Waketime When Baby Wakes Early

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Many moms wonder what to do about waketime when baby wakes early from sleeping. This is a situation where it pays to know your child well. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Age. The older your baby, the more likely baby can just stay awake until close to the normal nap time, if not right until the normal nap time. With young babies, however, babies seem to need X amount of minutes of waketime.
  • Time. This would include time of day and also how early baby woke up. Most babies can handle a longer waketime in the evening, so if he woke early from an afternoon or evening nap, you might be able to make it until bedtime or the next nap. If baby woke 15 minutes early from the nap, there is a better chance he will make it to the next nap time than if he woke up an hour early.
  • Length. I use this category to point out that if the nap that was woken early from was quite short, he will likely need to go down for the next nap early, and perhaps with a shorter waketime than usual. If he is not as well rested as he usually is, he might not be able to make it the usual length of time.
  • Activity. If your baby wakes early but will stay in his bed and play, he can likely handle a longer waketime out of the crib than if he were to get out of his crib right away. If they are in the crib, they are still getting some rest.

All of these factors work together to create the answer to the question “How long should waketime be when he wakes early?” It is up to you to observe these factors (and any others you know to exist for your child) and determine what is the right move. If your child shows you sleepy cues, follow those cues in putting him down, even if it is earlier than that nap would last.
Take note that many times the baby will take a longer than usual nap following a short nap to make up for the lost sleep at the short nap. So, if your child is one who will do catch up, putting him down early is a good idea to maintain your feeding schedule.
Remember that keeping your child up too long will backfire. He will most likely take another short nap if he went down too late.
Kaitlyn has pretty much woken up at consistent times her whole life. When she was a young baby, she went down after she had been up for X number of minutes. As she got older, I would put her down early for the next nap or for bed. She usually then slept extra and woke at the normal wake time. At 12 months, she now basically goes down at the same time her nap usually is if she wakes early. She might go down 10-15 minutes early if she is tired, but most of the time she is just up until nap time.
Reader Questions:

  • John and Amanda said…
    Welcome back! I was hoping for your insight on a sleep/nap problem I’ve been having with my son.His previous schedule was:
    Waketime 7am
    naptime 9am
    waketime 11am
    naptime 1pm
    waketime 3pm
    bedtime 7pm
    His naps were always a solid 2 hours with rare exceptions (and usually those exceptions meant a slightly longer nap, not shorter). He is currently 9.5 months old, can crawl, stand, and sit (I tell you this because I know BW mentions the phase where they learn new skills and want to try them out rather than sleep).Lately, he has been waking up at 6am instead of 7am. I know that 11 hours of sleep is still a great night, but I’m not sure if I should just accept this new waketime and roll with it or keep working to get him to go until 7am. I leave him in his crib until as close to 7am as possible before he melts down and cries…the crying will wear him out to where he won’t make it to his next scheduled naptime (9am). This started 3 weeks ago and I’ve tried moving his bedtime earlier and it has not made a bit of difference. And his room is as dark as I can get it with black out curtains.Also, his naps (both morning and afternoon) have been getting shorter. Around 1 to 1.5 hours usually and NO more…ever! As long as he is not becoming overtired (and he isn’t) I try to keep him up till his next schedule nap (or as close as possible). I’ve tried putting him down sooner, too and he still only naps for about 1.5 hours at the most. He seems well rested and ready to get up and makes it to his next nap just fine. There isn’t a lot of info in BW about the transition between one and two naps a day, although I know my son is much too young for only one nap. Do you think he is starting to make that gradual transition? Should I worry about his shorter naps and nighttime sleep and just assume he is getting to where he needs less sleep, or should I do some training of some kind to keep him on the schedule I currently have?Your insight is greatly appreciated!Amanda
    April 23, 2008 9:49 PM
    John and Amanda said…
    I’m guessing from your latest post on waking early, your advice to me would be that if he seems fine with it and is not over tired and makes it to his next nap… just roll with it! 🙂 Like I said, my best guess as to why he suddenly seems to need less sleep (because he is functioning and happy with less sleep) is that he is slowly moving toward one nap a day… I guess I can’t expect him to sleep 12 hours every night and take 2, 2 hour naps every day for the next 2 years!!! 🙂 11 hours at night and 2, one+ hour naps a day is still good! Thanks!
    April 24, 2008 6:27 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    I would stick with your schedule. My guess is it is a phase and not that he is ready to phase out that nap. 14 months is the earliest to drop that nap–so you are a ways off of that. I would continue to plan for a 1-5-2 hour nap and 10-12 hours at night and he should snap back at some point 🙂
    April 24, 2008 9:55 PM
    John and Amanda said…
    Thanks? He will stay in the crib and play most of the time, and I leave him in there as long as I can. I’ll keep doing it. Today he slept till 6:30am, but I think it was because it was rainy this morning and therefore darker… 🙂April 24, 2008 10:44 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    That sun does make a difference. You might even consider seeing if you can darken his room a bit. My kids are both sun risers.
    April 25, 2008 9:42 AM

