Q & A: How to Wake Up Without Waking the Kids

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Today I’m answering a reader’s questions about how to wake up without waking the kids. This can be difficult for moms and if you’re struggling to get up in the morning before the little ones wake up, I’m sharing a few of my tips and suggestions!

Also, please note, this blog post was written a number of years ago when my kids were still pretty young.

Q: Hi Melissa! I am reading through some of the Spring Cleaning reading you’ve given us, and I’m coming across a question that I’ve had in the past and have never come up with a solution for. How do I manage waking up early for devotion and getting breakfast ready for my family without disturbing their sleep?

I have two kids (ages 2 and 3) who are light sleepers, and I worry that an alarm will wake them since they’ve been known to wake up at the sound of a car driving by outside. They generally wake up around dawn anyway, so I really don’t want to wake them earlier because they won’t be getting enough sleep. With this in mind, I have wanted to wake in the morning to do a devotional each day and start the day off right, but I can’t figure out how to make it work without disrupting the rest of my family. Do you have any suggestions? Or alternatively, do you have any suggestions on how I can do a morning devotional if they’re awake with me?

I’m sorry to bother you with such a silly question, but it’s something that’s been circling my mind for months and I just don’t know what to do with it. I know that as they get older things will be different, but I would like to find at least a temporary solution for now.

— Amy

A: Hi Amy, I understand how hard this can be. I had a baby, (she’s 9 now) who would wake up at any noise and was sooo hard to put to sleep! This is not a silly question! I am so glad you asked!

First, I would pray about it.
Second, go to bed early enough that waking up early is easy.
Third, ask God to help you wake up at a specific time. I can’t count the times I have asked God to wake me up at a certain time and He has!

I use my cell phone for my alarm clock. My husband uses our actual alarm clock. But with my cell phone I can set the ringer on real low – say 2 or 3. and it will wake me up. I don’t know if that would work for you.

So, if none of those ideas work, I’d have my devotions at the breakfast table either during or just after we ate.

I usually do family worship with my kids just after breakfast. Since your children are little you could have family worship and then tell the kids to go play for 15 or 30 minutes (whatever you feel your kids can handle) while you have your Mommy Worship Time.

If they try to bother you during that time tell them that they have to wait until you are done. If you have a problem with them listening to you, try setting an egg timer and telling them that when they hear it “ding” they can come out of their rooms (or where ever they are playing).

This time will pass quickly and it will get easier as time goes on. One day you will miss all this! I hope these suggestions work. May God bless your efforts!

— Melissa

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  1. Oh. My. Goodness! A friend mentioned your site, so I've been be-bopping along... and then I find this gem. :) I have the exact same problem. We have one little guy, 17 months old. We're in a small-ish 2 bedroom apt, so any alarm wakes him up. Even though he sleeps with music on all night! I do need to try to be more diligent about going to sleep at night. *Coughs* ...as I write this at 10:30pm. Haha! :) Looking forward to perusing your site some more... tomorrow. ;) Thanks for this post!
  2. I would love to get up before my almost 3 year old daughter. I struggle with not being a morning person but know from the past that I do way better if I do my bible study first thing so it is worth it. Here is my problem. We are currently living in our shop while we build our house. We have separate bedrooms but no ceilings since they are just temporary walls. If I get up early I need a light to be able to read. And there is basically no sound barrier. I should also mention that I am due with another little girl at the end of February. We had a miscarriage last summer. I did better dealing with the loss than I did dealing with the fear and doubt once I got pregnant this time. I know the fear created a wedge between me and God and I am still trying to work on that. I know that I need to spend time with Him! I need to draw closer to him. I am doing better with not being afraid and doubting now that I can feel this little one kick all the time. I am still struggling with getting back to where I was before spiritually. Also enjoyed your post on structuring your toddler's day. I need the reminder of how fast they grow up and to be more present! Thanks for that!!
    1. Hi Melissa! {Love your name by the way!} Wow, you know, there are seasons in life. It sounds like you are in a period of transition as far as your living situation goes. Is this something you see ending in a few weeks or months? I wouldn't feel bad about sleeping in until your little one wakes up and trying to have your devotion over breakfast. I'm sure God will direct you in that and show you how best to work out your morning devotion time. However, and I know I do better when I get up and have my devotions first thing, too - if you'd like to have your quiet time before she's awake, why not put your reading materials out on your nightstand before you go to sleep along with a little book light? Or, you could have your devotional reading on your cell phone or tablet and dim the brightness of it so you can read and pray before you get out of the bed. Of course the danger there would be getting distracted by RSS feeds or facebook, maybe? I know I'm easily distracted. Let me know what you think or any other questions you might have. God bless you as you prepare for your new little one. God loves you and that baby {including the precious one you lost} so very, very much. He has a plan for your life and He wants to heal the hurt.
      1. Thanks for the ideas. I never had thought about using my phone until I woke up at 6:18 this morning and got some reading in before my LO woke up. With the time change she is still waking before 7 but even the little bit that I did read helped me have a more pleasant attitude this morning! We will be living in out shop for a few years so it is definitely something I need to work on and figure out!
  3. So soon will this time pass when your little ones will be grown. I am now a great-grandmother, but remember the time well when the kids were little. Maybe this will work for you like it did for me. I often turned on a Christian radio station and played it most of the day. The music would help me stay calmer, the Bible studies always would minister to me. Today you can get these same good teachings over the Internet. Teach the little ones simple songs and to praise the LORD. IT MIGHT BE CALLED WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK. Or listen while you work. Praise the LORD you are able to be home with your kids.
  4. I'm so glad she asked and you answered! Also, I'm excited to explore your blog later to find more encouragement. I have 2 littles a baby (room sharing) and a toddler (in bedroom across the hall) both are light sleepers.

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