How to get your child to sleep longer in the mornings

5am wake ups are the norm for many parents and when you've been up multiple times during the night the last thing you want to do is be awake with the birds. Most parents believe there's nothing you can do and these early wakes are a reality of parenthood, but science can help us find solutions. Usually when people ask me about their early risers I give them two suggestions that should help.

First - check how much light is coming into their room at the time they wake up. Light is incredibly powerful when it comes to sleep quality and quantity. In the same way red light helps us fall asleep more easily, daylight is filled with blue light which instigates the production of cortisol and serotonin which is what might be waking your child. Even a tiny amount coming through the blinds is enough to kick start your child's wake up hormones. If you notice even a little light coming in, get some blackout blinds, here are some good ones.

If the problem isn't fixed by blocking out light use the Kulala app to check your child is getting the right amount of sleep for their age. If your baby goes to bed at 7 pm but only needs 10 hours’ sleep a night they will of course wake up at 5 am and then wake you up. The Kulala app schedules are designed to help with that as well. Children can only sleep for a set quantity of hours within each day so if they go to bed too early, they'll be up too early. You might need to change bedtime to resolve the early wakes.

Checking light entering their room and that they're going to bed at the right time should help with those early wake ups. Good luck.