Morning Dilemma Should You Wake Your Baby or Let Them Sleep?

Morning Dilemma Should You Wake Your Baby or Let Them Sleep?

As a parent, you may wonder whether you should wake your baby in the morning or let them sleep as long as they want. The answer to this question largely depends on your baby’s age, overall sleep schedule, and any specific circumstances that may warrant waking them up.

This comprehensive guide will explore the factors you must consider when deciding if you should wake your baby in the morning.

Age of the Baby

Newborns (0-3 months)

Babies have not yet developed a regular sleep schedule during the newborn stage. They may sleep intermittently throughout the day and night.

In the first few weeks of life, ensuring that your newborn is getting enough nutrients and calories during the day to help with longer stretches of sleep at night is essential.

For newborns, you should wake them if they have been sleeping for longer than 4 hours during the day to ensure they are getting adequate nutrition.

Infants (4-14 months)

As your baby grows and starts to develop a more consistent sleep schedule, the need to wake them in the morning may change.

Between 4 and 14 months, babies usually transition from multiple naps to one or two naps per day.

During this period, it is still essential to ensure that your baby is getting enough sleep and not napping too long during the day, which could impact their nighttime sleep.

Toddlers (15 months and older)

Once your baby becomes a toddler and consistently takes one nap daily, it is crucial to protect and maintain that nap.

Toddlers need a consistent sleep schedule to prevent overtiredness and ensure proper growth and development.

You should not let your toddler nap past 4 or 5 pm, as this can interfere with their bedtime and overall sleep schedule.

Impact on Overall Sleep Schedule

Daytime Naps

If your baby is napping for too long during the day or taking multiple long naps, this can impact their nighttime sleep.

Babies have a specific number of sleep hours they require within 24 hours. If they exceed their daily nap hours, they may sleep less at night, leading to increased night wakings, difficulty settling at bedtime, and early morning awakenings.

Nighttime Sleep

Nighttime sleep is more restorative than daytime sleep, and babies need a solid, uninterrupted sleep period at night for proper growth and development.

If your baby is sleeping too much during the day and not getting enough sleep at night, consider waking them in the morning to help regulate their sleep schedule.

Special Circumstances

Feeding and Weight Gain Concerns

Ensuring proper feeding and weight gain is crucial for newborns and young infants. If your baby is not getting enough nutrients and calories during the day, you may need to wake them from sleep to feed them.

Once your baby is around 6 weeks old and gaining weight, your doctor may give you the go-ahead to let them sleep for longer stretches without waking them for feeding.

Day/Night Confusion

Some babies may struggle with day/night confusion, leading to long stretches of sleep during the day and increased wakefulness at night.

In these cases, waking your baby during the day may be necessary to help establish a proper sleep schedule and reinforce the difference between daytime and nighttime sleep.

Sleep Transitions

During sleep transitions, such as dropping from two naps to one, it may be necessary to wake your baby to help them adjust to the new schedule.

Waking your baby can prevent overtiredness and ensure they get enough sleep during the day to support their nighttime sleep.

Establishing a Consistent Wake Time

Setting a consistent wake time for your baby can help regulate their sleep schedule and ensure they get the proper amount of sleep.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your baby’s wake time consistent within 30 minutes or less. If your baby typically wakes up at 7:00 am but seems sleepier one morning, you should wake them by 7:30 am to maintain their schedule.

When to Wake Your Baby

Here are some specific scenarios when waking your baby may be necessary:

To Ensure Safety

Suppose your baby is sleeping in a dangerous position or environment. In that case, it is vital to wake them up to ensure their safety. Always follow the safe sleep guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

To Prevent Late Bedtimes

If your baby’s last nap runs too late, it may interfere with their bedtime and overall sleep schedule. In this case, you may need to wake your baby to preserve their bedtime and ensure they get enough nighttime sleep.

To Manage Naps During Transitions

During nap transitions, it may be necessary to wake your baby to help them adjust to their new sleep schedule and prevent overtiredness.

This may involve capping the length of certain naps to ensure they get enough sleep during the day without impacting their nighttime sleep.

How to Wake Your Baby

When waking your baby, doing so gently and gradually is essential. Some tips for waking your baby include:

  • Opening the curtains or turning on a light to let in natural light
  • Gently touching or stroking your baby to rouse them
  • Speaking softly to your baby or singing a gentle song
  • Removing your baby’s swaddle or sleep sack to signal that it is time to wake up

Observing Your Baby’s Sleep Patterns

Monitoring your baby’s sleep patterns and adjusting their schedule as needed is essential. Suppose you notice that your baby is consistently struggling with naps or nighttime sleep.

In that case, you may need to change their sleep schedule or consult a pediatric sleep specialist for guidance.

Trusting Your Parental Instincts

As a parent, you know your baby best. Trust your instincts when it comes to waking your baby in the morning.

If you feel that your baby needs more sleep or that waking them would disrupt their sleep schedule, it may be best to let them sleep.

At the same time, if you believe that waking your baby is necessary for their health or well-being, trust your judgment and act accordingly.

Seeking Professional Guidance

Suppose you are unsure whether you should wake your baby in the morning or are struggling with your baby’s overall sleep schedule. In that case, it may be helpful to seek professional guidance.

Pediatric sleep specialists and consultants can provide personalized advice and support based on your baby’s needs and circumstances.


Deciding whether or not to wake your baby in the morning can be challenging. Still, you can make an informed decision by considering factors such as your baby’s age, overall sleep schedule, and any specific circumstances.

Remember to trust your parental instincts, monitor your baby’s sleep patterns, and seek professional guidance if needed.

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure your baby gets the proper amount of sleep necessary to support their growth and development.


Is 8am too late for baby to wake up?

While every baby’s sleep schedule may vary, 8am is generally not considered too late for a baby to wake up. It’s important to prioritize a consistent sleep routine that aligns with your baby’s natural sleep patterns and ensures they are getting enough sleep overall.

Should I wake my baby up at 7am?

Whether or not to wake your baby up at 7am depends on their age, sleep needs, and your family’s schedule. If your baby is getting enough sleep and waking up naturally around 7am, there’s typically no need to wake them. However, if you need to establish a specific routine or adjust their schedule, gently waking them at 7am can help regulate their sleep pattern.

Should you let your baby sleep in or wake them up?

It depends on your baby’s age, sleep needs, and overall sleep routine. Generally, it’s recommended to prioritize your baby’s sleep and let them sleep in if they are getting enough rest. However, if you need to establish a consistent schedule or manage their sleep routine, you may gently wake them at a desired time, considering their overall sleep duration and quality.

How long should babies sleep in the morning?

The duration of morning sleep for babies can vary depending on their age and individual needs. Newborns typically have shorter sleep cycles and may take shorter naps in the morning, while older babies may sleep for longer stretches. On average, babies may sleep anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours in the morning, but it’s important to remember that individual variations are normal.

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