How to help wake up kids in the morning and get the day started on the right foot. Waking up kids, how to get your child out of bed in the morning without a battle, how to use routine cards and pre-made routines if you need extra help.
Wake Up Kids in the Morning on the Right Side of Things
Waking up in the morning is tough for a lot of people, not only kids.
My three kids have been early risers since they were babies, but that doesn’t mean they always wake with the best of attitudes.
Especially as the school year gets along.
Lately, my school-age kids have been slower to get up in the mornings and this Mama has had to take a good look at how we start the day.
I’ve been working hard to make changes for more happiness and to help get them out of bed with a smile and am happy to report, it’s all working really well!
Here are my 6 best tips for waking up kid in the morning and helping them start the day off happy.
1. Make Sleep a Priority
Making sure kids are getting enough sleep is the first step to helping them wake up on the right side of the bed.
The first step is making sure they get enough sleep is to find out how much they need at each age.
Many studies prove that a lack of sleep can hamper physical and mental health. Tweens and teens (11 – 17 years old) who get too little sleep have shown an increase in anxiety, depression, and physical pain.
Here are general guidelines (aka a sleep chart) for the number of hours of sleep kids require each night, based on age range:
- 1 – 2 Years: 11-14 Hours at Night (not including day naps)
- 2 – 3 Years: 11 – 13 Hours at Night (not including one day nap)
- 3 – 5 Years: 10 – 13 Hours
- 6 – 13 Years: 9 – 11 Hours
- 14 – 17 Years: 8 – 10 Years
- 18 – 25 Years: 7 – 9 Hours
Having a consistent and good bedtime routine, without a lot of stimulation, and use of devices will help kids fall asleep quicker.
In fact, a study with Scientific America has shown blue-light exposure before bed negatively shifts the body’s natural circadian clock and can affect a person’s sleep-wake cycle well into the next day.
2. Wake Up Kids Using the Help of Natural Light
The body’s natural circadian rhythm, or what’s also called the sleep-wake cycle is the body’s ability to wake up with the light and go to sleep when it’s dark.
Before you go to bed, pull open the blinds or curtains a little so the light will flood into rooms in the morning and help to naturally wake little ones. Blackout curtains are great for babies who sleep during the day, but can be a hinderance to natural light as kids get older.
When Winter is here, and mornings are darker, wake up lights which start dark during sleep hours and increase in light as the morning approaches, help to synch kid’s sleep-wake cycle.
3. Use Upbeat Music to Create a Fun Atmosphere in the Mornings
I like to turn on fun, upbeat music in the morning and have noticed a big increase in happier moods, and less grumpy ones. When the kids come downstairs and hear Kid Bop or fun, positive and dance music, their moods are instantly uplifted.
I usually start the volume low as they gradually rise and increase the volume once the kids are fully up and getting dressed.
I keep our Alexa Echo on the kitchen counter which surprisingly, has great speaker strength and is synched to my Amazon account which means it plays any music I ask it to as well as Kid’s music stations.
We’re never on short-supply for fun, upbeat music in the mornings!
4. Give Kids Time to Rise Gradually
I’ve never been a person who jumps right out of bed, and my kids aren’t either.
I’m usually up before my kids, so I go into their rooms 10 minutes before they need to be up, to turn off their white noise machines and pull the curtains open even more to let natural light in.
I also give them a kiss, say “I Love You” and “Good Morning.”
Then I leave the room so they can rise gradually on their own which usually takes less than 10 minutes for them to come out of their rooms.
5. Use Routine Cards or Routine Charts to Eliminate Nagging
Routine cards for great for getting them packed for school and using a bedtime routine, but make the morning much smoother when you aren’t nagging them to do each step and instead, they take the initiative to look at the chart or cards for what comes next.
No more forgotten lunches on the counter or missing homework!
Here are 11 unique and helpful charts for kids.
6. Look Beyond Bedtime and Wake Up Time
When you approach sleep, you must look at the big picture and that means assessing your child’s entire day and how well you have a routine in place.
What a routine does, whether your kids are in school or aren’t quite school-aged, is provide stability, security and consistency for expectations and behavior.
At night, you want to have a bedtime routine to get them into bed, but a bedtime routine won’t work unless you follow a rhythm in your day that best leads to sleep.
Sleep and routine go together like peanut butter and jelly!
Resources for Implementing a Daily Routine:
- Benefits of Having a Daily Routine
- Mastering Sleep & Schedules eBook with 40+ Sample Schedules for Baby – School-Age Kid
TIPS FOR MOMS TO HELP PREPARE FOR BETTER MORNINGS
1. Tackle it The Night Before
In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than being a total mess in the morning and rushing your kids off to school, daycare or generally just starting the day off in complete chaos.
Morning is what sets the tone for the entire day and when things go wrong, are hurried or disorganized, this will follow you throughout the day. I don’t know about you, but I want to give my kids the best start to the day as I can and that doesn’t mean they’re in tears or grumpy.
The night before, tackle as much of the preparation for the morning as you can. This could include:
- Setting out Outfits
- Taking Bath/Showers
- Packing Lunches
- Putting Homework and School Gear in Backpacks
- Setting out Ingredients for Breakfast or Preparing Ahead of Time (hello, overnight oats)
2. Get up Before Them and Do Your Three Things
Once I took Crystal Paine’s Makeover Your Mornings 14-day class, my mornings have literally been transformed.
I’m not a morning person, nor have I ever been, but once I started implementing Crystal’s morning routine, I’ve never been more productive, or ready for my kids to wake up at 7am!
Essentially, I tackle three things each morning, as well as make certain tasks for myself a priority to start the day off in a productive and positive way.
Using her morning method, my mornings are happier, and I have more time to sit with my kids for coffee and breakfast and meet their needs when things aren’t falling into place.
3. No Devices in the Morning
I have a no device rule in the morning for this one main reasons:
Morning is an important time to connect with your kids to set them up for the day!
This is an opportunity to fill their attention bucket with love, kindness and connection. When you’re on your phone, you aren’t giving them attention to help them feel like your connection will sustain itself all day long.
When I get sucked into my phone, my attention is not on them but also, I’m likely to lose track of time and add to the chaos of the morning when I get off schedule.
Need a little extra help starting or adjusting your daily routine? Here’s a FREE Course that will help you take control & bring more peace to your home.
More Sleep & Routine Resources:
- 11 Helpful Charts for Kids: Chores, Reward & Daily Routines to Help Kids Thrive
- Create an Awesome Routine for Better Sleep Habits
- 6 Tips to Get Your Child Out of Bed in the Morning Without a Fight
- Sleep Strategies for a Good Night’s Sleep & Daily Routines for Kids
- Create a Routine: 6 Sample Toddler Schedules from Real Moms