It is well-documented that Muffin adores the wee hours of the morning. It amazes me that 5am could be so thrilling to him while so terrible for me. But, thanks to some very good advice from some fellow mommies, we have started implementing "crib time."
"Crib time" is time when your wee one listens to music, reads books, plays and does what the rest of us love doing in bed at hours other than 5am. The positives are many: your baby is safe, enjoying his crib/toys, taking in some rockin' tunes and exploring autonomy all while you get yourself psyched up to go start breakfast.
This is what we do: When Muffin arises at 5:14am thrilled to be alive, one of us goes in, turns on a little lamp, greets him with hugs and kisses, and changes him/removes his wearable blanket. Then together we select a couple of books and favorite toys for the crib and turn on some music. Muffin is then re-deposited into his crib for a half-hour or so while Mommy or Daddy collapses back into bed. Muffin is happy and we are better rested. It's win-win.
Things to keep in mind: Both the BabyWhisperer (see her toddler edition) and 12 Hours Sleep lady advocate baby crib play time. However, you need to make sure your baby is old enough for self time, can sit on his or her own and is surrounded by only safe toys, and unable to escape the crib. If all that is true and you too are seeking a few more moments of rest, give this a whirl. You can thank me later :)