When infants grow and reach the toddler stage, the causes of their crying varies, changing their crying behavior.
Are you feeling like going nuts because your toddler wakes up crying EVERY morning?
Find out the reasons why and what you can do as a parent to change this behavior.
What you will learn:
- 5 Reasons why your toddler wakes up crying every morning
- 5 things you can do to help!
Table of Contents
- 5 Genuine Reasons Why Your Toddler Wakes Up Crying Every Morning
- Anxiety Awakenings
- Sleeping Discomfort
- Sleep Inertia
- Inappropriate Sleep Onset Associations
- Too Much Time In Bed Syndrome
- How You Can Help If Your Toddler Wakes Up Crying Every Morning
- Establish A 30-Minutes Earlier Bedtime
- Consider Sound or Visual Comfort
- Be There For Wake Up Time
- Include Your Toddler’s Wake-Ups In To Your Daily Plans
- Teach Calming Exercises
- My Toddler Wakes up Angry? Is This Normal?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What do I do when my toddler wakes up too early?
- Why does my toddler wake up angry every morning?
- Why does my toddler wake up screaming and sweating?
5 Genuine Reasons Why Your Toddler Wakes Up Crying Every Morning
As babies grow and reach the toddler stage, they may develop an unusual feeling of fear when they wake up in the absence of their parents. It gives them an insecure feeling, and that explains why they cry after waking up and realizing their parents are not present.
Although it may look like it is taking forever, for most toddlers, the hysterical wake-ups are a phase in their developmental stage, and eventually, they will outgrow this behavior.
They overcome this insecure, anxious feeling as they grow old.
Sleeping discomfort is one of the common causes and could be the reason why your toddler wakes up crying every morning.
There are several reasons why they might feel uncomfortable. It can be because a toddler is not getting enough sleep or adequate continuous sleep, and it might make him not feel refreshed in the morning.
Other reasons might be they are feeling too warm or cold, wet, or unwell.
These reasons might make your toddler wake up crying because of discomfort or pain.
Though it is a common problem in adults, most toddlers also suffer from sleep inertia. It is a state where your toddler wakes up feeling groggy or half asleep.
Sleep inertia mostly occurs on toddlers that experience disturbance in their sleep. And, when they wake up, they get a feeling of wakefulness at the same time feeling sleepiness. This kind of feeling makes them feel disoriented and can make them cry because of the weird feeling it can give you.
If you think this may be the cause, it is worth confirming your suspicions with a medical professional.
Inappropriate Sleep Onset Associations
It is a sleep disorder that is brought about by introducing certain conditions such as pacifiers in a toddler’s mouth to make them fall asleep.
When the toddler falls asleep under these conditions and then finds that they are not present as they wake up, they will cry out.
For instance, if you are used to holding or rubbing your toddler’s back while nursing him to sleep, and then wakes up in your absence, he will cry until you go to pick him up.
Too Much Time In Bed Syndrome
It occurs in old toddlers whose sleeping schedule remained the same even as they need less sleep with age.
Some parents keep the same sleeping schedule they had set previously even when the toddler needs less sleep time. For instance, sleep schedules that were set at age one may be too long to sleep at age three.
How You Can Help If Your Toddler Wakes Up Crying Every Morning
As a parent, you can actively help your toddler cope with difficult mornings by applying these tips. Use these tips if your toddler wakes up crying every morning.
Establish A 30-Minutes Earlier Bedtime
Toddlers love a routine. They might not know it, but they do!
A sleeping schedule is vital for a normal sleeping pattern (I know… when is anything normal when there is a toddler involved!)
Sometimes, a slight shift in the schedule will reap rewards if your toddler is unhappy when they wake up. Try pushing the bedtime back by 30 minutes.
If bedtime is 8 pm, push it to 7:30 pm, earlier by 30 minutes.
If that doesn’t work, try moving it the other way by 30 minutes. Play around with the timings to see which time suits your toddler (and you).