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. Andy
    April 24, 2008 / 11:42 PM

    So, what age would you say babies are usually able to just stay awake until their next normal naptime? Closer to a year old?I’m glad you had fun in DC. We have lots of family there so it’s fun to visit and stay for free! :o)

  2. sarah
    April 25, 2008 / 4:16 AM

    My 7 month old in the last few weeks has started waking up earlier in the mornings. He went from waking up between 7:45 and 8:15 to now waking up right around 7 (but still happy). His bedtime has not changed and he still gets 11.5 hours of sleep, but…what happened??? Does this just happen sometimes and is there a way to get back that 1/2 hour?

  3. Plowmanators
    April 25, 2008 / 4:25 AM

    Andy, Kaitlyn was closer to a year old…I can’t remember exactly. It was likely around 9 months.We also stayed with family–that was great!

  4. Plowmanators
    April 25, 2008 / 4:29 AM

    Sarah, As babies get older, they need less sleep. It is possible that your son doesn’t need as much sleep as he used to. You could cut down on the last nap (if you have more than two) or drop the last nap all together.

  5. susie
    April 25, 2008 / 1:39 PM

    Hi. My 8 month old takes naps from 9:15-11:00 & 1:15-3:00. She will usually sleep from 30 min to 1 hour and then lay in bed playing till naptime is over. She sleeps 12hours at night. Do you think I need to extend her waketime a few more minutes to increase her sleep time?

  6. Plowmanators
    April 25, 2008 / 3:50 PM

    Has she ever slept for 1.5-2 hours? Many times, early waking means too long of waketime. If your good napper starts having issues, one thing to consider is waketime. You can always try extending the waketime and see how it goes. For my daughter, even just 5 minutes in either direction makes a huge difference.

  7. Jessica
    April 25, 2008 / 5:06 PM

    My daughter will be 5 weeks old on Monday and we are getting ready to start her on the Babywise “schedule.”She has settled into a 3 hour routine herself – she is actually at 3.5 hours since eating last right now – she is napping. (I know, according to Babywise I should wake her up).Here is my question – we live in a townhome and according to Babywise you should put your baby down to sleep without a prop (being rocked to sleep) and allow the baby to cry for a bit – I don’t feel like we can allow our daughter to cry for any substantial length of time at night due to our location and out of respect for our neighbors. What is the proper “Babywise” way to solve this problem? Currently, I feed our daughter, swaddle her (she freaks herself out if her hands are free) and snuggle/rock her until she falls asleep.Your blog is so refreshing and helpful – THANK YOU!

  8. Plowmanators
    April 25, 2008 / 10:08 PM

    First, don’t worry about the swaddle. The swaddle is fine, great, wonderful :)For night crying, first start with your daytime CIO. I started my son at 9 weeks. I found that when I put him in his bed awake, he just went to sleep. Even while daytime naps were hard, his night was great. My daughter was the same way. So she might surprise you, and you will get more sleep at night ;)Do keep in mind that at 5 weeks, her cry will be significantly quieter than as she gets older. I used to need a monitor to hear my daughter crying. Now I hear her just fine if she cries from any room in the house. You could wait until the weekend and try putting her back to bed awake. She will have had time to work on her crying for the week. One thing I would pay special attention to is if your night rocking interferes with your CIO process. It is possible that it would. Good luck! Be sure to read through the CIO posts.

  9. Kate
    April 26, 2008 / 1:39 AM

    Hey Jessica,Just to let you know we swaddled our daughter too. She would wake up crying if she even got one arm out and we would have to go in and reswaddle her. I was terrified to stop it. At 3 months however we gave it a try and layed her down w/ the swaddle only wrapped around her body (arms free). She woke up a couple of times and we went in and held her arms. The second night she woke up once. Since then she doesn’t have to be swaddled. It was so much easier to break than I thought!

  10. melissa
    April 28, 2008 / 5:47 PM

    Hello – Love your blog, but I am stumped. I have a 7 month old baby who goes down at 8. Lately she has been waking, happy and rested at 5:45 – 6:00 am! Our waketime is 6:30, although I have wanted it to be 7, we have never gotten there! I have been letting her go until our waketime of 6:30, but she just cries after 15 minutes or so of talking to heself and our whole day is off and mornings are miserable. I do CIO, but its hard to rationalize that she’s not crying from hunger when she has gone almost 11 hours since eating. I am so frustrated. Should I put her down earlier, later, ….like I said earlier, I am stumped. Any advice would be appreciated.

