It’s a major accomplishment to get babies to sleep through the night, no doubt. You may think you have it made after that milestone, but after they become mobile toddlers, we desperately want to figure out how to get them to stay in bed until the crack of dawn (at least!).
There are probably a dozen “sleep training” clocks on the market ranging anywhere from about $25 to $100, but there’s really no reason to shell out the cash for one. Here are a few easy ideas for DIY-ing it:
Timer: Hook up a timer (the kind that you can use to turn your lights on and off when you go out of town) to a small table lamp that you can set up out of reach of your little one. Set it to turn on when it’s okay to get up and tell your child to stay put until the light comes on.
If you’re worried about waking her up if by some miracle she’s still asleep when it comes on, try a low wattage light bulb or use a 3-way lamp on the dimmest setting. [The lamp shown here is from IKEA ($10)]
Stickers on a Wall Clock: If you think they can tell the big hand from the little hand, get a big office wall clock (like the one at right) and put green stickers over or beside the numbers that indicate when it’s okay to get up. Then tell your child that when the little hand points to a red number, it’s okay to rise and shine.
Those little round stickers they sell for yard sale pricing or file folder coding work well. If you like, you can put red stickers over the numbers that are too early.
If you’re in doubt about the big hand vs. little hand thing, try taking the plastic face off the clock and putting a dab of bright paint on the litte hand to distinguish them.
Digital Clock: When they learn their numbers, you can use a digital clock and teach them to stay in bed until the first number is a 7, 8, or whatever you can handle.
I’ll bet you can brainstorm even more ideas for making your own sleep training clock! Tell us about ‘em in the comments!