Sleeping FAQ: 9-12 months – Early Morning Waking

At 10.5-months-old our son wakes too early in the morning so is tired at lunchtime

My son wakes in the morning between 5.30 and 6.00 am, which is too early.

I leave him until 6.45. He has no morning nap, as he has been waking from his midday nap after 1 hour since he was around 9-months-old. He is very tired around lunch time and has started to fall asleep during his meal. He always falls straight to sleep after finishing his bottle at 7 pm. He refuses his bottle if he is held by myself or his nanny. He therefore lies in his bed, when he drinks it. He is very active during the day. How do I get my son to sleep nearer 7am?

As your son has such an early start to his day, and his nap at lunchtime begins at 12.15pm, bring his bath and bedtime forward by 15- 20 minutes so he is more likely to settle down gradually into sleep about 6.45pm. Falling straight to sleep when exhausted is a common cause of early waking. Giving him a slightly earlier tea and a quiet bath time should help him wind down without becoming overtired. Using these earlier timings, may help your son be more acceptable of taking his bottle whilst being held.

During the morning try to give him short rest periods, as an active baby will often not stop unless tempted by something like a snack and a drink. Spend five to ten minutes looking at a book with him or take him for a short walk in his pram to help have rest times in between his periods of activity. This may help him be less sleepy at lunchtime. If his sleepiness means he is not eating so much, move his lunch to 11.30am to help him enjoy it more. Once he is sleeping better in the mornings you can gradually move it back to a slightly later time.