  11. Hannah S.
    April 28, 2008 / 9:16 PM

    Hi. Thanks for your blog. It has been really helpful. I am having naptime trouble with my 11 week old. She used to nap all the time when she was in the swing or carseat while we were out, but a few weeks ago I knew it was time for her to start sleeping in her bed for her naps. I wake in her in the morning at 8 and she is on a 3 hour schedule. She makes it to the 3 hour feeding just fine but her naps are still so short. I tried moving her to the swing when she wakes, but she would stay awake. So for the past week I’ve been leaving her to CIO until it is time to nurse. She usually wakes up 45 minutes to an hour after going to sleep. I am keeping her waketime to one hour. She doesn’t cry much at the start of the nap and sometimes she’ll fall back to sleep after waking up, but it is after she has cried for 45 – 5o minutes and then I wake her up at the 3 hour mark to nurse. By the afternoon she seems so tired and I feel like all I am doing is feeding her and putting her back in bed. It has been a long time since she napped for longer than an hour. The crying is getting really hard. My 2 year old and I are spending a lot of time outside :). I just wanted your opinion if I should keep on doing this in hopes that she’ll nap longer or take a different approach. Sorry for the long question.

  12. Plowmanators
    April 29, 2008 / 3:21 AM

    Melissa,I would analyze what has changed that could be making her wake up earlier. Is the sun coming up at that time? Has it gotten colder or warmer in your home? Are there new noises? Next, I would consider waking from hunger. Make sure she is getting enough food in the day.Next I would consider daytime naps. How many is she taking? If it is 3, you might need to start shortening or dropping it. See also this post:Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.html

  13. Plowmanators
    April 29, 2008 / 3:48 AM

    Hannah, I would remember that 3 months is a growth spurt time, so watch for that (though since she is making it to feeding time right now, she likely isn’t having one now). I would check the troubleshooting naps post, and also see this:Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/waking-early-from-napswont-fall-asleep.htmlGood luck in troubleshooting this. hang in there!

  14. melissa
    April 29, 2008 / 1:36 PM

    Thanks so much Valerie. I suspect that the early waking is due to her still taking a 3rd nap. Its just so hard to only have 2 naps a day when you get up at 6:00 (or 5:45 like today).

  15. sawyersmom
    May 19, 2008 / 3:20 AM

    Does anyone have much hiccup experience? My 6 wk old gets them multiple times each day. The only “remedy” is nursing. When we CIO- he often gets them just after he falls asleep, then wakes up again, then starts the CIO again about 10 min later. I feel guilty letting him cry again so soon, as if he’s already earned his nap for this cycle and it’s just stupid hiccups that keep him from sleeping.

  16. Jen
    July 13, 2008 / 10:57 PM

    Sawyersmom, is it possible that your son has GERD (reflux)? What you describe sounds like it could be that, and if so, there are solutions to that and it can get worse and worse when left untreated. Either way, I urge you to bring it up with the pediatrician who might be able to offer some suggestions, too!

  17. Plowmanators
    July 15, 2008 / 8:53 PM

    Thanks, Jen, for that thought. Reflux is always something good to be aware of. Also, would sucking on a pacifier or something work? Or does he actually need to swallow? I have read hiccups come from swallowing too quickly, so maybe he eats too fast or you have a really fast let down?

  18. sarah84m
    August 16, 2008 / 2:02 AM

    I have a baby girl who is 11 weeks and everything is great at night she sleeps about 8.5 hours –I never thought I would get there but the hard work and several nights of cio worked—we are still cio on some naps, but they are getting fewer and farther between. As I understand BW we are supposed to repeat eat awake sleep over and over until bed, my baby is still on a 2.5 hr routine except her first and second feeding we go 3 hours. she still eats 7 times a day 730 1030 1 330 6 830 & 1030. It sounds like it comes to a point where she will eat and have awake time with no nap before the next eating time. I cannot find anything in the BW book or on the already posted blogs about this. How do I know when it is time for this? Which nap do you eliminate first?

  19. sarah84m
    August 20, 2008 / 9:09 PM

    Thank-you! I was not understanding how to keep repeating feed awake sleep and also dropping a nap, but I guess now she will stay awake through the last cycle so that the nap can be dropped. is this right?Thanks!

  20. Plowmanators
    August 26, 2008 / 3:19 AM

    Yep, that is right!

  21. bradysmom
    August 26, 2008 / 3:55 PM

    Can someone please tell me where in Babywise it discusses how baby will talk to himself for a while, around 5:00 – 6:00am?? I have looked the entire book over and can’t find it!! Thanks.

