Avoiding early morning awakening

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Avoiding early morning awakening

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So if your child's waking up at say 4, 5 o'clock in the morning and you want to figure out how to stop that or put an end to that because that can be really exhausting, I would look to do four different things. One is I'd make sure you are putting your baby to bed or your child to bed early enough. Again, that's very common that we put our kids to bed too late. So maybe somewhere between 7 and 8, depending on their age. And then awake, put them down awake, so that they can learn how to put themselves to sleep so that then, when they wake up at 5, they'll know how to apply that skill. So always think of like for me, if I wake up at 5 and I stay awake too long, my brain starts ticking, it's really hard for me to go back to sleep. So it's important that we know the skill of putting ourself to sleep and back to sleep. The other two things that I would do with your child is I would make sure that they're well-napped. Believe it or not, the better they're napping during the day, the better they sleep at night, the less likely they are to wake up at 4, 5 o'clock in the morning. And then shoot for a window of something like 4 - 5 hours from wakeup from the afternoon nap to bedtime. So if they wake up at 3, their bedtime is something like 7 PM. And then they won't be too overtired, which being overtired will cause them to wake up early. I know it's not logical, but it's absolutely true.

See Kim West, LCSW-C's video on Avoiding early morning awakening...

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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