- Jessica Berk
3 Common Toddler Clock Mistakes You're Probably Making
If you bought your kiddo a toddler clock to help control his wake up time, but instead it’s gathering dust after being ignored by your early-riser for weeks, you’re probably making one of these 3 common mistakes.
1. Setting the toddler clock too late
If your kiddo is killing you with a 6:30am wake up and you break out the toddler clock and set it to 7:00am to give you some extra time in the morning, he’s going to flat out ignore it.
Sorry to break it to you.
It’s not that magical!
You have to be a little more sneaky about it.
How good do you feel when someone asks you to do something that feels nearly impossible and then you fail? Not great, right. That’s how your kiddo feels if you introduce the toddler clock and set it too late.
That’s why a “Couch to 5K” program doesn’t start with “Day 1: Run 1 mile” it probably starts with “Day 1: Walk around the block” Something easy to get you feeling successful and build up your confidence.
Same thing with the toddler clock. Set your kiddo up for success and feeling confident by setting the Ok to Wake clock to turn green slightly BEFORE their natural wake time. Yes, I said BEFORE. Hang with me...
For your 6:30 early bird, start by setting her clock to turn green at 6:20.
So, he wakes up to see the light is green and he’s all --
“Yay! I did it! The light is green! Mommy is going to be so proud of me!”
Then you adjust the clock 5 or 10 minutes LATER every few days. Once he feels successful, he’s more likely to “trust” the clock and wait a few minutes before coming out of his room.
2. Only using a toddler clock to sleep in on weekends
Like any habit, your kiddo has to get used to it for it to stick. So, don’t try and use it only to snag extra sleep on the weekends.
It should be used 7 days a week. But you can certainly change the wake time to slightly later on the weekend - that's what I do!
Remember that kids under 6 years old typically wake up between 6:00 and 7:00am so don’t set it TOO late that it’s unreasonable.
3. Giving up on the toddler clock
To get your kiddo consistently responding to the clock, you have to focus on it each morning. Don’t give up if your kiddo has a rough morning and shuns the clock.
Just reassure him that you know he can do it, secretly set the clock 5 minutes EARLIER the next night and then be ready to celebrate the next morning.
When he listens to the clock and comes out of his room after the clock is green, be over the top proud him! Surprise him with a little something – Hershey’s kiss, marshmallow, new markers, stickers… Something small but a special way to show him how proud you are of him.
Avoid these 3 common Ok to Wake clock mistakes and you'll be able to prevent those early morning wake ups and you can get ready for the day & enjoy a cup of coffee with some peace and quiet. Good luck, mama!