How many of you mommies have toddlers that wake up at oh-dark-thirty in the morning and then come into your room and want to snuggle…..and then everybody’s awake……and happy?! Well, I definitely have one of those. I was desperate to get sleep past 5:30 a.m. when she would wake up and want to come and hang out. I found a solution I’d like to share with you!
Here’s the situation: our daughter was about two-and-a-half, and recently transitioned out of her crib. We were noticing, especially me, that when she would wake up in the morning regardless of what time it was, she would get out of bed, come into our room and crawl into bed with me. This was totally fine if it was 7:00 a.m. or later, but that’s not my luck. My kid has this early bird gene from my dad’s side of the family, and she’s got it good. It’s actually more like 5:00 or 5:30 every morning which was totally unacceptable. Not only that, I knew she could probably go back to sleep if she didn’t get up.
It was just she would wake up and think, “Is it time to get up?” and then come running into our room. Excuse me! So I started looking around online with the question of what could I do to make this better? How can I do this without, like, taking the handle off her door? Or putting up, perhaps, two gates because she would climb over one. How could I change this? How do I keep my kid in bed until a reasonable hour?
I found something that has been available for a while apparently. They’re, like, “Okay to Wake” clocks. The one pictured at the right is actually a little bit different from ours but it’s the same type of clock. The general idea is you set the clock for whatever time your child is to go to bed, and a little night light comes on.
We are using the Teach Me! Talking Alarm Clock & Night Light. Another one that is similar is the OK to Wake! Alarm Clock and Night Light. This one doesn’t have as many features as the one we are using but could be good to use with younger kids.
Our daughter goes to bed at 8:00 p.m. so I have this one set for 8:00 which is bedtime. This thing glows a soft yellowish orange, and it stays that way throughout the night as a soft glowing night light. You then set the wake time.
Right now we have the wake time set for 6:45 a.m. because I also have a little which also has the family early bird gene and wakes up early, too! I’m usually always awake by then, and if I’m not I will be shortly. So at 6:45 the yellow light turns to a bright green and when the green pops on my oldest knows it’s okay to get out of bed.
Green means go! And she does! I can hear her little feet hit the floor every morning and into our room she comes. I always know that it’s 6:45. Sometimes when she opens her bedroom door I can actually see she has turned on her bedroom lamp so I know she’s been up for a little while, maybe reading or playing. The point is, she’s not coming out of her room and into mine when she first wakes up which is great. Sometimes she still wakes at 5:30 but she’s not leaving her room or waking me, her dad or her sister, who is still sleeping in our room. This has revolutionized our mornings! It’s been so helpful.
There are a bunch of different clocks out there, they look different and do different things but this is the one we settled on and it works absolutely fantastic. Let me show you briefly how it works. These clocks include great instructions but just real quick I’ll give you an idea of how it works.
There’s a choice of analog and digital when you pop open the control panel. There are a lot of features that we’re not currently using such as an audible alarm, versus using just the green light. Since what we’re talking about right now is using the green light, I will share that part with you.
If I click on this button it’s going to tell me that it’s 7:30 p.m. The orange glowing kind of night light is going to come on in preparation for her bedtime at 8:00. The next change is at 6:45 in the morning when green light is going to start glowing. Even if she sleeps until 7:00, the green light will still be on and she’ll know that it’s okay to get up.
So, that’s it – a really quick demo of how we use this clock. Another kind of fun little feature is that it will speak out the time at the push of a button. When we first started using this clock our daughter didn’t know her numbers. It’s helped her learn not only her numbers but also a little about the concept of time.
Now you have seen how it works, the glowing, soft, calming night light and then the green, wake-up, ready to go light! Be crazy for the day light!
We got ours on Amazon. There are a different kinds produced by different manufacturers but like I said, we got ours on Amazon and love it. It arrived quickly to our doorstep. When we got it our daughter was two-and-a-half. It did take time to teach her. We’d reminded her saying, “Is your green light on?” because she would still come in at 5:45 a.m. and I’m like, “Ugh.” I would gently remind her with, “Is your green light on?” And she’d say, “No.” It was a bit hard at first, because she wanted to come and snuggle right away.
After a week or two, not long at all, she got it! We started using this clock when she was about two-and-half and she’s now four-and-half and we still use it. It still works really well for us, so if you’re interested check it out. Google “Okay to Wake” or something similar and you’ll get a plethora of information, I’m sure.
That’s it! Thank you guys so much for reading. If you have some great ideas for this, please share your thoughts in the comments below!
If you like our blog posts, you might also like our YouTube channel. We actually have a lot of videos about parenting, mommy and baby stuff and we’d love to have you join along with us. We also have a Facebook page. It’s called The KT Files and we have posted some really good articles for moms!