Hello there my old nemesis the early waking demon toddler

little girl standing in the crib

This week just gone, my toddler turned into the early waking demon for the umpteenth time since she arrived on the planet. My toddler was waking up too early!!!!

A quick visit to the likely suspect forums will see a myriad of threads about early wakings, fraught with pleas for help from exhausted mothers, advice and general shoulder crying.

Having been round this block time and time again, I look back at the frazzled times when we were desperate for the early wakings to pass with a wry smile as I think about all the advice people have to give – put them to bed earlier, put them to bed later, try black out blinds, try a wake up clock, try cutting or moving their naps, try giving them some milk or a snack so they go back to sleep, are they too hot? Or cold? Do they need an extra snack before they go to bed?– the list goes on and on.

Yes, all advice that once upon a time I would have desperately been trying, in a last ditch attempt to “fix the problem” of early waking, just so I could have another hour in bed.

As with so many instances where we try to “control” the situation with our little ones, I have learnt that in the majority of cases, pretty much all of the above is an utter waste of time.

In my humble experience, early wakings are usually down to one of three things: developmental, teething and illness and unfortunately, there is not a huge amount you can do in these instances to coax a later wake up time apart from ride the wave and see it through.

So my best piece of advice for early wake ups? Sure, you can try everything and more mentioned above, just for peace of mind that you have ticked them all off, you can try to fight it or change it as best you can, albeit to probably no avail. But really it comes down to this: Know that this too shall pass.

And now by time of print, guess what – it has.

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Baby Brain Memoirs


  1. Yep! This is the sign of a truly experienced (and resigned) parent! No point fighting battles you can’t win – do whatever you need to get through. I used to alternate between dozing on the sofa watching early morning kids TV and harnessing a burst of early morning hours by baking or batch cooking spaghetti bolognaise – whatever works to keep you sane!

  2. This is perfectly timed thank you! A nice little reminder that although my little one woke to play at 5.30 this morning, it’s just one of those things and in a few days (fingers crossed) she’ll be back to normal. Coffee or tea make it all better x

    • Hoping this little phase will pass swiftly for you. My over 2 year old has reverted to night waking recently…they go through ALL sorts of weird sleep phases and the this too shall pass gets rolled out in my head every single time! Coffee and tea definitely make it better, but cake trumps it all 😉 x

  3. My boy, at 7 months, has yet to sleep through. I can’t even get him in his cot at the moment. I am feeding him to sleep as I type this…zzzz #babybrainmondays

    • Don’t worry, I don’t think mine slept through until wayyyy beyond which is totally normal although that’s not what we are led to believe. He will figure it out when his time arrives. And then you will not be able to function on a full night’s sleep anyway haha! x

  4. Oh yes I’ve been there too. I think some kids just are just early risers. Don’t even mention when siblings start waking each other up as well. Happy days 😉 #babybrainmonday

  5. Early morning wages are the worst aren’t they but as you say they pass as quick as they came. But when we are in the midst of sleep deprivation we try anything and waste so much money (experience from my first) and by my second I learnt – it’s life lol – great post #thetruthabout xx

  6. So true! And you know what else? I believe in ‘The Wonder Weeks’ and it sometimes helped with child no.2 to look up exactly which stage we were at and once you can see that you are in that tricky ‘Week 16’ (or whatever) then it’s easier to just go with the flow and ride it out knowing that it will probably be short-lived. Thanks for linking up Talya! #thetruthabout

    • I haven’t read the Wonder Weeks but heard a lot about the book but I really “get” that idea and you can see that usually these blips are linked to developmental leaps small or large. Thanks as always for hosting lovely x

  7. Very true! “This too shall pass” was a mantra of mine when my youngest went through a ‘phase’ (by which I mean ‘many’ many months’) of being awake for two hours in the middle of the night. I sat by his cot in the dark because what else could i do. It finally did pass and he’s now a good little sleeper! #thetruthabout

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