  22. Stephanie
    August 29, 2008 / 1:29 PM

    I seem to have an issue that I can’t find any answers to. I’ve read 3 sleep books including Babywise and still have no idea what to do. My baby is 7 months old. She has been waking between 4-5am since the beginning and I would feed her (because at the time, that was really good to go that long), but now at 7 months, I’m thinking that’s more of a habit than a necessity. Ive tried to let her cio, but hours later, she’s still crying. Even though she goes down for naps and bedtime awake with minimal crying, whenever she wakes up in the middle of the night or very early morning, the crying doesn’t seem to work. There have been a couple morning recently where she’s slept until 6, but even still I don’t think she’s ready to be awake because she falls asleep on me while I’m nursing and then continues to sleep for another 1-2 hours. I read a sample feeding schedule the gfi website that started at 8am, which is usually the time she sleeps until after I’ve fed her between 4:30-6am (because every night/morning is different). How do I get her to sleep until she’s actually ready to be awake and have that be her first feeding, around 7 or 8 and be consisten?

  23. Plowmanators
    September 2, 2008 / 4:23 PM

    Bradysmom, see page 132 in the chapter “Waketime and Naptime.”

  24. Plowmanators
    September 2, 2008 / 4:27 PM

    Stephanie, check out these posts for all my ideas and solutions. The difficulty is that you need to figure out why she is waking and what to do about it; every child is different. So take these ideas and see if any of them apply in your problem solving:Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.htmlNighttime Sleep Issues: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/nightime-sleep-issues.html45 Minute Intruder: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/45-minute-intruder.html5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.html

  25. bradysmom
    September 2, 2008 / 4:31 PM

    Ahh, thank you. Brady never did that when he was 2 or 3 months, but started when he was around 5 months. He goes back to sleep, but I forgot how long they said it would last! Thanks!

  26. KJackson213
    October 8, 2008 / 5:36 PM

    My baby is 10 weeks old now (currently sleeping 10 hours a night!!), but start4d only taking 45 minute naps around 8 weeks. Babywise said to feed them, so I did for a couple weeks, hence a two hour schedule, since she would only do 1 hour feed/waketime without getting fussy. So now, when I feed her after she wakes up she will eat like 5 minutes, so I know she is probably waking out of habit…she has started a new routine for herself. I have let her CIO for the last 45 minutes of her nap and she does nto stop crying the whole time. She goes to sleep within 1 minute, but wakes up and refuses to go back to sleep. I have tried putting her down earlier and later, by 10 minute incriments adn it doesnt matter what I do, she wakes up after 45 minutes, except once in a while when we’re lucky! I would love to keep her up longer, because she will only stay up 1 hr after her 10 hours of sleep, and I think that’s kind of crazy, but then she fusses if shes up longer. I think she gets tired bc she thinks she is going to get fed in anothr hour and thinks she needs to rest. So how do I get her back to her normal 2 hr naps if shes waking out of habit? Stick to the cycle or the schedule? bc I cant do both. Ive tried it both ways, and she still wakes up after 45 mninutes. Oh, and also, she wont eat a full feeding unless shes pooped, which means I have to sit her in her infant seat, let her do her business, and poop which sometimes is an hour later, and then shes hungryh again bc shes pooped. So, I cant really tell if shes going through a growth spurt and just wont eat cause she has to poop, or if its out of habit(Im thiniking its out of habit bc of the growth spurt) bc shes sleeping 10 hrs at night! B y the way, she USED to take 2 hour naps and I woudl have to wake her up. Advice woudl be appreciated!!!

  27. bradysmom
    October 8, 2008 / 5:42 PM

    KJackson213 – my son is now 8 months old and went through a stage where he would only take 45 minutes naps. After trying EVERYTHING else, I finally resorted to rocking him.He would go down just fine and fall asleep fast, then wake 45 min later. I would get him up and just hold him on my chest and rock him back to sleep. Right when he fell asleep I would put him in the crib. After a couple days of doing that, he was fine and was back to taking 1.5 – 2 hour naps. I know the rocking thing is ‘against’ babywise, but like you I tried pretty much everything else and that was the only thing that worked. I tried to let him CIO and he would simply cry the whole entire time he was supposed to be taking a nap. Don’t know if this will help you, but it helped us!

  28. Plowmanators
    October 9, 2008 / 7:27 PM

    Thanks Bradysmom. That is a good short-term solution. KJackson, ther was a recent post in the last 2-3 weeks on 45 minute naps also that might help you.

  29. bradysmom
    October 9, 2008 / 8:34 PM

    Yes, definitely a short-term solution!!!

  30. bradysmom
    November 1, 2008 / 11:30 AM

    OK – please help!!! For the last 3 months, Brady has been waking an hour early. He was doing fine with his morning wake time at 7:30. Then he got a little messed up and started waking at 5:30, would fall back asleep, and then again at 6:30. I don’t hear a sound from him from the time I put him down to bed until he wakes. BUt I have no idea why he is waking early. In the last month, he has not been waking at 5:30 – only 6:30. But this is not his normal wake time and I have trouble-shooted everything to try to figure out why. The last couple days I have just let him lay in there to see if he’ll go back to sleep and he doesn’t. I just don’t know what to do and I don’t know why he’s waking an hour early! Please – any advice would be welcome. He is teething, and is getting over a sickness. But, like I said this has been going on for 3 months and he does not wake at all during the night. He is almost 9 months old, so I feel like this should not be an issue at this point!

