February 18, 2013

OK to wake?

About 6 months ago we transitioned our toddler to a 'big boy' bed, (after his second birthday, but in anticipation of the arrival of his new baby sister). At the same time we bought the guard rails and a mattress protector, we also bought an 'OK to wake' alarm clock/nightlight. We thought this was going to be necessary to help contain him in his new freedom. However, he barely noticed the addition to his bedside table, and when he finally did, he just wanted to press the two buttons on its feet as if it were some handheld game only he knew how to operate (to his credit, one button does send the clock into making some series of faces back at him).

For the first five months we were smug pleased that it'd never occurred to him that he could get out of his new bed any more than he could get out of his crib, and we went happily along sleeping through the night. That is, until recently when he proudly announced that he 'woke up all by himself' and crawled into bed with us. At an earlier and earlier time each day.

When this started to develop into a pattern, we brought the clock to him after dinner and showed him how it worked (after a quick refresher myself, and finally actually setting the the OK time to get up). So you can stay in your bed until your light turns on green, right? Yes. And the first night he did. Even the second night he did. But the third night he must've gotten frustrated waiting, because he just cried out that he wanted Mommy to come wake him up (which is what he used to do before he realized he could get out of bed, if we hadn't noticed he was up yet, so I guess the clock still had some power...). The fourth day, he just decided to get up anyway (over an hour early) and I led him back and we tried to go back to sleep in his bed, but it didn't work. So we played with the stuffed animals on his bed and played with our fingers and time crept sloooowly by. Day 6 he still got up about 30 minutes early, and I laid down with him (this time actually more restful). Today is Day 7. Fingers crossed.

This is just another dimension of the 'transition to a toddler bed'. Parenting really is like the decathlon!!

So far my lessons learned are:

1. Let your little one 'help' you put the bed in their room. And let them help pick out sheets, or a blanket for the new bed (we pulled out every set of Full sized sheets in the little boy bedding aisle of Target and laid them out. Hubby hoped for the sports themed one, I wanted rocket ships. M picked construction trucks. Oh well)

2. Put REAL pillows on your toddler's bed, at least one or two and don't skimp. You will end up sleeping there sometime, and you will wish you had at least decent pillow.

As for the alarm clock, the jury's still out. ps. I was intrigued by this 'clock', too: Kid'sleep Classic

What do you do to keep your kid contained, or to at least get all the precious minutes of sleep you can in the mornings?


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