Many parents will relate to struggle that is sleep. Whether it’s getting the little one to snooze a full 4 hours in a row, or adjust to a 6.00am start rather than the 5:30am (or God forbid even earlier!), bed time, for some, is a battleground where only the strongest of wills survives.
We have used every trick imaginable – from changing napping patterns in the day, to pushing back bedtime, to no naps – trying out different theories in order to reach that holy grail of 7 to 7 sleeping. If you can name it, chances are we have tried it. Despite our most herculean efforts, we were always up at 5am. Daily. It’s seriously depressing when waking up at 6am is now considered a lie-in.
Then, a friend of mine recommended a Gro-Clock. A little gadget by the Gro company (Link: http://gro.co.uk/gro-clock) that helps to sleep train young children.
The clock worked for her little boy most nights, so I decided to give it a try. The clock features a nighttime, daytime nap and alarm functions (I am so looking forward to the day I need an alarm to wake up my children). It is quite complicated to set, and thus I have had to make this my husband’s job. On our way to bed we set the clock from daytime to nighttime mode. The sun gives you a conspiratorial wink and a big star appears at the centre of the clock face, with smaller stars taking their place around the edge. These smaller stars act as a countdown, disappearing throughout the night as time goes on.
When it is time to wake up, the clock face shifts from the night star to the sun with no sound, just your little one is still soundly asleep. Our sun is set to appear at 6:42am. We have tried 7am, but we were really pushing our luck, so this is a good compromise compared with the previous 5:00am start. As soon as it happens, we get our own wake up call of a toddler shouting “Mummy and Daddy the sun has come up!” This is the cue to get up.
Best part is that once you’ve set it, the clock will remember the wake-up time. Additionally, the clock can also be used as a night light, as the brightness can be adjusted.
As an added bonus, the clock comes with a great little book titled Sleepy Farm, about a pig that is grumpy all day and doesn’t want to play because he gets up too early (before the sun appears, obvs). This little piggy’s animal friends come to his rescue, when they buy him his own Gro-Clock, to keep his sleep .
When we first brought the clock, we explained to our toddler – as best we could – what was going to happen. Admittedly, it took him a few days to work out that he should stay in bed until the sun came up on his clock – not just outside his window. Joe was 2 1/2 years old when he first used the Gro-Clock. Any younger and it may have taken longer for him to grasp the concept.
So here it goes – the difficult part. Unfortunately, the clock method doesn’t work for everyone. Some of our friends have tried it to no avail, where others have claimed it worked for one of their children but not the other. Still, I do think it’s worth a try for an extra hour of sleep a day!
Good luck and happy 6:30am lie-ins!