House Rules

You can ask your child to stay quiet in bed until a certain time. After a while, your child will hopefully begin to fall back asleep and his or her body clock will adjust to the new waking time. There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  • You can use a glowing digital clock with easy to read numbers, and blank out the minutes. For a guide on this method see this post:
  • You can buy special clocks that change at wake up time such as a traffic light clock (red for sleep, green for up), the gro clock that shows stars during sleep time and sun during awake time, or the tots clock that has hidden buttons (the pictures at the bottom are affiliate links – thank you).

Whichever method you choose, it is a good idea to initially set the wake up time only about 15 minutes after your child’s usual wake up time, so that staying in bed is achievable, and you can celebrate your child’s success together. You can then change the times gradually every few days until it reaches a time that fits with your family’s schedule.

Please add your experiences with this approach in the comments below. Please provide the age of your child when you tried it. Let us know how long you tried it it for. If it helped, please share the effects you saw. If it didn’t help, why do you think it didn’t work in your case?

1 Comment

  1. Nicole Weeks

    We had a lovely long period when Zander was about 2 and a half, where he would stay in his room playing quietly until his clock said 7. It began to break down when I was getting up with Baby Beth at all hours anyway. Now that Beth (almost 2) and Zander (almost 4) sleep in the same room we have reinstated it. It works really well. I’ll often hear Beth cry out and Zander say “Oh good, you’re awake. The clock doesn’t say 7, so let’s play!” or something along those lines.


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