Sleeping FAQ: 9-12 months – Early Morning Waking

How can I get my 10-month-old to sleep later than 5am?

My son has been a very contented baby. From 6 weeks he has slept through the night from 7pm until 6.30. For the last couple of months he has started waking about 5am and is fully awake. I have been leaving him until 6.15am, at which time it becomes unbearable. He is on 3 balanced meals a day, 3 bottles of 7oz and a bedtime bottle of about 8/9 oz. I just can’t seem to get him to sleep longer. He is sleeping 1 hr in the morning at about 8.30am, as he has been awake since 5am, and 2 hrs at 1.30pm. Please help as I am now so tired after getting used to sleep again. I work three mornings and need some help.

There may be several reasons why your son has started to wake at 5am. As he is waking so early and needs a long morning nap, he has pushed his midday nap later. Cut back his morning nap to 45 minutes, waking him at 9.15am and see if your son is ready for his lunchtime nap by 1pm. You may need to cut back his nap time by 5 minutes every few days until he is coping with a shorter sleep. Wake him after two hours at the lunchtime nap. If this begins to have the effect of him sleeping longer in the early morning, then gradually push his morning nap forward to 9am and be prepared to cut it back to 1/2 hr. Some babies are ready to drop their morning nap by a year old.

Another reason for early mornings can be a baby going down exhausted at 7pm and dropping into a deep sleep, rather than chatting to themselves for a while and settling down slowly. As your son is sleeping to 3.30pm, it would seem this is not happening to him unless he is very active by crawling and pulling himself up. To prevent this, he needs time to rest by day with some time spent in his pram in the afternoon. If on the other hand, he is still not crawling much, nor pulling himself up and cruising around the furniture, he will not be using up so much energy and waking up so early when he has had enough sleep.

It may take a few days for any effect to be noticed once you begin to adjust his daytime sleeping times. Getting the times right for his stage of development, giving him plenty of floor time and time outside if he is still not moving much, should all help him get through later in the morning.

Have you also checked he is not cold in the morning, the room is not letting in chinks of light and that the house heating or water systems are not coming on about 5am and disturbing him? These could also be possible reasons for his early morning waking.

Sleeping FAQ: 9-12 months – Early Morning Waking

Why is my 10-month-old son waking early since we have returned from holiday?

My 10-month-old son has been waking early – about 5.30am – since back from our holidays over 2 weeks ago. He was unwell when we returned from holiday, with a high temperature and off his food, then that got better after a week. He stopped being interested in his 2.30pm feed before we went but whilst we were out there he wanted it again, so I started giving it to him again. When we came back he had the 2.30pm feed on the days that he was off his food. Once his appetite come back I would still offer it to him, and he could take it or leave it. Yesterday he had 4oz.

He wakes at 5.30am and seems hungry – taking 8-9oz milk – and sometimes goes back to sleep until about 6.30am, or plays in cot till 6; gets bored and then calls for me. He has breakfast – he has only started getting interested again lately – then goes for his morning nap (9-9-15am) and seems to want an hour. He is grumpy for the rest of the morning if has less.

Lunch is about 11.30-11.45 – usually ok – and has water, then plays until his afternoon nap anywhere from 12.30-1pm, depending on when woke up (if he had less than 1 hour, the nap will be about 12.30); he usually has 1-1.5 hours at this nap and normally stays happy till his 5pm tea (I sometimes give it at 4.30pm if he had a 11.30am lunch and didn’t take any milk at 2.30-3 feed) .Bedtime is at 7pm.

This 5.30 am waking as seems to be a habit now – despite one day having an ideal “Gina”-day of 30 minutes in the morning and 2 hrs from 12.30 (although he woke after 45mins, I could shush back to sleep) and I thought this might have made a difference, but he still woke at 5.30am next day.

I’ve tried increasing food but can’t force it ! What else can I do?

