Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kid' Sleep wake up clock

As the blessed mama of a 4 year old, who has always slept in remarkably well, I took my mornings for granted. Most mornings consisted of some quiet, peaceful time to gradually wake up with the baby, before Wyatt woke up and things went into full swing. Or, on the best mornings, Dawson would sleep in as well, and I'd stay in bed as long as I could. I loved that it gave me some built in alone time with Dawson in the mornings, as I had alone time with Wyatt during Dawson's nap.

Well, my morning routine was shattered this spring when the sun started waking him up earlier each day. This wouldn't be the end of the world, except for the fact that it was making for some VERY cranky afternoons and evenings. While the simplest solution would be to teach him to tell time, and tell him what time he's allowed to get up, he's a big fan of the ABC's but has only a moderate grasp of numbers by sight. So, I turned to google for ideas and stumbled on a review done by one of my favorite blogs, Thingamababy for the Kid' Sleep Wake up clock. I emailed ARF Kids, and they generously agreed to send me a clock to review.

It arrived quicker than I expected, and Wyatt was very excited, as I had been telling him about his "bunny light" for a few days. We plugged it in right away, and I set the current time and the wake up time. With a very simple three button setup, it only took a minute, including my time to calculate the times on the 24 hour clock. There are also three mode settings on a switch (in addition to OFF), that Wyatt has no problem using himself. These are Wake-up Light, Nightlight and Traditional Alarm, which will come in handy for morning appointments, and when we start morning school someday. It includes two faceplates. One, with a daytime bunny and a nighttime bunny for the Wake-up indicator, and one with a full picture of nighttime bunny for the nightlight mode. It seems to me that if you're using it with a young toddler, the nightlight mode would be useful to get them familiar with the bunny, and then once they're old enough to comprehend, you can switch to the Wake-up mode. Once Wyatt can tell time, I'll give him a regular clock and move this one into Dawson's room. But for now, we jumped right into Wake-up training...

Every night before bed, we turn the bunny on and say goodnight to him. For the first week, I also went over the rules every night to solidify them...
1. If the bunny's awake, you can get up, quietly (in case others are still sleeping) and come get me.
2. If the bunny is sleeping, close your eyes and try to go back to sleep, or at the very least, stay in bed for some quiet time.
3. The most important disclaimer: If you need to pee, at ANY TIME, you may, but then you come back to bed until the bunny wakes up.

I set the wake up time for a reasonable 8am... earlier than the 9 or later he used to wake up, but later than the 7ish he was currently waking. The first few mornings, he would wake up before the bunny and yell "MOM! The bunny's still sleeping!!!". I went in and reminded him that he doesn't need to tell me, he just needs to try to go back to sleep. The next phase was waking a little later, and talking to himself, until the bunny woke up... then he would yell "MOM! The bunny's awake!!!" I would go remind him that he could QUIETLY get up then, and that he didn't need to yell for me. Once he got the hang of that, he started either sleeping till shortly after the bunny, or at least, being quiet until he was allowed to get up. And this has gloriously progressed to the point that he's actually starting to sleep later and later to the point that our mornings usually resemble the way things were in winter. Sweet peace! Thank you ARF Kids!

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