A couple of months before the geekson was born, we moved the geekdaughter out of the nursery and into her own “big girl” bedroom, complete with “big girl” bed. She coped with the change really well, and loved (still does) her new room.
Up until this point she had been happy to stay in her cot in the mornings until I got up – reading books or playing with toys. This allowed me to have my shower and get dressed in peace. However, she quite quickly realised that she could get out of her big girl bed whenever she liked, and soon was coming out of her room at a time that I considered too early. We started off trying to get her to just stay in her room until one of us went in to her in the mornings, but that didn’t work, and after one unfortunate incident when she walked into our guest bedroom whilst some guests were asleep in there (I think she was more surprised than they were!) I decided I wanted to find another solution. And being a geek Mum, a geeky solution would be preferable 🙂
The solution I found was this, the Gro-Clock:
It’s a simple premise. The clock starts off displaying a happy, smiling, awake yellow sun. You pre-program your desired “wake-up time”, and when you put your child to bed you make a ceremony of pressing the button which makes the sun wink and go to sleep, and a sleepy blue star appears. Little stars around the edge gradually fade during the night, and then in the morning, at your pre-programmed time, the sun comes out.
The geekdaughter caught on fairly easily to the concept of staying in bed until her sun comes out in the morning. We had a couple of mornings early on when I had to remind her about that, but now she proudly comes into our bedroom at 7am every morning saying “Mummy, my sun is out, I can get out of bed!”.
The clock has a “keylock” function, which we have to use, as the first night the geekdaughter got out of bed before her sun came out, pressed the buttons on the front of the clock which made the sun come out, and then came to wake me up!
The clock can be programmed with two different wake-up times, enabling it to be used for naps as well as “big sleeps” should you wish. Personally I keep the second slot programmed with a slightly later wake-up time for those days when I just want another 30 minutes in bed! You only have to program your desired wake-up time once, and after that it’s just a matter of one or two button-presses to activate the selected time.
For older children who are learning to tell the time, the clock can also display a digital time. And the clock comes with a little story book – Sleepy Farm – which can be used as a bedtime story and reinforces the message that we should be asleep when the star is out and awake when the sun is up.
The only downside of the clock that I have found is that, whilst it doesn’t lose it settings in the event of a power cut, it does effectively “pause” the time it thinks it is. So if you have a power cut that lasts for one hour, your Gro-clock will be one hour slow, and therefore the sun will come out one hour later.
We’re really seeing the benefits of the Gro-clock. I’ve been impressed by how easy the geekdaughter (at two and a half) could understand the concept, and it’s really working for us.
You can buy the Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer from Amazon.co.uk by clicking on the link. It is also available from other retailers.