It can be difficult to break your baby from a habit such as early morning waking once it is established. A vicious circle occurs as your son is awake early so needs to go down by 9am as he is tired. This means a longer sleep than the usual 30-45 minutes and then he cuts back at lunchtime and so falls asleep exhausted at 7pm – which will often result in early waking

To get him out of this habit, very slowly begin to cut back the amount of time he spends asleep at the morning nap by 5-10 minutes every few days. At the same time try to push this nap on later by 5 minutes or so every few days until he is going down nearer to 9.30am and is asleep for 30-45 minutes. This will help him push on with his lunchtime nap and be going down for that between 12.30 and 1pm. With a shorter morning nap he may well sleep nearer to 2 hours. At this age a lot of babies are beginning to be mobile and active. They fight sleep as they want to carry on exploring the world, but as a result become overtired and unable to settle to sleep in the day. By moving his naps slowly forward in the day, he will be less tired by 7pm. You may have to make his bedtime earlier by about 15 minutes if he still does not sleep for longer than 1.5 hrs at lunchtime.

Keep offering the 2.30pm feed – even though your son may only take a smallish feed at this time. If he begins to cut back on the amount he eats at tea or is not so interested in his bedtime bottle then begin to cut it back and drop it. As he is hungry when he wakes in the morning he still needs to have a third feed in the day. You could begin to offer it in a beaker along with a small snack such as a piece of fruit or rice cake.

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.

Sleeping FAQ: 9-12 months – Early Morning Waking

My 11-month-old daughter falls asleep exhausted at 7pm and wakes at 5am

My 11-month-old daughter settles well at 7pm. She goes down awake but is deeply asleep within seconds. She has now started waking up at 5am. She does not go back to sleep although I leave her in her cot until 7am. She will cry a little and talk a bit. She has a light projector that plays music and shines on the ceiling; this sometimes get her back to sleep but more than anything it keeps her quiet. She has a dummy (or 5) which she has always lost in the morning and wants to find it.

She is always really really hungry in the morning and once she is taken downstairs she cries until she gets her milk. She can stay awake from 5 till around 9.30 but then has a big sleep of around 2 hours. That will then be her only sleep for the day, however some days she is tired after 2 hours, has a 1 hour sleep then another 30 minutes in the afternoon. I have to wake her up after each nap so that she will go down at 7pm. She eats 3 meals a day and has around 18oz of milk. For breakfast she will eat 1/4 weetabix and 1/2 slice of toast. Lunch is a homemade main meal with a portion size about the same as a 4 month jar followed by yoghurt. Tea is a lighter meal such as vegetable pasta or cauliflower cheese with a yoghurt or fruit puree. She takes a 7oz bottle at 7am and 6.45pm and 6ozs at 2.30pm.

As your daughter is waking so early in the morning she has got into the habit of having her longer nap in the morning and so a vicious cycle of falling asleep exhausted at 7pm and waking early has begun. A baby of this age is very active by day and you need to be aware of her need for a longer sleep in the middle of the day rather than earlier.

Begin by putting her to bed earlier in the evening. Have her settled by 6.30/6.45pm and see if she is more able to chat herself to sleep after 15-20mins. This may begin to help her get through a little later in the morning. It will take time and persistence to change her sleep cycles, especially those of early morning waking. You may not notice any real change for over a week but keep trying and also altering her daytime sleep to help her.

If she continues to wake early and need a nap by 9am you will have to begin to cut back on this so to push her onto a longer lunchtime nap. To do this wake her 10 minutes earlier every 3-4 days until she is only sleeping 30-40 minutes. This should have the effect of sleeping for longer after her lunch. The ideal should be about 2 hours. If she still wakes after an hour at the lunchtime nap offer her a drink of milk, water or well diluted juice before going down in case thirst is stopping her from sleeping longer at this time.

Once she has changed to having a long lunchtime nap, going down less exhausted at 6.45/7pm and waking later in the morning, push her morning nap on to 9.30am and keep it short.

Sleeping FAQ: 9-12 months – Early Morning Waking

My 9-month-old son is still waking early in the morning and needing a feed to settle him

I have looked at the forum and case studies for a solution but although my problem looks fairly common on the surface (my baby is in the habit of eating at night) there are a few issues which make it unique, hence my request for help.

My son is 9 months and still wakes in the night. He shares a room with my three-year-old. She cries out in her sleep or has nightmares or gets up for the loo several times a week which wakes him (and not really her). If she does not wake him he will usually wake anyway between 4.30 and 5.30am. He does not cry, but squawks louder and louder until I go in (sometimes I leave him squawking for up to 30 minutes before I relent). He usually needs to be fed to settle. He drinks 7/8 oz in 5 to 6 minutes (compared with his day time feeds which are smaller and he is far less enthusiastic about them). He does not fall asleep on the bottle (and never has done). When he has eaten and has been winded he goes down fully awake, chats for a few minutes then settles himself no problem at all. He will then sleep until 7.30 to 8am.

