How to Keep Kids from Waking Up Too Early

Sleep is important for both kids and parents. But how can we keep those kiddos sleeping longer in those early morning hours? Here are some helpful tips: How to Keep Kids from Waking Up Too Early.

To create a routine or to be flexible? Set up the room and the child for later sleeping hours, or find something for independent morning play? How about a sleep aid?

There is no one right way for every child, but here are some options to consider for how to keep kids from waking up too early and giving tired parent a break!

How to Keep Kids from Waking Up Too Early

This is a sponsored post to get the word out about the Tick-Tock-Turtle Kickstarter Campaign. This post may also contain affiliate links. Regardless, we always try to bring you proucts we love and hope you will to. We hope these tips will help your family figure out how to keep kids from waking up too early.


A good night’s sleep is so important for everyone, especially children. But, why the heck do kids wake up so early?

Give us worn out parents a break, kids!

Getting the kids to sleep has never been as much of a problem for us as getting the kiddos to stay asleep in the morning.

Maybe it’s because this tired mom can handle more at night than in the morning. I always opted for later bedtimes when the kiddos were young hoping to have a little more time to sleep in in the morning.

Tick-Tock-Turtle - Help Keep Kids from Waking Up Too Early

How to Keep Kids from Waking Up Too Early

Trial and Error

We have used all sorts bedtimes with our kids. When they were young, it worked to go to bed later. Now that they’re older, they go to bed much earlier. We have switched naptimes depending on what worked better.

There is no use sticking to something that isn’t working.

Everyone once in a while, change the routine slightly and try something new. As new changes enter your life, adapt and see what works best.

You’re not married to a certain plan just because you hope it will work, you read it will work, or someone told you it will work.

Do what works best for your family and be open to change.

If a later bedtime helps give you a little extra time – go with it. Or an earlier one. Only you know your kids.

Create a Routine?

If you look up “how to keep kids from waking up too early” you’ll often find the suggest to create a routine and stick with it.

It does help to give children a routine, and this is important for bedtime and getting kiddos to sleep. It takes some time to establish a routine, so you may have to stick with things for a period of time until they start to work.

What I’m saying is that as the kids get older, as things change, don’t be so rigid that you don’t give yourself a break and try something new.

Don’t try to force a routine that doesn’t work for your family. 

If you have tried something for a couple weeks and it’s not working, make some small changes and try for another couple weeks.


How to Keep Kids from Waking Up Too Early - room darkening and sleep training aids

Room Darkening

One of the best tools for longer sleep for all ages is to darken the room.

Especially in the summer months, a room darkening shade can be very helpful.

It’s nice to naturally wake up to the light of the sun. But, if we want to get our little ones to stay in bed just a little longer, we have to shut that sun out!

We’ve always had room darkening shades for the kids. It makes it much easier for naps as well.

Even as the kids are older, room darkening shades (or wood blinds now in the new house) are a must! You can find them in so many colors and lengths now. They’re a must-have for any kids room! These have an amazing price, lots of colors, and good reviews.

There is no way we could get the kiddos to sleep in the summer months if all that sunlight is shining in. Our little goofballs also like to wear a sleep mask now and then. 🙂


Helpful Tips for Younger Kids

Our kids are 5 and 6 now, and I feel like a lot of those sleep-deprived early years are a blur. However, it’s especially hard to get those little ones to sleep in in the morning.

Here are a couple helpful tips just for the little ones:

  • Adjust naptimes and see what happens. It might be time to drop from two naps to one or to nap during a different time of the day.
  • Make adjustments for toileting. For children in diapers, make sure they are not wet in the mornings with a change in the middle of the night or nighttime diapers. For potty-trainers, prepare to go in the middle of the night or make sure they are set up for independence in the mornings and have training underwear for security

How to Keep Kids from Waking Up Too Early with morning activities

Set them up for Independent Morning Activities

If your main concern is a little more sleep for Mom and Dad, you don’t necessarily need the kids to sleep longer.

What you need is to keep them from waking YOU up too early.

Having something they can do in the mornings independently and quietly is the best solution.

A couple ideas for morning quiet activities.

  • Simple Busy Bags, Boards, or Books. We have a Pinterest board with ideas.
  • Open-ended toys that your child can stay busy with for a while (ie. legos, coloring, dolls, etc.)
  • Or… close-ended activities that last for a specific amount of time. This will show little ones when it is ok to come out of their room.
  • Give them a project to work on. Designating something for just those morning hours will give them something they can look forward to and stick to instead of waking mom and dad. Pick something out the night before, or buy a special art set, models, lego set, or craft.

Tick-Tock-Turtle - sleep training aid, alarm, night light - Help Keep Kids from Waking Up Too Early

Sleep Training Aids

In school I studied Applied Behavior Analysis. When we were learning about classical condition and Pavlov, we found it funny that one of our professors actually used these techniques with his child.

If I remember correctly, they used Christmas lights and wouldn’t go in to pick her up until the lights were on. Then, they gradually increased the time before the lights came on.

So funny!

In full disclosure, I don’t think they were able to get this to work as well with their second child.

Hearing these stories, and studying Applied Behavior Analysis through grad school, I thought this would totally be me.


Something like this would have been great when our kiddos were little.

Now that they are 5 and 6, the Tick-Tock-Turtle not only serves as a sleep training aid, but is helpful for learning to tell time.

Plus, it’s so stinkin’ cute!

Tick-Tock-Turtle Children's Sleep Training Aid - hidden controls on the inside

The soft, little, food-grade silicone turtle is adorable. All the controls are hidden, so parents can make all the settings without the kids getting to the buttons. The Tick-Tock-Turtle has a rechargeable battery, so there are no dangerous cords.

For sleep, the turtle can be set for bedtime and wake time. At bedtime, the light is a soothing red light and when wake time comes around there is a nice daylight to wake deep sleepers or signal early risers.

The red light signals that it is still bedtime. There is also a countdown until wake time and a motion sensor to wake you at your lightest sleep.

It’s pretty amazing!

What parent wouldn’t want one!?

Tick-Tock-Turtle Kickstarter

The good news is that the Tick-Tock-Turtle kickstarter launches today and you can get your hands on one. You can also try to win one by signing up for the company’s newsletter on their website.

It’s the chance to support a small business and get a great product for you and your kiddos!


** Support the Tick-Tock-Turtle Kickstarter here **



What time do your kiddos wake up in the morning?

Do you have any suggestions for how to keep kids from waking up too early?

Kristin - Exploring Domesticity

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