  31. Janelle
    January 7, 2009 / 3:09 PM

    Hi Valerie,Thanks so much for all the work you put into this blog! I’ve been reading your posts for several months. I have a question, and I’m not sure if you’ll be able to help or not but I thought I’d ask. My son is kind of in a unique situation. I breastfed him for the first 8 months of his life. He never ate very well, had a hard time sleeping, and couldn’t poop without extra help. I knew something was wrong but the neither his pediatrician nor I could figure out what. Finally we took him to an allergist and found out that he was allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, and soy! We got him onto a special formula and that helped tremendously. Now he is 9 months old and we are just getting into giving him solids. Bottom line: he’s a 9 month old on a 6 month old eating schedule. Now that things are working better in the eating dept. he is starting to sleep much better. He is sleeping through the night on a regular basis. But now is he starting to wake up around 5:30am. My concern is that if I start feeding him at 5:30am he will consider that his wake up time and not go back to sleep because he is old enough to know that usually after eating comes activity. Do you have any suggestions? Also, if you know of anyone else who has a child with multiple food allergies and can give me their email address, I’d sure appreciate it! I’m having a hard time figuring out what I’m going to feed this kid! Thanks so much!

  32. Plowmanators
    January 12, 2009 / 10:25 PM

    Janelle,Thanks for your thanks!I don’t know anyone with food allergies like that (that I know of), but you might try the Babywise group on babycenter.com. It is really big.If he is hungry at 5:30, I would hate for you to not feed him. See this post about waking/eating at that time of day:Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.html

  33. Corinne Doughan
    January 15, 2009 / 10:13 PM

    I have successfully done babywise with my first son, now 2.5 years, and I have another son who is 11 weeks old. Partially from bad memory (not being able to remember what is was REALLY like with my first son) and partially because they really are two different babies … it seems like I have had a heck of a time getting my second son to take full naps. He’s been doing between 8.5 to 9.5 hours at night without ANY CIO at all! (Happy for me!!) He also puts himself down for naps by himself well, but will wake after 30mins into the nap and cry. His crying tells me he’s not done sleeping … I’ve tried burping him, changing him, nuring him, swaddling him, darkening the room, making him warmer, cooler … you name it I’ve tried it. When I’ve put him down 15min earlier he may stretch his nap to 45min, but mostly he wakes at 30min and can’t put himself back to sleep and he is obviously NOT happy and ready to wake up. AH!!! I need suggestions!!!

  34. KappaKey
    January 19, 2009 / 3:21 PM

    I am wondering how to start a nap schedule. My 16wk old usually is awake about 1.5 hours then takes a nap. He will only sleep 30-45 minutes a nap. I have been lucky and he has rested maybe an hour. He does sleep from 8:30pm-6:30am. I am lucky in that respect but naps are awful. He fights every nap. HELP!

  35. Samsmom
    January 20, 2009 / 5:40 PM

    I love your blog! It helped me get Samantha on babywise in the first place. She is now 6 months and had been doing perfectly! Had recently gone to a 4 hour schedule, dropped the DF and was taking 3 long naps. I assumed she would need to decrease those naps and 1 day she decided today was the day. Now she is always waking early out of her first nap but wakes up happy and not hungry. She wakes at 10 but her next feeding isn’t until 11. But I have tried shortening her waketime and extending it and she still wakes at 10 no matter what. Of course that throws the rest of the day and I always have an hour or so before a feeding that she is awake. And yesterday she was so out of sync – took 3 30 minute naps and there was no ryhme or reason to anything! I assume she needs to drop the 3rd nap but I don’t even know how to get there because of this 10 am issue. Please help 🙂

  36. Plowmanators
    January 22, 2009 / 9:25 PM
  37. Plowmanators
    January 24, 2009 / 10:27 PM

    Samsmom,First, see this post:5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.htmlReview those before acting.After reviewing, if you are sure it is the third nap, they I suggest you start shortening it and hoping the days following smooth out. You can shorten it slowly. Be sure to see the blog label “dropping naps” to get information on dropping the third nap. Also, you can wait 30 minutes after she wakes before feeding her if needed. See this post for more on that:Eat/Wake/Sleep Cycle: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/03/eatwakesleep-cycle.html

  38. C-lee
    February 18, 2009 / 6:37 AM

    My Lo has been taking a short third nap but these days she just doesn’t want to take it anymre so I dropped it. She does well with it and I moved her bedtime up. I want to know does it take a few days for a new routine to form? Longer naps in the day? because currently she wakes early but after a good nap. Her naps is 1.30- 1.45 min, will they get longer after a few days? She is 6 months.