My son has never been particularly keen on milk. It is a struggle to get his daily 18-20oz into him. If he does not want to eat there is nothing you can do to persuade him. He hits the bottle away, gags and screams if you try to insist (so we don’t!). Sometimes he refuses to drink his evening bottle and his intake at 6.45pm varies between 1oz and 8oz. Even if he drinks 8oz he usually needs to feed again at 5am.

My son’s daily food intake is as follows: if he feeds at 5am, then I give him breakfast at 8am (cereal with 2oz milk and 2 cubes fruit). He then takes a nap around 9am (sometimes later if he has slept until 8am). This nap can be anything between 30 minutes and 1 hour 15 (but is usually around 45 minutes). He has a 6oz bottle at 11am. Often he only drinks half of that. The rest of that bottle goes into an organic cereal pudding made by Heinz or Hipp which we give to him after his lunch, so that we know he has had his full 6oz milk. Lunch is at 12-12.30pm. He has around 5 cubes of protein and vegetables (such as fish and sweet potato), 3 cubes of fruit and the cereal and milk pudding. His lunchtime nap varies as his sister needs to be in school at 1.15pm making nap time tricky. We live in an upstairs apartment so we cannot leave Harry in the buggy to nap. This means that if Harry has an early morning nap he usually has another hour before the school run (from which he is woken) in which case he will have a third nap of 45 minutes at around 4pm) or if his morning nap was later he will fall asleep on the school run and will sleep approx 1.5 hours. His overall daytime sleep, whether 2 naps or 3, rarely exceeds 3 hours. We do not do a 2pm bottle (this is why we kept the 11.30 one) as Harry is often asleep due to the school run issue. Dinner is at about 5pm and consists of 5 cubes of vegetables and potato/pasta, followed by a yoghurt or some more organic cereal with 2-3oz milk, depending on how much milk he has taken during the day. Bath is at 6pm and his evening bottle is usually at 6.45pm. He is often exhausted by then and falls asleep immediately by 7pm. As mentioned before he often does not take much of that bottle (especially if he is very tired having not had a third short sleep at 4pm), making it hard to avoid feeding him in the night as I think he is genuinely hungry. He weighs 10 kilos (22lbs).

A few questions: how do I encourage him to eat enough food in the day to make sure he is not hungry at night? In particular, how can I make sure he will drink that important evening bottle?

Am I giving him the right amounts of solids and the correct balance of proteins and carbohydrates at the right time?

Given the school run issue, if his daytime sleep is causing a problem how can I change that? Is it affecting his night sleep to have a nap as late as 4pm (he really still seems to need that given the earlier sleeps are sometimes cut short)?

Will my baby eventually become a deeper sleeper? When he wakes he does not wake my 3 year old who can sleep through anything.

Is it normal for my 3 year old to have nightmares? We leave the door ajar and the hall light on for her. What can I do to alleviate this problem so that she does not wake my baby? Do I need to separate them for a while and try to get them to share a room later on?

Please help – I work full time and have a demanding job which is tough to do when you are up 2 or 3 times a night with one or other child.

Getting the sleep and feeding needs right during the day could really help your son be less hungry early in the morning. It is not easy to try to structure the daytime sleep of your second child when the first has to be at school.

There are two ways you could try to structure his sleep in the day to fit in with your daughter. Decide which one to try and give it at least a week to see if it works.

Wake your son at 7am even if he has been awake earlier in the morning. He should then be ready for a nap at 9am. Allow him no longer than 30 minutes, even if you have to wake him. Once his night time sleep has improved this nap will move on to 9.30am but still should only be 30 minutes in length. Towards the end of his first year he may be ready to drop it all together or only need 10-15mins. He will need to have an earlier lunchtime sleep, around 11.30/45am so he can have at least an hour’s sleep before 1pm. Then give him a further nap at 4pm making sure he is awake by 5pm. As he appears exhausted at 7pm this nap should not be affecting his night time sleep and he will need it if only sleeping for an hour at lunchtime.

If you prefer to leave your son sleeping until 7.30/8am you may not need a morning nap at all but a very early lunch, no later than 11.15am followed by an earlier nap before he wakes to go on the school run. If he sleeps for longer at this time he will still need a nap in the afternoon but it could be shorter, around 30-40 minutes at 4pm.

