When the walls of the crib come down, so do some of your loved one’s boundaries. This new found freedom can sometimes be overwhelming for a toddler. With nothing to hold them back, your child can become a “jack in the box”, in and out of bed. Your little one may start having trouble falling asleep independently at night, staying in bed at night and getting up way to early.
With nothing to hold them back, your child can become a “jack in the box”, in and out of bed.
Your little one may start having trouble falling asleep independently at night, staying in bed at night and getting up way too early.
I don’t recommend moving your child to a bed until about 2.5 years when she has the capacity to understand the boundaries of staying in bed.
Of course, if your child is climbing out of the crib, that is a safety concern that needs to be addressed.
Often you can conquer the climbing out of the crib, by keeping your toddler in a sleep sack, which will prevent her from throwing her leg up and over the side of the crib.
Sometimes it might take a sleep sack on backwards to prevent her from removing the sleep sack. Toddlers are cagey, but Moms can be cagier!
Without the confines of the crib to set the boundaries of when the day starts and ends, you can use a toddler friendly clock, aka “ok to wake” clock, to help you create new boundaries.
These clocks help establish cues of when it is okay to leave the bed, when the “sun comes up” or glows yellow.
At bedtime, the starts come up, or the light will glow blue or green to signify time to be, and stay, in bed.
This visual guideline, is helpful for your babe and empowers her to exert her independence of knowing when she can get out of bed, without having to ask.
You can start introducing the clock around 20 months. There is quite a bit of variation of when a child can understand the premise, but most kids have a good grasp of this by 2.5 years.
Let’s be clear, these clocks, are “tools in your toolbox”. The clock alone won’t keep your child in bed.
You’ll need to verbally give simple clear instructions of the boundaries of staying in bed at night and getting up in the morning.
If your child gets up in the night, you’ll have to walk her back to her bed without engaging too much and state “the sun’s not up yet”. And you’ll have to repeat this over and over until she stops feeling a “win” from getting up in the night.
**The caveat here being that she already has the self soothing skills to relax her back into sleep. If you have to lie with her at bedtime to help her fall asleep, she’ll expect that in the middle of the night as well. But the clock can be an added tool to implement if and when you do some sleep training to help her learn to fall asleep without being dependent on the presence of a warm body.
Here are 3 of the clocks that I’ve recommended:
The Gro Clock. We’ve had this clock for years.
This clock has been around for years and it is very clear when it is night and day. It comes with a little book to help your babe understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.
However, after 5 years of using this, I still don’t find setting it to be easy and there is no music.
The Teach Me Time Clock
This clock has a few more features than the Gro Clock as it can dictate your time to your little one when he’s a preschooler and learning time. It’s a little easier to set than the Gro Clock.
- Hatch Baby Rest: Ok to Wake, night light and a sound machine.
This clock is new to the market. It has an app that goes on your phone, so you can program when light changes colour as well as adjust the hues, brightness and sound.
What I liked about the Hatch Baby Rest lamp is that you can use it in those early months all the way through to the toddler years. It can be a night light when you are nursing at night, sound machine and then great for your toddler as an “okay to wake”.
My eldest son is now 6.5 and we still have a light up clock in his room. He’s using the Teach Me Time Clock currently and he is enjoying learning how to tell time from the display. My 4 year old has a sun and the moon clock, and she still waits for the sun to come up before she leaves her room in the morning. Any of these clocks can be helpful to you if implemented consistently. Happy Shopping!