  39. Plowmanators
    February 20, 2009 / 5:05 PM

    c-lee, usually the third nap affects nighttime sleep, not other daytime naps. So she should be extending her nighttime sleep. If she is waking early from naps, it might be that she isn’t getting enough sleep in the night or something. She also might need waketime adjusted, either shorter or longer. Plus, see this post:5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.html

  40. Stephanie
    February 21, 2009 / 1:30 PM

    My daughter is 13 months and has been sleeping great at night. She usually sleeps from 8:30pm-8am. Well, I should say I go in and get her around 8, but she’s usually playing quietly, so I’m not sure what time she actually wakes up. This past week, she has been waking around 6! Almost 2 hours earlier than usual! She takes 2 naps during the day, lasting 1.5-2 hrs, with the second one ending around 4. Nothing has changed as in more sunlight or anything like that. Is it possible that I may have to try putting her to bed earlier? I’ve read that putting them to bed too late can cause them to wake too early, but I thought that was only when they went to bed later than they’re normal bed time. Oh, she’s also not ready to be awake at this time. Every time I’ve gone in and sat with her in the rocker, she’s fallen back asleep until about 7:30-8. So, she can’t be waking due to hunger or else she’d still be fussy wanting food. I tried CIO this morning (I was waiting until the weekend), and she never fell back asleep on her own. It wasn’t a consistent cry; there were times when she was quiet. After about an hour, I went in and she still fell asleep on me. Any suggestions why this could be happening suddenly at 13 months, after we’ve been in a steady routine for months? Thank you!

  41. Plowmanators
    February 26, 2009 / 6:20 PM

    Stephanie, The thing you can be sure of is that it is something. Something is waking her. It could be teething. It could be some noise outside. It could be the temperature. The trick is to figure out why and work on that. In a little over a week, we will have the spring time change where we move our clocks forward one hour. I personally would see if I could figure out what is waking her, but not stress and see if the time change helps things.

  42. bradysmom
    February 26, 2009 / 6:28 PM

    I, personally, can’t wait until the spring time change since I think the last time change if what messed Brady up to start with! 🙂

  43. mgdnight
    June 2, 2009 / 2:33 PM

    Forgive me if this is a repeat (as I tried posting earlier but cannot find it). First of all, I love, love, love this site and it has been oh so helpful! I’ve done a lot of reading trying to find an answer to my question and while there are many variations of the same tune, I’m still confused as to what to do in my situation. So, again, please forgive me if I should be reading and looking someplace else!My LO is 8 months old and on a 4 hour schedule:7:00 wake up, solids, bottle9:00-11:00 nap11:00 wake up, solids, bottle1:00-3:00 nap3:00 wake up, bottle6:30 solids7:00 bottle, bedLately, however, he has been waking between 5:15 and 5:30 very contently. He will talk to himself in his crib for about 15 minutes and then will erupt in screaming. If I get him up at this point, he usually can stay awake until his 9:00 scheduled naptime. He’s also usually okay with waiting from that 5:30ish time until 7:00 for his bottle. Offering solids at that time, however, is a no-win battle. He will scream and refuse them and just want the bottle (because, I imagine, from being so hungry). Also, by the time he eats and has his bottle at 7:00 he is done and falls asleep immediately. Questions…should I let him keep screaming in the crib until 7:00? Should I get him out at 5:30 and offer him solids then and then wait until 7:00 for the bottle? Should I try to work in a 3rd nap and keep him up longer at night since it seems he needs only 10 hours of sleep?

  44. Plowmanators
    July 4, 2009 / 1:49 AM

    mgdnight, thanks 🙂 I am glad you like the site :)Hopefully this is over by now. There are a lot of things you could do, and it will depend on your baby. Some might do fine for you to go in and soothe him to sleep (if he will). Some might need to be left alone. This is something you will have to judge as to what is best. See also the post 5-8 month sleep disruptions under sleep problems on the blog index.

