Toddler Waking Up at 4am – Simple Steps To Sleeping In

Toddler Waking Up at 4am

A toddler waking up at 4am is not on anyone’s favorite things to do list. Struggling for any period of time with this is a burden even for a seasoned parent.


If your toddler keeps waking up at night and you’re unable to find out why, it could be problematic. Not only for your everyday schedule but also for the health of the little one who isn’t getting proper sleep. Toddlers require 10-12 hours of sleep for a healthy metabolism. That’s why knowing how to deal with your kid’s sleep problems is extremely important.


You might be thinking, how do I solve my toddler’s night waking dilemma? Well, that’s what I’m here to help you with.


In this article, I’m going to talk about some of the main reasons your child might be waking up early and some steps that you can take to ensure that they sleep well throughout the night so that both the toddler and you can wake up fresh and happy the next day instead of being tired and grumpy.


So, let’s get started. 

Why is Your Toddler Waking Up So Early?

No matter where you might be living, it is a natural fact that toddlers wake up early in the night due to minor inconveniences. This is because children enter a light sleeping state every hour or where the lightest problems can disturb their sleep. It is recommended to make bedtime a little earlier if your child has had a tough day. If he is overtired, he may need more sleep. 


What could lead to this, though? Let me list down some of the most major reasons for your toddler waking up at night so that you can take accurate measures.


Toddler waking up at 4am due to hunger

Even if you’re one of the parents who have a complete diet plan for their children, sometimes, a toddler may not eat enough in the day to keep them full and their tummy happy throughout the night.


This might cause the child’s tummy to rumble, and the toddler may require some late-night snack. If your child wakes up for no reason at all in the middle of the night, it could very well be because of hunger. 


You can try having some healthy snacks ready and feed your child when they wake up in the middle of the night. You could also try feeding them right before going to bed so they would feel full all through the night. 


Toddler waking up crying due to external noise

The most common reason for your toddler waking up early or around 4am may be be external noise or disturbance. As I said before, children experience light sleep now and then within their sleep schedule.


If there’s a car horn or a glass clank or perhaps a loud voice or sometimes even a low voice, your toddler might wake up, and getting them to sleep again could be a problem.


Although children usually are not disturbed by external sounds when they sleep, some children have childhood insomnia and sleeping disorders. If your child has been diagnosed with such a condition, you should take extra measures to make sure their sleeping time is peaceful and calm. 


Toddler wakes up early because of sickness.

Another reason your toddler might wake up early and not sleep again could be some known or unknown sickness. But you don’t need to be paranoid; just get a doctor’s checkup if you’re worried.


It could be that the digestion of your toddler might not be good, or they may have fever or cough, leading to their sleep being disturbed. It is a very possible and common reason for night waking.


This rarely happens because the child is not always sick. If it does, you can feel reassured that it is a temporary thing and will pass when your kid gets better. 


The toddler is having teething problems.

Teething is a harrowing and uncomfortable experience for children. It might not be a huge problem throughout the day, but at night when there’s nothing to do, your child may focus too much on it, causing a disturbance.


When your child is developing their first teeth, the process might not be a welcome one. So, your child may be waking up due to teething problems.


Again, this is just a temporary thing. You can try several techniques to make sure your child sleeps peacefully through the night and is not disturbed by swelling or inflammation. The best solution is to give a medicine before you put them to bed to have no pain or swelling. 


Your Toddler had a nightmare.

The most common reason in this list is surely your child waking up at 4 am or early because of a nightmare. And although nightmares are caused without reason randomly whenever, sometimes, pain or discomfort, as well as sickness, can bring about monsters. So, it is alright to be wary.

Night Terror Stopper

This happens very rarely and in only 3 to 6% of toddlers. Be rest assured that every child occasionally experiences a nightmare, so it is nothing to be alarmed about. However, when it does happen, take some steps to ensure that your child sleeps peacefully afterward and tends to forget what happened. 


Steps for Getting Your Toddler a Full Night’s Sleep

We know what might be causing your toddler to wake up early in the night. But the solution remains unknown. Well, if your toddler wakes up at night and doesn’t sleep again, here are some steps and measures you can take to ensure they get their whole night’s sleep.


  • Keeping Premade Food – Did your toddler wake up hungry at night? It is a good practice if you schedule meals and prepare them before. You’ll be able to quickly fix up something for your child if they wake up in the middle of the night hungry. You can also try some go-to-pre-bed snacks to keep their stomach full while they sleep. Some of these foods include oatmeal, eggs, banana, nut butter, and cheese and crackers. 


  • Getting a White Noise Machine – If external noise is the reason for your child’s sleep being disturbed in the middle of the night, then getting a monotonous sound-emitting white noise machine may very well be the solution to blocking out all the noises to ensure your child’s sleep. This is also a great choice for autistic kids and those who have some other health problems. Once a child sleeps peacefully for 10 to 12 hours, they become more capable of responding to therapies. 


  • Giving your child warmth – Sometimes, all your children need healthy sleep is some love and attention. A quick bedtime story, a proper goodnight, and a warm blankie might be able to keep your toddler safe from nightmares and disturbances psychologically. Every child needs cuddling and warmth, but some can do without it, some can’t. Ensure you lie down with them before putting them to sleep so they feel safe and secure. 


  • Establishing a proper sleeping routine – One thing that will help a lot, in the long run, is if you establish a proper sleeping routine. A proper sleeping routine means that you make sure the TV is off at a particular time. Turn off or dim the lights in their room. This helps making sure your toddler understands the sleeping schedule on a nightly basis.


This is something many mothers ignore especially if they are working. But if you want to see your kid sleeping well and through the night, make sure their sleep time is consistent, and there are no other last-minute plans. 


  • Teething Remedies – It might be instrumental in trying out some teething remedies because there are many available on reputable health sites but make sure that they’re completely safe and usable.



Toddler night waking can be a real problem to a parent’s psychological and physical health. It can create problems for the child and make the parent tired as well. Some children get over it after a couple of therapies, but others stay like this for a long time. If it persists, you should consult a doctor and ask them if your child has childhood insomnia or other issues. 


Dealing with a toddler waking up at 4am is essential, even if it’s a temporary thing. Remember to create a peaceful sleeping environment and ensure a few things before your child is put to bed. Make sure your child is not cold or the temperature of the room is average. Put on very light and comfortable clothing, so the child is not irritated. 


Although every mother wants their kids to sleep and eat well sometimes, toddlers can get hard to handle. This is normal; don’t feel alarmed. Simply make sure your child is not sick and does not have any other underlying health problems. I hope you found this piece informative and able to help you deal with your toddler’s sleep problems. 

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