I realize this post is different from what we usually post, but this parenting hack is too good not to share. Everly has always been an early riser. When she was a newborn, she’d wake up around 5 or 6 to nurse but then she’d go back to sleep and I could squeeze out a few more hours of sleep for myself. That stage ended pretty quickly and we were left with a kid who wanted to start the day at 6. As a stay at home Mom, that’s just rude. We have nowhere to go, kid. GO BACK TO SLEEP!
Right around her second birthday, she randomly started waking up at an ungodly hour when the clock was blinking with a number 5 as its first number. NOPE. That’s where I draw the line.
I desperately ordered the Ok to Wake Clock off of Amazon (affiliate link). I even shelled out the cash for next day delivery.
When the clock arrived, I opened it with Everly and we talked about how the light needs to turn green before she can get out of her crib. I put her in her crib and set the clock to light up in one minute. She pretended to sleep and wait for her green light. When the light turned green, we cheered and I got her out of her crib. We repeated this several times to reinforce the concept.
I was greedy and thought we’d just go cold turkey. I set the green light to turn on at 7 the next morning.
Ha. Ha. Hahahaha.
I should have known my stubborn girl would have none of that, thank you very much. After a few minutes of screaming, I got her out of her crib. Sorry not sorry, upstairs neighbors.
The next day I set the clock for 6:03. I figured we would slowly work to the desired wake time of 6:30 and add on 3 minutes each day.
I’m proud-relieved-ecstatic to say—it worked! Her clock is set to 6:30 and most days I don’t hear her call for me until somewhere between 6:30 and 7:00. Recently, she’s been waking closer to 7:00, but I think that has to do with the fact that it’s darker outside in the morning.
It’s not perfect. This morning she woke up at 6:15, and on vacations, she wakes up at 5:45 and there’s nothing we can do about it. She doesn’t sleep as well in the pack n play and I can’t blame her. We did buy a 3-inch mattress for her Pack ‘n Play off Amazon and I will say that has definitely helped her take regular length naps in the pack n play. We didn’t buy that until she was about 20 months old and I wish that had been on our registry from the start. Seriously, this mattress should be on every new mom’s wishlist.
Even after Daylight Savings, she adjusted to the time change pretty easily and I even decided to move her green light back to 7:00 and she just went with it.
We talk about waiting for her green light every night at bedtime. She loves her light and it doesn’t feel like a punishment to her to have to wait. The first thing she says to me when I get her in the morning is, “My green lights on!” And we celebrate together.
We do not use the light at nap time, but you can set it for that and it also has the ability to set an alarm. It has a nightlight you can use that will turn off after two hours, but we don’t use that either.
If she wakes up randomly in the night or an hour or two early, I’ll give her a minute or two to settle in, but if she doesn’t I go in and check on her to make sure she’s not sick or needs my help.
If you’re struggling with early wake-ups, this clock is a LIFESAVER and I cannot recommend it enough. If you have any questions about how we use it, leave me a comment or message me on Instagram at RiedysBreakingRules.