I see this question pop up a lot, so I wanted to take a moment to describe what I have done when Caroline wakes up early from a nap. I will start by saying that it has completely changed with her age. This is one of those things that, as she matures and is able to handle different circumstances, I challenge her a bit more.
A general rule of thumb:
If your baby wakes at around the 20-30 minute mark, he is overstimulated and/or overtired.
If your baby wakes at around the 45 minute mark this could be due to a variety of things:
- Wake times might not be long enough
- He might not know how to transition sleep cycles yet
- He might be learning new skills and excited to wake and practice them
- Your baby might be uncomfortable, cold, hungry or have any number of things bothering him
(In other words, the 45 minute intruder, as it is referred to, can be a challenging mystery to solve).