Waking out of habit

My DD will be 9 weeks tomorrow. We still don't have her in a great routine (despite us doing bath, book, feed etc at around 6.30pm each day, she won't go off until she's ready!), but she is sleeping a lot better at night that she was.

However, she does seem to be waking every morning at 5am, no matter what time her previous feed was. So far this week, her sleeping pattern has been:

Mon - bed at 7.45pm, feed 1.30am, 5am
Tue - bed at 11pm, feed at 5am
Wed - bed at 6.30pm, feed 11.30pm, 5am
Thur - bed at 10pm, feed at 3am, 5am

The 5am thing has been going on for about 10 days. I don't mind so much if the previous feed was a while before, but last night she'd only gone off again about 90 mins before waking at 5am! She will go back down again aftwerwards, for anything from 90 mins to 3 hours, usually depending on what time she went to bed.

Any ideas on how to break the habit? I've tried leaving her to self settle (she doesn't do this at all, even after a feed) and I did try waiting a while to feed her this morning. If she could stretch it out another couple of hours, that would really improve my sleep!


  • Sophie is 7 weeks and wakes at a similar time to your little one, but lies quite contented with her eyes open, occasionally dropping off to sleep, in her moses basket until about 6am when I get her up. She starts getting impatient at about 5.55.

    I wondered whether it was because it was so light in the mornings, but haven't yet tried blackout blinds. I think it could be because she is much less willing to go to sleep at bed time if it is bright and sunny, than if it is a dull day.

    You could try to gradually get her up later, by five or ten minutes each week and see if that works.
  • Firslty I hope you don't take this the wrong way, I'm not having a dig honest.

    You may just have an early riser. As tiring as it is being a mummy, and getting up early, you might find that she's just waking... because she's awake, and quite ready to start her day. ok, 5am isn't brilliant, but it's not the middle of the night. My DD has always been an early waker and is now 2 1/2. You might find it is just a phase for your LO but I don't think there anyway you can "ammend" this or encourage longer sleeping at 9weeks. She's still very very young.

    I know it's different to your own situation, but I get wound up when parents of older babies complain about early waking. I know a guy at work actually tells his son off if he wakes before 7am. insane i tell you!

    At 9weeks I'm assuming she'll still be having a lot of nap time? It might be worth trying to catch up on 40winks whilst she does during the day time just to make the 5am start a little more bareable
  • I my LO is 9 months old and I agree with Linzi - I have an 'early riser' too. I have tried EVERYTHING and now just accept it. It was 04:30 but now it is 05:00am. He is actually awake and happy for the day at that time.

    Good luck xxx
  • Thanks, I did wonder about the early riser thing, but as she will go back down afterwards I assumed that she is capable of sleeping later.

    Unfortunately she barely sleeps at all in the day - she averages a total of about 30 mins in 2-3 catnaps and that's it! :-S
  • I too have an early riser at 7 months, he wakes anytime from 5.30 every morning, I let him play in his cot until 6am, he's then ready to go back down for a nap by 7.30-8 for an hour, so i go back to bed at the same time. He's always done it, regardless what time he goes to bed (have tried later bedtime) , so I dont think he's going to change now.
    Sorry, not much help.

  • Hi Hun
    she's still really young so I wouldn't worry too much, you'll probably find that routines and patterns change along the way. Well, I know ours did anyway!!
    My DD is now 8.5 months and we're extremely lucky if we get past 6am, with no dummy runs inbetween. We have blackout blinds the lot. I will say though that if she's napped well during the day she tends to go longer in the morning, strange child :lol:
    Yours may well be an early riser, let's face it 5am is a killer te to start your day, but like I said it could all change as she gets older anyway xx
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