Consider Sound or Visual Comfort
Waking up when it is quiet and dark can be very frightening for a toddler.
Why not ease your toddler awake by having some sound or visual comfort on a timer in their room. If they do not like a quiet, dark room, why not wake them up with a warming light or even some background noise through a radio?
There are some excellent light projector options (with music) that may help to ease your toddler awake. What better way to wake up than to a relaxing sound or light show!
Be There For Wake Up Time
If you are one of the lucky ones, you might have a toddler who wakes up around the same time every day.
What I am going to suggest here needs to be undertaken with some caution, because it might lead to other habits that are hard to break!
Just before your toddler wakes up, sneak into their room and be there with them. That way, when they wake up, they see you are with them as a calming influence.
The danger is, this could become a new habit, so use with caution!
Include Your Toddler’s Wake-Ups In To Your Daily Plans
Your toddlers wake up time may feel like a significant disruption to your mornings. If you don’t plan it well, any misstep can mess the whole day.
Plan the day factoring in that your toddler will wake up crying.
Waking up early to deal with your toddler’s crying behavior will allow you to concentrate on what they require without having rigid and fast-paced mornings.
Teach Calming Exercises
I know it is going to be tough teaching your toddler some calming exercises, but by doing this, you are giving them some vital tools to cope with these emotions.
When your toddler wakes up crying, it could be for a number of different reasons. By teaching your toddler to DEAL with these emotions, you are giving them a huge head start!
Tell your toddler to take in a few big breaths. Hold them in for 3 seconds, then release them slowly. Now they have this tool, they can use it whenever they feel upset! It’s a win-win.
And little wins like this make raising toddlers a little easier!
My Toddler Wakes up Angry? Is This Normal?
Yes – it can be totally normal for your toddler to wake up angry. Sometimes we are grouchy in the mornings and this could be the reason why.
My son went through a phase of waking up angry every morning. It scared the hell out of me the first few times when I heard him getting angry in his bed at 6 am! I waited for him to calm down before asking him what the problem was. I never got a useful response but at least it got him talking enough to calm down.
Having said that, if you are concerned at all, then you should seek advice from a pediatrician.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do when my toddler wakes up too early?
Always tell them that it is not time to get up yet and stick by it. It is difficult, and it will take some time. Eventually, they will learn what time they need to wake up. You could also consider getting a digital clock for their room, it is an excellent opportunity to teach them how to tell the time! Give them a time when they can get out of bed and teach your toddler how to figure out if the time has reached that yet.
Why does my toddler wake up angry every morning?
Because they are not a morning person! Let’s not forget that your toddler is a human. It is easy to forget that fact, right? Some humans do not like mornings. Think about what you do when they wake up, are you in their face asking them questions straight away? Leave them to deal with their mood until it improves.
Why does my toddler wake up screaming and sweating?
That sounds like common night terror symptoms. My son still has night terrors, and they are harrowing! I hate dealing with them. I just want to jump in his dream and attack anything that is scaring him, but I can’t. Some folks say that you should just ride them out, but I prefer to whisper calming words into my son’s ear. Things like ‘It’s ok, you are just dreaming. You are safe and secure, and you will wake up soon’. Then when he wakes up, he doesn’t remember anything about the terror, which is good.
It is not easy to start a day as a parent hearing off your toddler crying. Especially when your toddler wakes up crying every morning! The tools we have discussed on this page will definitely help you, and your toddler.
The good thing is that children outgrow this crying behavior, and so can your toddler.
It might just be a simple (or not so simple) case of riding it out until it goes away. The tips on this page will certainly help with that!
The most important thing is that you do not allow your frustration to boil over. It can be easy to get angry in certain situations (like when your toddler wakes up crying every morning) but you must remember to address the issue in a calm, controlled way.
Getting angry will only create an association in your toddler’s mind between waking up and being upset! That will go against all the good work you have done so far, right?