The Best Secrets for How to Get Baby to Sleep Past 5AM

Do you find yourself struggling to figure out how to get baby to sleep past 5am? If so, you’re not alone – and also probably exhausted and sleep deprived.

After all, if you’re a parent then you know how challenging it can be to get your baby to sleep through the night until a reasonable hour in the morning.

As moms of 5, let us share some tips and secrets for how to get baby to sleep past 5am. These tricks have worked for us, and we hope they work for you too!

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Why Does My Baby Keep Waking at 5AM?

First things first – let’s talk about why your baby might be waking up at such an ungodly hour in the morning.

There are a few reasons this could be happening:

  • Your baby is hungry
  • Your baby is going through a sleep regression
  • There are environmental factors like noise or light that are disturbing your baby’s sleep
  • Too early bedtime
  • Your baby has developed a sleep association with being nursed or rocked to sleep and now needs that to fall back asleep

Now that we know some of the reasons why your baby might be waking up at this early hour, let’s move on to how you can fix it.

baby sleeping past 5am with thumb in mouth

How to Get Baby to Sleep Past 5AM

So by now you’re probably wondering, how do I stop my child from waking at 5am?

Here are our top four tips for how to get baby to sleep past 5am:

  1. Start by taking a look at day naps. Try and push the first nap of the day to begin at 8 to 9am. Additionally, try not to let your baby get overtired during the day. A well-rested baby is more likely to sleep through the night than one who is overtired.
  2. Make sure baby is well fed. Try to make sure you are feeding your baby right before bedtime. A full tummy will help your little one sleep for longer periods of time throughout the night. You can also try dream feeding to give them an extra boost.
  3. Put to bed at the correct bed time. A realistic night time sleep is 12 hours. So if you’re expecting baby to wake up at 7am, aim to put them down around 7pm. Putting them to bed too late or too early can cause early wake up times.
  4. Make sure your baby’s sleep environment is dark and quiet. This means investing in blackout curtains and a white noise machine to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. You should also make sure they aren’t being woken up by any external factors like alarm clocks, noises, loud walking, etc.

Happy baby waking up that parents want to get back to sleep

How Do I Get My Baby Back to Sleep After 5AM?

If your baby is already up and awake at five in the morning, there are still some things you can do to help them (and yourself) get back to sleep.

  1. Wait them out.  If you’re lucky enough to have a happy waker, you can just let them be for a while. The crib should already be a safe space for the baby, so they can just kind of chill until you’re ready to get them. You can try to catch a few extra minutes of shut eye and hope they’ll go back to sleep all on their own. Ok, so if your baby is anything like mine were, they will not go back to sleep, nor will they coo happily in their crib. If they’re screaming, this method may not be the best and you certainly won’t be getting any more sleep anyway.
  2. Follow your night waking routine. You can treat this 5 am wake up as you would any other night waking. If your baby usually nurses back to sleep at night, give that a try. If you let them cry it out, then do that. If you want to try to get your baby to understand that it is not in fact morning yet and is still sleep time, stick to whatever your normal routine is for all other night time wake ups. So whether you typically feed them, pop in a pacifier, rock them, pat them, or do nothing at all, go with your norm to help them understand it’s time to go back to sleep.
  3. No stimulation. If you’re interacting with your baby, keep it to the bare minimum. Try to be as quiet and boring as possible. Minimize the stimulation by keeping it dark. How you engage will help baby understand whether it’s time to get up or go back to sleep.
  4. To feed or not to feed? Ok, so your baby might be waking because they’re hungry, especially if they’ve slept a long stretch up till 5am. In which case, they probably will not be happy or go back to sleep and feeding might be your easiest and quickest way to get everyone back to bed. And for some babies a quick feeding and right back to sleep will work like a charm. If it works, go for it. 

Some babies though will absolutely not go right back to sleep, they’ll just be up and ready for the day, and unfortunately, by feeding at this super early wake up, you also sort of reinforce waking early as this feeding becomes part of your baby’s usual schedule. If your baby is relying on this feeding, dropping it cold turkey will likely just lead to a hangry baby waking at 5am. Instead, you can try to push it back a little bit at a time, like 10 or 15 minutes a day until you slowly have gotten your baby used to feeding at a more reasonable hour.

About Author

Jo & Rachel

Jo and Rachel first had the idea for 'The Moms At Odds' in 2016 when our babies were turning 2 and we realized that we were very different parents.

As a mom, Rachel immediately felt this strong connection to her son and instantly decided she wanted to become a stay-at-home mom. Though Jo obviously loved her son as well, she counted the days until she could go back to work and interact with other adults.

They both struggled over getting their babies to sleep and while Jo believed in sleep training, Rachel looked for alternatives like dream feeding and no cry methods. As time passed and their children grew older the differences started to really add up – pacifier use, drinking during breastfeeding, organic foods, screen time, diaper brands, and on and on.

During this day and age, it’s so easy to look at our parenting differences as a bad thing. After all, we’ve all seen jokes and articles about “Mommy Wars” over one subject or another. Instead, we choose to embrace our differences and show you that in many areas there is no wrong answer. What works for one family may not work for another, and that’s perfectly fine. We can still all get along and raise perfectly healthy, beautiful children.

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