I wrote yesterday about how to get toddlers to go to bed as peacefully as possible. Often however, that isn’t even half of the battle. At some point in their little lives, toddlers believe that when they wake up, everyone else should be awake and be ready to go for the day. This is reasonable at 8am. It gets exhausting when it happens every morning at 4 or 5 or 6am.
Unlike babies, you can’t just leave toddlers for five minutes to let them settle. A toddler determined to be awake is a toddler waking the whole house up.
I first learned about sleep clocks through an online sale. When we were in the midst of the worst of the sleep-wars with Cameron a baby discount blog posted the deal. When I finally confirmed the purchase with my husband, they were sold out. At the end of his rope, my husband then went and ordered a similar product online. We paid $60 for it and it was ugly and cheap looking (leave it to a man to pick the ugliest product option available).
People? It was still the best $60 we have ever spent!
So when SleepBuddy approached me asking me to review their (similar but much sleeker and more affordable) sleep system, I jumped on the opportunity.
If you have never heard of the SleepBuddy or other similar product, it is clock that visually shows children when it is time to sleep and when it is time to be awake. Different products have different ways of doing it. Our first sleep clock lit up a picture of a sleeping boy during night and a picture of a boy playing during the day. The SleepBuddy is actually just a nightlight that glows blue during sleep-time and turns off when it is time to be awake.
Ever since sleep clocks have revolutionized sleep in our household, I have been sharing this little secret with all of my friends. (Seriously. Ask them!)
Cameron got the concept of both clocks as soon as we got them. With a simple explanation he grasped the difference between sleep-time and awake-time. (We started using our first clock when he was just over two years old. I have friends who started before their child’s second birthday). The SleepBuddy system even comes with a story book to read to children that helps explain what the light means.
The great thing about these clocks is that it again takes responsibility and places it in the power of the toddler. I promise, this works. All of a sudden your child has the ability to know when they should be asleep. Waking up and looking at the clock almost becomes a bit of a game. When we first used the sleep clocks we would hear Cam wake up, look at the clock and say “Still sleep-time”. Then he would quiet back down and fall back to sleep. Even now, every morning when he wakes up he yells “It’s Wake-Up Time!” – but only after 7:30 when our SleepBuddy tells him.
I much prefer the SleepBuddy to our original clock. First of all, it is about 30% less expensive. Despite being less expensive, it comes with a story book and a sticker chart for children to be rewarded for staying in bed all night. And it doesn’t make much of visual statement so it won’t distract children from sleeping (some of my friends were concerned about the more cartoony sleep clocks for this reason) and it certainly can’t be called ugly or look out of place in a well-designed nursery. The SleepBuddy allows parents to set the light to go on automatically both at nap and at bedtime. Our old clock could only handle one setting, and Cameron figured out how to change it after a while.
I cannot stress enough how instrumental getting a sleep clock was for Cameron’s sleep. I have recommend the SleepBuddy for months and I will continue to do so. And because I believe in this so strongly, I am giving away a SleepBuddy sleep system thanks to SleepBuddy. You want this if you have a baby who will be a toddler or if you currently have a toddler/preschooler who wakes you up too early or if you’re the caring friend of an exhausted toddler/preschooler parent.
Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. Don’t feel like you need to jump through hoops. The only required entry is to comment on this blog. There are some extra ways to earn extra entries if you want. Giveaway is open until Sunday night, March 3.
The small print: SleepBuddy contacted me to review and run a giveaway of their sleep system. I received a SleepBuddy sleep system for this purpose. I knew that sleep clocks were awesome and was excited for an opportunity to share that experience with my readers and give one away. All opinions in this blog post are entirely my own and not purchased.