Which ever way you decide to go or seems to work best, your son is very tired at bedtime. Falling straight to sleep at 7pm is another reason for his early morning waking as well as hunger.

Getting him into the bed by 6.30/40pm should help him to have a time of chattering before sleep, and he also should be better able to drink his milk when not so tired. Aim to have a short bath with him at 6pm and give him his milk by 6.15pm. If you are able to get him into the bath before 6pm it would be even better.

Moving onto the food issues it would seem that at 22lbs your son is not eating a great deal of solids. At breakfast, which seems enough, offer him a drink of milk in a beaker with his cereal and encourage him to have some toast as finger food. Although your reason for giving your son milk at 11am is reasonable as you are concerned about his overall intake it would be better to cut this out so he will eat more at lunch time. At his age he needs 2ozs of animal protein a day. Some recipes do not always contain this amount so you may have to make some adjustments to ensure he is receiving enough. Five cubes is not a large amount for a baby of this size. By cutting out the milk earlier he should increase this. To help his overall milk intake you could offer your son natural yoghurt mixed with fruit puree as a dessert after his main course. Once he is eating a larger protein meal this should be adequate for his needs. Another way to help his milk intake would be to offer him a small feed before he goes down for his nap. Offering him milk at this time rather than before his solids will help him begin to take in enough protein for his needs.

Whatever time your son naps, either before or during the school run he can be offered a beaker of milk at 2.30pm. Often at this age a baby will not want much, especially if they are eating well at lunchtime.

The amount of solids at teatime could be increased. Making sure the meal is carbohydrate-based is a good idea. Offer him some finger food as well. If he is having a thick vegetable soup then offer it with a rice cake or mini sandwiches. If pasta is on the menu give him a few cooled, cooked pieces to try to eat. Tea can be a more relaxed meal if lunch has been eaten well. Again, giving him cereal at this time, in order to boost his milk intake could well be filling him up too much to want his bedtime bottle. Use natural yoghurt, unsweetened fromage frais with fruit or a homemade milky pudding if you feel he is still not drinking enough or still seems hungry after his main course.

As stated earlier make sure your son is having his milk by 6.15pm as he will drink it better if not ready to fall asleep.

When you have begun to make these changes don’t be disheartened if you see no immediate difference to the early waking. It can take up to two weeks for a baby to manage to reset their cycles of sleep even if their nutritional needs are being met in the day. As your son is disturbed by your daughter at night why not separate them for a short period of time whilst you sort out his sleeping and feeding issues? As he is sleeping in a room with a door open and a hall light on when he enters his light sleep in the morning, coupled with his exhaustion at 7pm, he is more likely to wake himself up fully. Having him in a totally dark room could also help these early mornings. Continue to feed him when he wakes in the morning, and get him back to sleep as soon as possible until you begin to see reluctance in wanting to feed at the early hour. If he still continues to wake early through habit once all the changes have been put into place then offer him cool boiled water to settle until he manages to sleep nearer to 7am. It will take time for you to really sort out your son, and help him to take in enough milk and food by day to see him through the night. Keep a record for yourself as to how much he is eating and drinking in the day so you will see the increases and how this effects his sleeping.

Once you have separated your children you can begin to help your daughter. Talk to her in the day about her dreams. Some children are willing to be more open in the daytime about what bothers them at night. A lot of bad dreams and restless sleep at this age can be caused by over-tiredness so take a look at her routine and see if she needs an earlier bedtime or more rest periods in the day. These could be when she enjoys a story, doing a puzzle or spends time quietly drawing to help prevent her from being too tired. Also be aware of the stories she hears at bedtime or any videos she may watch which trigger these dreams. Talk to her about school and see if there are any issues there which may be bothering her. Try not to pry too much but see if you can get her to open up a little about what worries her.

Watch her fluid intake towards bedtime and encourage her to go to the loo just before she gets into bed after her last drink. Would it be easier for her to have a potty in her room, placed on a towel or disposable mat so she could learn how to cope with herself? A plug-in night light could be left on which may also help her.

Given a few weeks you should begin to see an improvement at night with both children. Once they are both more settled at night time you may consider putting them back together again as they probably are good at amusing each other in the mornings, especially at weekends when you can enjoy a short lie-in.

