My youngest daughter is one-year-old. Or 14 months to use mommy parlance. She wakes up promptly at 4am on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes she varies it a little and wakes up at 3:30am. If she’s feeling lazy, she might sleep in until 4:30 or maybe even 5am. I get up for work at 5:30 am so it’s never really been enough time for me to go back to sleep, except maybe on the weekends. It’s rough getting up so early. But I’m trying to focus on the positives so I don’t lose my mind. Here is my list of positive things about having an early riser.
In the good old days, about three months ago, a bottle and some rocking would lull my baby back to sleep for a couple more hours. No more. A few weeks ago she decided this was not a middle of the night snack, but was, in fact, wake up time.
I’ve tried and tried getting her to go back to sleep when she wakes oh so early in the morning. When the bottle and rocking chair stopped working, I started snuggling with her in my bed. It turns out she’d rather bounce on the bed than snuggle. I tried putting her in her old baby swing. She likes to swing. But isn’t going to sleep there. I’ve tried weaning her from the 4am feeding with just water in the bottle, in case she is waking out of habitual hunger. But it turns out, she spits it out and soaks her pajamas and sleep sack if it isn’t formula.
So, she won. We get up at 4am now.
I’ve decided to focus on the positive side of waking up early with my little morning lark. I’ve made a list of all the things there is to enjoy about getting up very, very early.
9 Positive Things About Having an Early Riser
The movies are always telling us how romantic and beautiful sunrises are. Well, now I’ve had lots of time to discover the beauty of a sunrise first hand. My bleary eyes behold the glory each morning. Unless it’s too cloudy.
2. Getting an Early Start on the Day
There’s nothing like getting an early start on your to-do list. A 4am wake-up gives me plenty of time to start on my cooking, cleaning, and housework. I mean, I have to do it all with a tired-but-refusing-to-sleep baby on my hip. But I do have time.
3. Having the TV All to Myself
4am is a great time to catch up on all the television shows my husband doesn’t want to watch. Like Parenthood, Friends, most recently Gilmore Girls. As of now, I’m actually running out of shows. Feel free to suggest a few in the comments.
4. No Annoying Alarm Clock
Do you hate the sound of your wake-up alarm as much as I do? Well, now I never have to hear it. By the time it would be going off I’ve already been awake well over an hour. I wake to the sound of my baby calling for me instead.
Every weekend when my daughter takes a nap, I can too. With no guilt. No one can judge me for taking a nap when I’ve been up at 4am all week and averaging 5.5 hours of sleep.
6. Time for a Leisurely Breakfast
Do you like to linger over your pancakes and eggs in the morning? Or to be more realistic your cereal? Well, getting up at 4am gives you plenty of time to enjoy every bite. Heck, you might as well make the pancakes and eggs to kill some time.
7. I Wasn’t Sleeping that Much Anyway
Ever since having children, I’m always half listening for crying, falling out of bed, or any sound that might indicate somebody’s up. Or, I have to get up to pee. There have been plenty of 4am wake ups where I was already waking up anyway. Why bother trying to go back to sleep for that last hour?
That’s right, exercise! Do you find you don’t have time in your day for exercise? You will if you wake up at 4am. Since I have the TV all to myself, I can pop in an exercise DVD and workout without fear of an audience. Other than the sweet baby who hilariously tries to exercise with me. Mommy and me exercise is fantastic.
This is something I sincerely enjoy. My older daughter was an early riser at this age too. I vividly remember holding her in my arms and feeding her in the early morning hours. And I love this time with my youngest as well. These are special hours when I have her all to myself to hold and snuggle. But they wouldn’t be any less special if they happened at 6 or 7am instead.
So, that’s the list of positive things about being woken up at 4am every day. Are you inspired to become an early riser yet? If so, keep in mind, I would trade every one of these things if my sweet baby would sleep in until 6am. At least sometimes.
Someday, we’ll get there. I’ll dream about it happening during my five hours of sleep tonight. In the meantime, I’m focusing on the positive.