DD is 1.1 and has always gone down to sleep in pitch black. Her curtains are so dark that her room is pitch even in the daytime when closed.
She has started waking upset at 4/5/6am whereas previous she would wake around 7/7.30.
She has a few little cuddly things in her cot, and a teething giraffe thing, but I wondered if I should put some very dim light in there so she can actually see these things? Or would that just keep her awake?
We use a motion type night light for our LO (9 months old). It comes on if you waggle your arms in the air. It gives a nice orange glow which is enough to see by, but not really bright. So if he wakes in the night and moves it comes on and gives him enough light to find his dummy.
Tbh i would avoid until shes of an age where actual fear of the dark develops, imo if you make it light in there she's got more incentive to stay awake iyswim?
Whats her daytime routine look like? Often, early waking at this age can be due to a) developmental reasons & b) changing sleep needs as they start to make the transition to 1 nap, +/or the morning nap starting too early or c) being overtired.
It could also be caused by her being too cold (is she kicking her blankets off?) or by noise eg neighbour/dp going to work, so worth ruling out all these issues first imo.
Her routine is OK. Wakes at 6.30/7 (if not up crying earlier) and has a big morning nap at about 9.30 for two hours. If she is at the CMs she tend to only have a 20/30min nap. She then has a second nap at 2 or 2.30 for 45mins.
She has a bath then bed for seven.
Her meal times are bottle on waking, bfast at 8, lunch at 12, dinner at 4 and supper before bath (offered more milk before bed).
She used to wake due to temperature but we sorted that. She is starting to take some very wobbly footsteps so thatcould be part of it.
What I find odd is she cries on waking (even for naps), yet is still tired.
Ok the only thing that stands out is that she's taking her biggest nap in the morning. In doing so she will likely be overtired come bedtime, fall into a deep sleep quickly & wake early the next day. She is able to make up for the lost night sleep with a long & early nap, so there is no incentive to sleep any later in the mornings. I think this is likely the cause of her EW.
There's a couple of things you can try:
1. Gradually shorten the morning nap by waking her up sooner, knock 15 mins off every few days should do. She will then need to take her afternoon nap earlier & this should become the longer nap. Aiming for something like nap 9.30-10am nap 12.30/1-2.30/3 bed 7pm With this method it might sort the EW right away, however be aware it may take quite a bit of tweaking to find the right naptimes to suit her. If the EW carries on the morning nap may need cutting even shorter to 15/20mins & it may need pushing later still. Also she may be grumpy from being woken from her morning nap before she is ready.
2. Push the morning nap out slowly, 15 mins later per week, until it starts at 11-11.30am. Let her take a big nap here. She may sleep 2 hrs+. Her afternoon nap will get later & later & eventually she may refuse it altogether & you replace it with early bedtime instead. Hey presto she is on 1 nap. I think she's of an age where this may be the better option but be warned they can get quite overtired when they start refusing that 2nd nap. Don't be afraid to do a super early bedtime & she will sleep longer for it. I think if you can get her napping at around lunchtime you'll find the EW disappears.