourself the following questions;
• Does your child sleep for a different number of hours each night?
• Is your child reluctant to get out of bed in the morning?
• Does your child seem moody or grumpy in the morning?
• Does your child require a nap within a couple of hours of waking?
If you answer yes to the above questions your child may not be getting enough sleep and it is worth looking into why and try to find solutions. These can be environmental; does the next door neighbour leave for work at 5am starting the car near your child’s window? Is there light creeping in the room in the early morning? Is your child too hot or cold? It could also be a routine problem, try looking into your child’s day sleeps to see if any adjustment could be made. Here are some more links to reasons for early risers and some simple solutions that might help.
However if your child wakes up happy and content, but early, they are probably ready to be up. I have found there are many benefits to having an early riser, these include
• Quality one on one time, I find this is the best time of day for this when the children (and you) are fresh.
• Exercise in the cool of the morning.
• Prepare meals and get ahead for the day.
• Going out for breakfast becomes much easier when you can beat the crowds!
• You get your evening to yourself, the chances are your early riser will also go to sleep early too.
• Early rising is a fantastic habit to get into that will set them up well in later life.
It can be wise for parents to start going to bed earlier themselves to ensure they get enough sleep and in the short term sharing the morning duties to let both parents ensure they get plenty of rest.