  45. AnnDee
    December 11, 2009 / 3:45 AM

    I need help! I've always struggled with my 7 and 1/2 month old son and naps. I finally got him to nap without CIO around 5/6 months and it was wonderful! He would go right down, not a peep. His naps were never long, but he was happy, and I was OK with that. The last 2 weeks, though, have been miserable! He STTN, and we wake every morning from 7:15-7:30. He will almost every morning go down almost exactly around 8:40/45 each morning, no crying, and will sleep anywhere from 1 and 1/2 to 2 and 1/2 hours. (No idea why he sleeps longer some times and not others.) This is a great nap, and really his only one of the day. I CANNOT get him to take a decent nap the rest of the day. I've tried changing his waketimes-longer and shorter; I will try to look for cues and put him down, but he has started to have to CIO, and even then it will take him anywhere from 15 min. to 1 hr.+ to go to sleep (if he does at all.) That's the 1st Problem. What am I doing wrong? He goes down great in the AM, but refuses to after that. I have read like every post, but I am still stressed! The second problem is that when he does finally get to sleep, he will wake up 40-45 min. into the nap just a scream out of no where. This isn't normal of him, but has been for the past 2 weeks. I've tried to have him CIO and go back to sleep, but he just won't. I've also tried to go up and settle him down and then put him back down, but he won't sleep. I'm not sure what to do. When he wakes up that way, he is grumpy the rest of the morning. But, like I said before, he just refuses to nap after that 1st nap in the AM. What can I do? I believe in CIO, but it just seems that I don't have enough time! He will cry forever, and I know he gets hungry, so I feed him. This is really getting to be hard! Please Help! What could be going on with him?

  46. AnnDee
    December 11, 2009 / 3:49 AM

    Oh, sorry- just thought I'd add that he's been on a 3 hour schedule (I'd like to move it to at least 3 and 1/2, but can't figure out how to do it with so many other issues!)

  47. Plowmanators
    December 23, 2009 / 2:44 PM

    AnnDee, I would look into possible medical conditions. Does he have reflux?Another thing is the developmental weeks (see wonder weeks blog label). That will probably answer much of the mystery for you.Is he teething or anything? See the post 5-8 month sleep disruptions for common sleep problems in that age range.

  48. Bryce and Lisa
    January 28, 2010 / 8:23 PM

    Hi there. Your blog is such a blessing and help! I have searched high and low for the answer to my question, so hopefully it's not posted anywhere else. My 8.5 month old son has always been a great sleeper and eater, but lately everything has been turned upside down. He's been waking early (6am instead of 7-7:30am) but going down at the same time (7-7:30pm), and he's also been waking up early from his morning naps. I've seen all the answers to the waking problems, but my main concern is that he cries(or should I say shrieks?) every time I put him down for a nap or for bedtime. He has always gone down peacefully in the past. I'm wondering if the 2 problems are related?? Please help! I want my peaceful son back!

  49. Plowmanators
    February 9, 2010 / 6:25 PM

    Bryce and Lisa,I think there are a couple of possibiities. One is it might be a wonder week. See wonder week blog label for help deciding of that is it. If not, he might be ready to drop his third nap if he hasn't already.Or he might be ready for slightly longer waketime lengths.I would check into wonder weeks first before changing anything.

  50. The Kudas
    April 4, 2011 / 12:17 PM

    Hello! I've been reading your blog from day one, and absolutely love it! Here's our current situation…My LO is 4 1/2 months old, and until about 3 weeks ago, she was on a 4 hour schedule: 730, 1130, 330 and 7 pm eat times, with one middle of the night feed around 5 am. It was great! She would nap during the day with 2 1-1.5 hours naps, and a 30-45 min catnap in the evening time. Lately, she has been waking earlier and earlier for her motn feeding (last night was at 2:30!), and waking earlier in the morning… this morning was 615, which is just crazy. I am able to keep her in her crib until about 645, so new feed time is 7 am, as she can't make it any longer. Another new nap thing is that because she's waking earlier in the morning, her morning nap can be up to 2 1/2 hours, and afternoon nap is now only 45-60 minutes. I'm at a loss! Should I maybe cut her morning nap shorter? Do you think that's what is affecting her earlier wake time for the day? I feel like we had such a great routine, and now it's totally a mess.Thanks in advance!!Kristin

  51. Plowmanators
    April 23, 2011 / 7:48 PM

    Kudas, how fun to have you along for the whole ride!Was it a growth spurt?Four months is a hard time. It is the hardest wonder week in my opinion. It is also a growth spurt age. So you combine the two, and you have crazy stuff going on. I would try keeping the morning nap at 2 hours to see if that impacts the afternoon. I would also try working with waketime length between nap one and two. Good luck!

  52. Mrs. Jodi
    February 25, 2012 / 2:32 PM

    I have a 9 month old who is waking earlier. I would like wake time to be 7am she is waking at 6:30 and does the 15 min creeper. whee the next morning will be 6:15 then 6am and so forth. She naps from 9:30-11:30 usually and I wake her, and from 2-4 and I wake her then too most of the time. So with her wanting to sleep more during the day how do I get her to sleep in in the morning. She only gets 10-11 hrs at night with a bed time at 8pm. How can I train her to sleep longer at a night stretch by waking up later in the morning?