Sleeping FAQ: 9-12 months – Early Morning Waking

My son has begun to wake at 5.30am, needs changing then so starts the day

My 9.5mth son is a great kid but he is waking now for 2 weeks at 5.30 am. I am trying everything. We have now got to the point where he only gets 15min sleep between 9-9.30. He then sleeps at 12.00 for 1.45 min….and then is up till 6.30 – 6.45.

If I give him longer in the morning then he cuts his afternoon sleep. If I let him sleep more in the afternoon I am afraid he will wake up earlier.

I have tried to leave him to cry in the morning – but he is very distressed as his nappy is leaking poo. He seems to mostly poo at night which means that his nappy is overflowing in the morning. I have bought him a bigger nappy but that does not seem to work. There is so much of it – he is teething but he is not ill.

I know that going in at 5.30 might start a routine itself – but he is terribly upset (not just moaning).

Once I have changed him – he is full of beans although I know that he is tired as we never get to 9.00am for his morning sleep it is more like 8am.

I am due to go back to work in Jan (I am setting up my own business) and I am desperate to change this routine as it is really making it difficult for me to get through the day.

My son drinks 16ozs milk a day, taking 8oz in the morning and evening. For breakfast he will eat 1 weetabix with half a banana and full fat milk, lunch is chicken or beef with vegetables and mashed potato, all home made. He takes a little yoghurt for dessert. Mid afternoon he has a beaker of undiluted juice and a rusk. Tea; if protein has been given at lunch then he is given vegetable puree and mash, then a dessert. If he had a vegetarian lunch he will have beef, fish or chicken at tea.

The daytime sleep needs of a baby coming up to his first birthday do begin to change. Although he needs slightly less sleep, his increased mobility can result in exhaustion. If a baby falls straight to sleep when put into his cot at night he is likely to begin to wake earlier in the morning. As your son already goes to bed between 6.30/6.45pm, and possibly falling straight to sleep, it would be a good idea to let him sleep until at least 2.30pm in the afternoon. If he still goes down at 6.30pm he should be less tired and so spend 15-20 minutes chatting to himself before dropping off to sleep. The effect in the early morning may not be seen for at least a week or two. It takes time for sleep cycles to be reset, so the early mornings may still continue for a week or more but, gradually, he should sleep until a bit later. Don’t be tempted to stop letting him sleep later at lunchtime if you feel nothing is really changing. Keep with it for at least two weeks. Once he is sleeping later in the morning move his morning nap to a short one between 9.30am and 10am. This may mean he will go down later at lunchtime, nearer to 1pm, and then sleep to 3pm. This will all help him get through the afternoon and possibly be able to stay up until nearer 7pm. Many babies of this age do still need an earlier bedtime as they are so active but, by gradually moving things, you will find he will become better at sleeping from 7pm to 7am. See page 117 of Gina’s Complete Sleep Guide.

The problem of the nappy in the early morning may be helped if you serve a carbohydrate-rich tea. Offer jacket potatoes with grated cheese, pasta bakes with cheese or vegetable-based sauces, pizza pieces or thick soups with mini sandwiches. Offer him a rice cake instead of fruit or yoghurt if he is still hungry after his main course. If the main part of this meal is carbohydrate, rather than protein or vegetable, he may be less likely to wake with a dirty nappy. Make sure he has 2ozs of protein at lunchtime so you can be more relaxed about what he eats at teatime. Teething can sometimes mean slightly runnier nappies as a baby is producing a lot more saliva. But this usually only lasts for a short while, until the tooth is through,

Although your son would like to start the day at 5.30am, and it is understandable that you must go into him if you know he will be uncomfortable, treat this visit as you would in the night. Change him in the least possible light and, if necessary, offer him some of his morning milk then cuddle him back to sleep. Continue to do this until the effect of the longer daytime sleep and going down awake at 6.30pm is beginning to have some effect in the mornings and your son is waking later.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

My seven-month-old son has begun to wake early in the mornings. How can I change this?

