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August 01, 2017 2 min read

Are your older children waking up at the crack of dawn? This can be hard on a household, especially if parents are sleep deprived due to having a new baby. With a few changes, helping your older children sleep till a reasonable time is easily achievable.
One mistake parents often make, is putting their children to bed later in the hope they will sleep in. This only results in an over-tired grouchy child who struggles to focus later in the day. When a child is overtired, they may start to wake more often at night and wake up even earlier in the morning! Teaching your children about healthy sleep habits and sticking to a good routine around bedtimes is your best bet at helping your older child sleep in!
How to Help Your Older Child Sleep Later in the Morning
As parents, all we want is what’s best for our kids and one important thing they need is sleep! Three ways you can help your child sleep later during mornings are:
• Look at your child’s sleep environment
If the bedroom is too light early in the morning, then it is worth investing in Black Out Blinds to keep the room nice and dark. They may also be waking due to household or neighbourhood noise. You could try using white noise to drown out sounds. Children can get cold in the early hours of the morning, especially if they are prone to kicking off blankets. Try using sheets and blankets instead of a duvet as they are harder to kick off or put a double bed spread on a single bed and tuck it in firmly.
• Talk about time
Tell your child what time you want them to get up and then teach them the basics of telling the time. You could draw a picture showing what time the hands should be sitting on at ‘wake up time’ and hang it on the wall. Another option is to invest in a ZAZU Sleep Trainer, which is the most amazing sleep training clock! A Sleeptrainer, comforting Nightlight and wireless Speaker in one!
• Feed them at the right time
Try not to feed your child breakfast at 5am if that is when they are waking up. Instead serve up breakfast a bit later and distract them in the meantime with books. This will help change the time they get hungry in the morning and hopefully help your children sleep later.
Unfortunately, sometimes nothing we do as parents seems to work. Some children may be waking early because they have simply had enough sleep. They may be early-birds and coping well during the day despite an early start. You can still put a few rules in place to ensure they don’t wake the rest of the household, like letting them read quietly in bed for half an hour or play quietly in their bedroom
Helping children sleep till a reasonable hour can be done. Check their sleeping environment and make changes if necessary. Teach them about time and put some firm rules in place about waking early. Once they get into a habit of getting up later, you can be sure the whole household will reap the benefits!

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