  53. Mrs. Jodi
    February 25, 2012 / 2:48 PM

    I should tell you I originally wanted her wake time to be 8am like her older sisters and just learned to accept 7am b/c that wasn't happening. our 9m old shares a room with 3yr old big sister so its affecting sister's sleep too to be woken up an hour earlier. both my girls are the type that won't fall back to sleep once awake. i love the longer naps but we're all tired of the shorter nights and earlier mornings. our baby is on a 4 hr feeding schedule and eating solids with the families at regular meal times. breakfast usually is eaten at 8a so to have a bottle when she wants to wake at 6a is really stretching feedings too. btw your bolg has been an awesome help to the babywise books, b/c some questions just aren't addressed. Can you offer any advice for my situation. Thanks stay at home mom and home child care provider, Jodi.

  54. Plowmanators
    March 17, 2012 / 8:04 PM

    Jodi, You could try an earlier bedtime. 7:30 or 7:00. Also consider if she is cold or teetheing.

  55. ainsleysmama
    September 28, 2012 / 4:06 PM

    I started BW about 3 weeks ago with my 7mo daughter. We've been really successful with nighttime sleeping and CIO, but naps are another story. We've consistently been on a 3.5/3 hour combo schedule and she sleeps 10.5 hours at night (usually 730ish pm-600ish am). Most days she takes 3 1.5 hour naps and a 30-45min nap in the late evening. In the last week she has missed her entire first nap of the day three times! She has sleep cues: fussy and rubs eyes, which I watch for, as well as watching the clock. On a typical day she will show sleep cues after about 1h45m, but on those three days she didn't seem tired or show sleep cues until just after 2h of waketime. (She had been playing for about 15-20m after laying her down a few days prior to this, so I know extending wake time is a good idea.) But on those three occasions she played (mostly happily) through her entire nap times and was much fussier throughout the rest of the day. I tried taking her blanket off, changing diaper, and rocking with no luck. Do you think I just waited maybe 10 or 15 min too long and she was too tired to sleep? Is it possible she is getting too much sleep with a catnap in the evening and 11hours at night? After the first two times this happened, I tried to make sure activities were not too stimulating and that my schedule wasn't inconsistent by logging. I've also been thinking maybe she's ready for a 4h schedule, but it's hard to do that when she won't settle herself down for naps consistently. I know this is a long one, but any insight would be much appreciated! 

  56. Anonymous
    January 17, 2013 / 11:11 PM

    I'm a little confused as to what to do with wake time when your child wakes early from a nap (earlier than the 2.5 mark) and is not hungry, and you cannot get them back to sleep…not with CIO or a swing, bouncy chair, etc. My son (9 weeks old) has been doing this about twice a week and it ends up messing up the whole day. He wakes up early from one nap (for various reasons) and we can't get him back to sleep, so he's awake for longer than he should be and it's not even time for him to eat yet. Then we feed him at the scheduled time and he goes right to sleep. Which then messes up the eat/wake/sleep cycle we're trying to go with. What exactly should I be doing to keep him on the schedule? It seems as if the rest of the day is ruined and he can't make it through any nap after he wakes up early during one of them.

  57. Mrs. Jodi
    January 21, 2013 / 4:23 AM

    StephI think it would depend on how much earlier he's waking up. if he is moving to a 2 hour nap it would probably be ok to just let him get up. If he's waking up just after an hour or less I would try hard to let him fuss it out. Even if you did go check on him only pat his back and do a quick diaper feel but don't pick him up. 3-4 months is when they are learning that their cry will get them picked up. Sometimes not picking him up is the fastest way for him to learn that bed means sleep. He should be moving into 3 naps now morning, afternoon, evening. Try to keep your laying down time for each nap close to the same time each day. This will help him get into a rhythm. For example am nap 9:30-12, afternoon nap 1:30-4, and evening 6-7:30. Or something similar. At this point its your turn to adjust his naps and feedings not let him decide anymore. Babies often go back to sleep after 20 mins of fussing even if its just 30 more mins of sleep then wake up happier and the next nap goes smoother. Good Luck.

  58. Steph Gatten
    January 24, 2013 / 10:55 AM

    Thanks Mrs. Jodi. We have established a pretty good schedule (7,10,1,4,7,10 feedings), but what seems to happen is sometimes he gets woken up during a nap (or wakes up on his own) and just won't go back to sleep. He isn't always crying, sometimes he is content and happy and just talking and looking around. But then he'll be awake for 1hr+ before his next feeding and he can barely stay awake through the feeding. So, then I have to put him down right afterwards and he'll end up waking up early from that nap. I've tried to keep him awake after the feeding, but then he's so overtired he can't get himself to sleep or doesn't sleep through the whole nap again.

  59. Heather Berekoff
    July 8, 2017 / 5:21 PM

    hi, I am trying to get my 10 month old to not have to be rocked or butt patted to sleep for his naps. I have been trying to do the CIO method for about 5 days now and so far his first nap he goes down without a fuss but now his naps are only 30 min long and his other two naps he is still crying for about 10-15 min and those naps are even shorter!

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