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October 16, 2018

When Waking Up Is Hard To Do — Tips To Help Children Get Out of Bed

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12 Tips for Getting Sleepyheads Out of Bed

When your child was just a little baby, you probably didn’t get a lot of sleep — so you’ve really hit a milestone now that it’s difficult getting them out of bed. As the days get shorter and the nights get longer in the fall and winter months, wake-up time can be even more challenging. And when daylight savings time makes us lose an hour in the spring, many family mornings get thrown for another loop.

Extra sleep is on the wish list of people everywhere. Sooner or later, all families figure out a morning routine that works for them. But sometimes the little learners in the house need additional supports.

We compiled 12 ideas for helping the littlest sleepyheads among us get their day started:

1. Play music.

A toddler or pre-kindergartner can already tell you what music they like. Play their favorite tunes using your phone or sound system. Turning up the volume on their favorite radio station works too. Who knows, maybe they’ll come up with their own “getting dressed” dance?

2. Sing them a song.

You sing them to sleep and you can sing them awake too! Good morning songs can set a loving and positive tone for starting the day. Plus, singing can also work as a morning bonding activity!

3. Buy an alarm clock together.

An alarm clock can do more than help them wake up. It can also teach young kids about numbers and about responsibility. Choosing their own alarm clock can be a fun way to let them be part of the process of learning about choices and consequences too.

Pro tip:

Alarm clocks like Clocky — that serve a purpose and are also fun — give kids an opportunity for morning laughs.

4. Use a wake up light.

Turning on the bedroom light is a great way to make up for the lack of natural morning light. Sunrise simulator alarm clocks are also an option.

5. Raise the temperature.

The ideal temperature for getting a good night sleep is somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. raising the temperature to 68 can be a gentle way for easing the body out of sleep.

6. Plan ahead.
pre-k, building habits, schedule, school, sleepyhead

Little by little, building habits will eventually pay off!

By now you probably know that getting to bed early helps mornings run smoothly. Try setting out next-day’s clothes or preparing breakfast foods the night before, to cut back on your morning to-do list.

But if you’re an early riser…

7. Make breakfast or do your house chores in the morning.

The smells, noise and house activity will help your kid know the day has started and it’s time to get out of bed.

8. Set a morning routine.

Kids tend to mirror your actions and tone, so try to take it easy and not lose your patience. If you need help, assign tasks to your kids. Make a morning checklist for yourself and one for your little ones so that you know you’re all on the same page. Little by little, building habits will eventually pay off!

9. Don’t deviate too far from your routine when you get to the weekend.

Don’t let them sleep in too late. That’s right. Sleeping in a little is alright. But overdoing it will make the transition from weekend to weekday harder on you and your little ones.

10. Start the day with a big hug.

You know what is a great way to wake up? Knowing that you are in a safe place where you are loved. Morning hugs are magic — they lower anxiety and cortisol (the stress hormone), and they increase social connection and sense of belonging.

Pro tip:

To get full magical benefits, hugs should last more than 20 seconds.

11. Plan for extra morning cuddles.

One way to ensure you get that 20 second hug is to budget morning cuddles into your morning routine. A lot of people like taking their time to get out of bed, and your little sleepyhead might be one of those people. Waking up 10 or 15 minutes earlier for lounging in bed is a great way to ease into the day.

12. Bring in reinforcements.

Your pets can be your allies in waking up your kid. Bring them into her room and let them do their thing. This is the kind of battle that ends with lots of smiles.

Pro tip:

If feeding the pets is part of your child’s morning routine, your pets will do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to waking up your kids. Now, if only they could make breakfast too — am I right?


Want to learn more about how your child is developing? Check out Brighter Futures Indiana’s Developmental Milestones, Screening & Services page or read about your child’s brain development in this Science of Early Learning blog post.