My baby has been following the routines since five weeks old. He has been happy and sleeping until 7-7.30am. At five months I pushed the routine back by 30 minutes to fit in with playgroup pick-up at 12noon, which worked well. Over the past few weeks, however, my son has woken up around 6.15am. Ideally I would like him to sleep until 7.30am. Over the last few days, I have tried to drop the afternoon nap and let him sleep later at lunchtime. He has managed to keep going in the afternoon, but has fallen asleep immediately when put down at 7.30pm. The first morning he woke at 7.30am, but the last two mornings he has woken at 6.30am quite unhappy. I heard him cry for a moment at 6am and then resettle. After leaving him for 15 minutes at 6.30am, I rocked him back to sleep until 7.30am, but I am concerned about creating a problem by doing this.
Can you please suggest a way of getting him to sleep longer in the mornings? At present he sleeps from 9.30-10.10am and 1-3pm. He is settled at 7.30pm. He eats three meals a day and drinks 4oz formula at breakfast, 4oz at 3pm and 6-7oz at 7pm.

Getting a baby to change his sleep cycles when he has become used to waking early in the morning needs time and persistence. You will need to work on the problem for possibly two weeks before you see a real change. Now that your son has dropped his afternoon nap, and is probably becoming more active during the day, he may need an earlier bedtime. A common result of a baby falling straight into a deep sleep is waking early in the morning. Bring his bedtime back to 7pm, so he is more likely to spend a short time chatting to himself before falling asleep. There may be no marked difference in his waking time for several days, but gradually his last sleep cycle of the night should move forward to between 6am and 7am, or possibly later.

Letting him settle himself back to sleep may mean a few disturbed mornings. Rather than getting him used to being rocked to sleep, wait for 15 minutes before entering the room and then try to reassure him with your voice and some stroking of his head. Leave him after a few minutes and return in another ten if he is still distressed. Although this may disturb the rest of the household for a few mornings, it will be teaching your son how to resettle himself when he enters a light sleep around 6/6.30am. Continue with this and the earlier bedtime until you see some improvement. Once your son is sleeping to 7/7.30am consistently, you may need to cut back his morning nap by 10 minutes. By shortening this nap you will be more certain that he will sleep well at lunchtime.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

Lila (7 months) has started early morning waking since I introduced protein

My problem is that Lila is 7 months and waking every morning around 5-6.30am. I have tried various methods, suggested in your book, to try and correct this. I have blackout curtains and have made sure it is completely dark in her room. The early morning waking started around 6 months when I introduced protein (vegetarian). I have been following the CLB routine since she was 2 weeks old.
Lila wakes 5-6.30am and I leave her until 7am when she drinks 6oz formula, then has breakfast. If awake early she naps around 9-9.15am until 10am. Around 11.30am she has a vegetarian lunch with some water then naps at 12.30pm until 2.30-2.45pm. At 3pm she has 4oz formula. At 5pm she has vegetarian tea and some water, then at 6.30pm she drinks 6-7½ oz of formula and goes down at 7pm to bed.
Can you help please as I have a 3½-year-old who is waking early because her sister disturbs her.
Many thanks

There may be a couple of reasons why Lila has begun to wake early. This is quite a common problem in the second half of the first year.

Firstly, getting the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, vegetables and fruit with three milk feeds a day must be looked at. As your baby is on a vegetarian diet this is especially important so you can rule out hunger being the cause of early waking. A baby of Lila’s age needs a minimum of 20oz a day. This includes milk contained in dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt.

Secondly, although Lila is waking early and probably tired by 9am try to move this sleep forward by five minutes every few days until she is going down at 9:30am.
This should have the knock-on effect of Lila going down for her midday nap slighter later, nearer to 1pm. Often babies whose naps have not been moved forward like this begin to fall sleep exhausted at 7pm and immediately fall into a deep sleep. This has the knock-on effect of them waking early.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

