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Toddler Alarm Clocks: why we don't love them.

October 9, 2018

Fall daylight savings time is coming, and with it an army of toddlers who are waking an hour earlier (by the clock) than they were the previous week.  Well-meaning parents will flock to Amazon or their local Baby Store for popular toddler clocks in hopes that these little time machines will help them catch a few more zzzzzz's.

 

There are many scientific reasons why these clocks may not work.  The majority of these reasons involve unrealistic or misguided expectations by parents (probably not your fault, you've probably read it somewhere....*sigh*), sleep environments that are not conducive to sleeping-in later, or a combination of both.  We've listed links to those blog topics below.  

 

But, let's assume your expectations ARE on point, your child's sleep environment IS stellar, and you KNOW s/he's tired and waking up too early.  A morning cue can definitely help you accomplish your goals.  We do like morning cues for toddlers!

 

But one of the biggest challenges toddlers have with kiddie clocks are that, well, they are just too subtle.  Let's face it, differentiating colors on a small clock or matching up numbers is  pretty "big kid" stuff. 

 Your toddler needs something SUPER simple and SUPER obvious. 

 

 The best thing you can do is set an actual room lamp on a timer set to turn on at your desired wake up time or use a pleasant sound cue (like birdies chirping on an old smart phone or tablet).    These two cues (room lamp or pleasant sound cue) are super obvious and more effective in teaching your child when it's okay to wake up.  Your child does not need to know colors, numbers, or even look at anything - they will KNOW when it's time to wake up.   

 

If you need help setting up a plan to incorporate a morning light or sound cue successfully, schedule an appointment with us today!  

 

Helpful Blogs:

1. How Do I Fix My Baby's Early Waking? 

2. Common Age By Stage Sleep Schedules

3. Important Sleep Basics All Caregivers Should Know

4. Early Vs. Late Bedtimes: Which is Right? 

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