July 09, 2023

Early Morning Rising

Early Morning Rising

Is your baby waking up too early in the morning? Wondering how to fix this? We can help!

Early morning rising is considered anything more than one hour BEFORE your desired wake time. Therefore if you are aiming for 7.00am, early morning rising in your case would be anything BEFORE 6.00am.

Here is our top 5 things to consider when you have an early riser.


Babies approximately need 11-12hrs of sleep overnight, your baby could very well have capped their total sleep needs.

For example, if bed time is 6.00pm then I would anticipate your baby to wake anywhere between 5.00am - 6.00am as this is their 11-12hrs overnight. 

Similarly, if bedtime is too close to their final nap ending they may not have created sufficient sleep pressure to encourage more sleep.

In contrast you then have bed time being too late (remember that old doozy - keep them up later and they will sleep later) this can also contribute to early morning rising.

Tired babies typically wake more - whether catnap, frequent night wake or early morning rise and the reason is that the bodies natural response to being tired is to release more cortisol and adrenaline to keep you going for longer. With this residual cortisol PLUS what the body starts to release first thing in the morning the following day, this double whammy of cortisol can lead to an early morning rise. 


How sleep is distributed, the length of sleep and the timing can all impact one another.

Babies that catnap for example may not be reducing sleep pressure enough, this can lead to them being overtired especially if their awake windows are  not adjusted accordingly.

Similarly, if your baby is getting too much over the 24hr sleep requirements during the day then naturally we may see changes to their sleep overnight with one of the disruptions you may experience being early morning rising.

Our sleep guides have detailed short / long routine recommendations which cover total sleep both day and night, nap lengths, awake times as well as feeding recommendations. 


Environmental factors such as light, noise and temperature can all contribute to early morning rising as their trigger our circadian rhythm which is the internal biological clock that regulates your awake / sleep cycle it's time to wake up.

For example, you getting up earlier for work and making coffee, dogs barking, birds chirping or that glorious morning summer sun.

You can tick off your environment by reading the sleep conducive blog here


How you respond is CRUCIAL. Stimulation and interaction is another trigger that signals our circadian rhythm it's time to wake up and start the time. 

If your baby wakes at 4.30am and your designated wake time is 6.30am then starting the day at 4.30am is just reinforcing that wake as it exposes them to social activity, light and food. 


If your baby is waking early, one consideration is hunger. Are they actually waking as they are due for a feed?

FYI - waking up, having a feed and going back to sleep is not considered early morning rising.

Young babies feed as often as every 2-3 hours overnight. As they get older they can start going longer stretches overnight, however, especially if sleeping through they could be waking early because they need a milk feed. 

The above are just guides and it's so important to remember that feeding comes with variability pending on age, type of feeding, percentiles etc. 

If your baby's routine seem to be in line with our recommendations with sleep is still messy, we can help!

  • For smaller tweaks to routine, have a look at our Sleep Guides as they cover off routine, environment, settling techniques and feeding.
  • For parents struggling with several things such as catnapping, frequent night waking, early morning rising or things that simply no longer work, have a look at our Phone + One Week Support option.
  • Not sure what is right for you? Get on the phone to one of our experienced consultants with our FREE 15min Discovery Call