Early Rising Baby? 5 Reasons Your Baby is Up Too Early in

early rising baby
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Your Baby Sleep Consultant expert.

In general, an early-rising baby is common. But how early is too early? If you find that your little one has become an alarm clock that goes off at 4:00 am-5:00 am, then it might be time to investigate why this is happening.

As a general rule of thumb, 5:30/6:00 am is when most babies have finished their full nights sleep – anything before that, should be considered nighttime. Of course, some babies (and lucky parents) will sleep-in, to 6:30 am or even 7:00 am. However, after 10-11+ hours of solid sleep, most babies are naturally wanting to wake from 5:30 am onwards. Yes,  I know, I know… it would be nice if our babies slept until 7:00 am or even 8:00 am, but unfortunately, 5:30 am onwards is actually a natural and biological time for them to wake. 

During the early morning hours (4:00-6:00 am), a baby’s biological sleep drive is extremely low as this is when melatonin (the sleepy hormone) is wearing off. Meaning, at the tail end of the night, your baby will be in the lighter stage of sleep and as a result, might wake up for various reasons despite the fact they still need more sleep.

If your little one is waking in the wee hours of the morning, it’s good to address some of the top causes of early rising.


The smallest bit of sunlight in the room can cause your baby’s brain to release hormones to help wake them up. Shutters, blinds, and dark curtains usually don’t block out enough light by themselves so I recommend adding blackout blinds. 

A bedtime that is too late

If your child isn’t getting enough sleep during the day, they might be overtired. It can be hard to gauge whether or not your little one is really alert or just experiencing a sleep debt but a good place to start is whether a sleep window has been missed. If your child misses a nap or has a bedtime set too late, they’ll begin to become overtired.

The science behind it is that once that sleep window is missed, hormones such as cortisol (which is similar to adrenaline) will fire off because the brain registers that sleep time has passed. As a result, your child will give off the illusion that they’re alert and awake and don’t need to be put to sleep, when in fact the opposite is true. Try to take notice of your baby’s individual tired signs and put them to bed BEFORE they get overtired.

The first nap is too early

A baby going to sleep too early for their first day nap ,will be treated by your baby’s body as an extension of night sleep, causing early morning wakings the next day! It’s important to keep in mind age-appropriate napping schedules to find out what wake windows are suited to the age of your child.

However, generally, the first wake window of the day will be the shortest.

Too much daytime sleep

Every baby has a sleep bank and sometimes, too much daytime sleep will overfill that sleep bank by the time bedtime rolls around. This can cause your baby to wake up earlier because they aren’t tired anymore. It can be hard to figure out whether or not your child is having too much sleep during the day but it’s worth keeping an eye on their age-appropriate napping schedule. As your child grows, the amount and length of naps will change too.

Too drowsy at bedtime

If you put your baby down in the cot when they’re already asleep, it’s possible your baby can’t go back to sleep on their own if they wake during the early hours of the morning. Falling asleep independently is incredibly important if you want to combat early morning wakes. During the early hours of the morning, your baby’s sleep drive is at their lowest, so if they haven’t mastered self-settling, it’ll lead to waking up earlier. 

We always try to encourage a later wake-up time but remember, some babies after 10+hrs sleep are ready to start the day. This might mean 5:30 am wake-ups (not a bad payoff after 10 hours of solid sleep, though right?). I recommend trying all the tips above to see if your little one will wake later. However, if your baby is always waking at this time after such a long night sleep and very upset, chances are they are just an early bird.

If you need help teaching your baby how to self-settle or sleep later in the morning, get in touch with a professional Baby Sleep Consultant in Sydney. My NewBorn – Baby Sleep Consultant offers a wide range of baby sleep programs to suit whatever you feel your family needs, and can help you overcome early morning rising.

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Terms & Conditions

Jennifer is a qualified IMI Maternity and Child Sleep Consultant, Doula and MNT Maternity Nurse. These qualifications enable her to assist pregnant women with their sleep issues, support women during labour and the birthing process, guide parents during the postpartum period and educate families about their baby’s sleeping habits. Jennifer provides safe and gentle sleep training methods based on knowledge obtained during her studies, successful qualifications and 16+ years experience.

