It’s an exciting day when our toddlers move to a big girl or big boy bed. Very exciting times indeed. It’s a little rite of passage. They’re growing up and they have some more responsibility and a bit of independence and these are all great things but there can be some downside to this as well and a common complaint from a lot of parents is that now their little toddler is showing up at their bedside at 5:30 in the morning and the sun’s up and it looks like it’s time to get up but heck, it’s only 5:30 in the morning. So how do you keep your little person in their bed until a more appropriate hour?
Well, I have something amazing to share with you today. All you need to do is get a clock. It’s really that simple. So back in the day, I just got an alarm clock, a little alarm clock with red numbers. You don’t want anything that glows blue or green. You want it to be red or yellow and duct tape over the minutes. So all my child could see was the hour and then we start talking about magic seven. Magic seven means it’s nighty night time and magic seven means it’s morning time and that is when it’s okay for you to come and wake up mommy when you see magic seven.
Now, this is gonna take a little bit of time, right? Our kids are geniuses but they’re not that clever they’re gonna master this in one night. So you’ve got to teach them what a seven looks like. You could put pictures of a seven around the house. You can show them the number seven when it gets to the time and you just wanna keep reminding them that seven is the magic number. That’s what we’re looking for. So when your little person shows up at the bed at 5:30 in the morning, you take them back to their own bed and point out the fact that there is not a magic seven yet on that clock and they need to wait until they see one.
Now, if this is a rule and remember, a rule only becomes a rule if it’s a rule. You got it. So we have to follow through on this. So if she shows up at the six, you’ve got to make her stay in that bed until the seven and then you can reward it and tell her she’s done a great job staying in her room at least until it’s magic seven and then she can come out.
So this might mean in the first few weeks you’re gonna have to be returning her to her bed several times. She might keep testing you, coming back is it time yet, is it time yet, is it time yet? She might do some crying in her room because she’s used to you letting her get up early or she’s used to coming to bed with you or whatever the scenario is. There will be a bit of pushback around this new rule and you’re gonna have to stay strong through it all and just keep putting her back into that room until magic seven and this works fabulously. It really, really does. If you can stay strong long enough for this rule to click in, it’s great, I’m telling you.
Now my kids are teens so I can’t get them up before noon but for all of my children’s childhood, no one set a foot out of their door before seven. It just was such an ingrained rule in our house that it solved that problem completely. So that is good news for you. You need to have this clock.
Now, in the 17 years I’ve been a parent, there’s been a lot of new cool inventions and now you can get Groclocks and the bunny’s asleep, now the bunny’s awake, all kinds of fancy things to indicate when morning is and I don’t really care what you use. I mean, you could just go super simple like I did. They can absolutely figure out what a seven looks like very quickly so don’t underestimate your child’s genius because they can do that but if you wanna get something fancier, that’s totally up to you. Just make sure that it’s nothing that glows through the night. I do not want any kinda light source through the night because that could interfere with melatonin and if there is any light source, it needs to be either a yellow glow or red. Those are the only two options for any kind of glow or nightlight scenario in the child’s room.
All right, so let’s keep those kids in bed. Thanks for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 109,000 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!
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