Despite everything I do, Luke of 6 months still wakes early

My son, Luke, is 6 months old and is my first baby. He weighed 7lbs 4oz at birth and now weighs 17lbs. At present, he gains approx 4/5 ozs per week.
I have been following your CLB routines from birth with varying success. My problem is that although Luke settles very well at 7/7.30pm, he wakes at between 6/6.30 every morning, which is too early!! I weaned him at 5 and a half months and so far he’s followed your weaning routines although I started him on the 4 month weaning programme rather than straight in at 5 and a half months, so we’re still yet to introduce protein. Consequently, he’s still having a milk feed of 3/4 ounces at 1130, then lunch at approx 1200. He’s had a bottle of SMA Gold formula at his 10pm feed since he was 3 months and now has a breast feed at 7am, and one at 6.30pm, formula at 1130, 6oz formula at 2.30pm and approx 3oz formula at 10pm.
He sleeps for 45 mins at approx 9am, then between 90 mins and, rarely, 120 mins at lunchtime, then, depending on the lunchtime nap sleeps for about 30 mins between 4 and 5pm. I always put him down for his sleeps while he is still awake and he settles himself down. Unless he is ill, he doesn’t usually wake in the night after 10pm. If he does wake, I (or my husband) go in, check he’s not in a tangle, wet/dirty, then if he’s fine, just leave the room.
I am still feeding him 3ozs of SMA Gold at 10pm because I am too scared that if I drop this feed, he’ll wake even earlier in the morning. However, sometimes it takes almost 10 mins to wake him for this 10pm feed.
In order to get him to sleep until 7/7.30am, I’ve tried putting him to bed later, not feeding him until 7am in the hope that he just “gives up” waking so early, keeping him up until 9am even if he’s woken at 6am, letting him cry and then going in at 7, letting him cry himself back to sleep even if that means him going back to sleep at 7.20am, going in every 10 mins to check him, but none of these things seem to work. He wakes like clockwork at about 6.15 every morning! I seem to be surrounded by people whose babies sleep until 7.30/8.00. I only want him to sleep until 7 – doesn’t seem like too much to ask! What else can I do, or do I just have to accept that he’s one of life’s early risers and adapt my own routine accordingly? Please advise!!

Now the guidelines have changed as regards weaning you can speed things up a little as your baby’s digestive system is more mature than that of a 4 -5 month old.
Your baby’s iron stores will beginning to run low now and although he receives fortified formula at times during the day it is important he begins to receive enough iron through his diet as well to meet his growing needs.
By introducing protein into his diet you may well find that he sleeps for longer at night as his nutritional needs are being met.
Until protein is well established keep waking Luke for his late evening feed. Try waiting until 10.30/10.45pm before waking him and possibly increase the feed to 4ozs. It does often take babies 15 mins or more to really wake, but that is no reason to abandon yet. This slightly later feed could well just push him through to 6.45/7am. Once he has begun to do this constantly for three or four mornings, and he is taking protein in the day you could move it back to earlier if you wish to but do so gradually, waking him five minutes earlier every few days. Then when he is taking three good meals a day stop waking him in the evening and see if he can manage to still get through to 6.45/7am. Sometimes it can take one or two tries over a period of a week or so before his daily intake of food is enough to sustain him through the night.
Have you checked there is no other reason for his early waking? Is his room dark? Is he cold? Does your central heating or boiler fire up just before he wakes? This can often be an overlooked problem, the noise may be enough to stir him as he is in a light sleep.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

My 7.5 month old has begun to wake early so is tired in the day

My daughter has started waking up at 6am every morning, chatting in her cot until 6.30 and then wanting to get up and start her day. The big problem is that she can only stay awake in the morning a maximum of two hours before needing a sleep. By 8.30 at the latest she is asleep again. I don’t know how long to leave her to sleep so that it doesn’t interfere with her lunchtime nap. Yesterday she woke up at 9.30 and so by 11.30 she wanted to sleep and didn’t want to eat her lunch. I put her to bed at 11.30 and she woke again at 13.30. I tried to get her to have a short nap at about 4pm but she didn’t want to sleep and was rather bad tempered and tetchy all afternoon. She went to bed at 6.45 and cried until 7.00pm, then woke again at 6.00 this morning. I have black-out blinds in her room and have not done anything different to her routine.

This problem often arises in the second half of the first year as your baby sleep needs begin to change slightly. But once you have become caught in the circle of early waking and early naps she will get very tired by evening, especially as she gets more mobile and active.
You could try to put her down between 6.30 and 6.45pm seeing if she will settle slightly earlier as overtiredness can cause a baby to cry before settling. If she is willing to go into her cot earlier and chat herself off to sleep, it may help in the early morning. Falling asleep exhausted often leads to early waking.
Although she is tired at 8.30am with the early start, try pushing this sleep forward very slowly by five minutes every three or four days. As it gets later you could try limiting its length to 30 minutes, again cut back to this time very gradually as you want her to be able to enjoy her lunch around 11.30/12.00 and begin to settle for her lunchtime sleep around 12.30/1pm.

These changes are going to happen slowly, sometimes it can take well over a week for a baby to get out of the habit of early waking.
Make sure she has plenty of floor time in the day, even if she is not yet mobile. Take her outside as much as possible and also join swimming or activity classes such as Tumble Tots if you have not already done so.