Jennifer has obtained her paediatric First Aid Training through KidZAid and is registered to work with babies and children in Australia and Europe. Techniques and methods used are all derived directly from her qualifications and from her many years of experience.

Jennifer’s advice does not replace the advice from your Doctor or Paediatrician, and her advice should not be relied upon as medical advice. For medical advice, you should always seek the advice from your medical practitioner. Therefore, you should consult with your health-care professional should you have any healthcare related questions or before embarking on a new sleep program. If a medical problem appears or persists, do not disregard or delay seeking medical advice from doctor. Accordingly, Jennifer expressly disclaims any liability, loss, damage, or injury caused by information provided to the client.

Jennifer will educate, support you and guide you through the sleep challenges needed to make change in your baby’s sleeping habits. As a Baby Sleep Consultant, Jennifer is not responsible for your application of the sleep solutions once the consultation has concluded. Once the sleep consultation has concluded it is the responsibility of the parent(s) to apply the agreed methods and solutions. Jennifer has an extremely high success rate, however, the success of Jennifer solutions is in the hands of the parents’ commitment & perseverance once the sleep consultation has ended; therefore Jennifer cannot make any guarantees of success. However, Jennifer will use her best endeavours to support you until the desired result has been achieved.

  • I agree to check with my healthcare provider/doctor if my baby has any medical conditions, which prevent them from being trained safely.
  • I agree to follow safe sleeping practices in line with SIDS recommendations (https://rednose.org.au/article/what-is-a-safe-sleeping-environment).
  • I agree to disclose any medical conditions to Jennifer, which my baby has or has had previously.
  • I understand that my customised baby sleep program is meant for my baby only and should not be shared with a third party. I acknowledge the information might not be suitable for another baby.
  • Any changes I make to my baby’s sleeping or eating arrangements are my decision and Jennifer will only make suggestions for change, of which I am responsible for choosing to implement.
  • It is my responsibility to contact Jennifer for my follow up support and send the sleep log information through to be assessed for feedback as frequently as suggested.


In-Home Cancellation Policy
To confirm any In-Home Program, the client will be required to pay a 25% non-refundable deposit to secure the booking. The remaining amount of the In-Home Program will be required to be paid on the day after Jennifer leaves your home. Any cancellations barring medical or other emergencies will forfeit the deposit. If  you cancel less than 48 hours before the scheduled visit, the full amount will be required, unless Jennifer can backfill your place with someone on the waiting list.

If your baby is a little under the weather and does not have a temperature, the program can generally proceed as planned. If your baby is sick with a temperature or has been diagnosed with a medical condition by a doctor, the program will be postponed until your baby is better. A doctors certificate may be requested.

Remote Program/Phone Consultation
To confirm the Remote Program or Phone Consultation Jennifer will be required to be paid in full before sleep plans are constructed and the phone consultation takes place.

Remote Program Cancellation policy
The Remote Program and Phone Consultations are non-refundable after the start of sleep work (i.e. when any sleep advice has been delivered to the client via email, text, phone).

Acts of God or suspected medical conditions
If an act of God, such as a fire, flood, earthquake or other natural calamity shall cause you to cancel the sleep services, Jennifer will require payment only for the time actually spent sleep consulting. 

If during the In Home program, Jennifer feels the consultation should cease due to an underlying or undisclosed medical condition, Jennifer will require payment only for the time actually spent in your home. In this case, to keep the situation fair on both parties, the hourly rate is reduced down from the normal sleep consulting fees (as per the program booked) and charged at $50ph. 

Doctor’s appointment
Jennifer requests that every client has an appointment with their doctor to ensure their baby is developmentally on track and fit for sleep training. Written medical approval may be requested for certain circumstances.

Within 25km from Bondi Beach. An additional fee of $25ph travelled will be charged if travel is over 25kms.

As the client, you knowingly and voluntarily agree to waive and release Jennifer from any and all claims of liability or demands for compensation that you may acquire during the time working with Jennifer.

By checking this Agreement, you agree to the terms and conditions detailed within.