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Tips to get your child up early

2nd September 2016

The summer of lie-ins are over, and now your kids will need to readjust to waking up early for school or nursery. This prospect can be a daunting one for parents and children alike, and may possibly summon up memories of struggles you might have previously had to get your kids up on time; shouting matches, repeated wake up calls, bolting down breakfast, or frantic drives to school or work. To prevent this from happening again, take a look at our tips to get your child up early with minimal moaning.

Start good habits in the summer

The primary thing to bear in mind is to not allow your child’s sleeping pattern to get too lax during the holidays; not only can this have a detrimental effect on your child’s health, but it will make the transition all the more difficult. In the week before school starts, try getting your child up a little earlier each day to get them used to the new routine.

Get organised

To make the mornings seem less daunting and stressful for everyone in the family, try and get some tasks done the night before, such as laying out school clothes, or pre-packing a school bag.  

Let in the light

Light is a great way to wake up the kids gently and more naturally, as opposed to simply telling them to get up. Depending on the time of year, opening the blinds or curtains of your child’s bedroom about 10 minutes before they need to wake up can serve as a calm, and laid-back wake-up technique. Alternatively, purchase a wake-up light for your child’s bedroom.


Keep calm and establish ground rules

It’s important that children don’t associate waking up in the mornings as a stressful event, or a battle. Some parents find that it’s a real struggle to get their children out of bed, possibly resulting in them toiling to get everyone to school or work on time. It can sometimes be difficult not to lose your temper, but try to change the way you wake your children up by staying calm and setting some ground rules. Tell them how many wake up calls you will give them before they will lose a privilege. Or maybe even give them a fun wake-up call by tickling them awake! This will start the day on a good note, and get your child alert and moving. For slightly older kids, try to teach them the consequences of their actions e.g. if they miss the bus, they will have to make their own arrangements to get to school.

Schedule in snooze time

“Just five more minutes”; it’s a common phrase that many parents hear from their kids in the morning. But if you actually schedule in five minutes for lazing around in bed, then your child may be more likely to get out of bed when you ask. Try establishing a ‘wake-up’ time, followed five minutes later by a ‘get-up’ time.

Give them a reason to get up

Often, children don’t like to feel like they’re missing out on anything. Use this to your advantage in the mornings by making sure the radio, or the TV is playing downstairs. Perhaps even try and have something cooking in the kitchen that has a nice smell, such as bagels toasting or eggs frying. You could even establish a daily ‘dream discussion’ to get your children down the stairs, where members of the family could entertain each other with their tales of their strange dreams over the breakfast table.

You could also consider making the “getting up” process more enjoyable by playing their favourite song or nursery rhyme (or, if you’re feeling brave, attempting your own rendition). For more stubborn children, sometimes simply putting the alarm clock on the other side of the room is enough encouragement to get them out from under the duvet.


Sometimes a little light bribery works. Offer a reward at the weekend if your child is dressed and sat at the breakfast table by a certain time each day. Maybe also let them have 10 minutes of TV in the morning if there’s time; this will teach them that getting up and ready efficiently can give them more free time to enjoy in the mornings.

At Tiny World Day Nurseries, we understand the need for your little ones to be at their best in the mornings. We’ve been caring for children from 6 weeks old, all the way to 11 years old, so we recognise the individual challenges and needs of a range of age groups. Call our expert team today for a chat, or to take a look around one of our nurseries.