The Young and the Restless…Literally
I don’t write much about my toddler, but I just have to share a little about what Arianna’s been up to. This girl does NOT like to sleep. She goes through phases where we can just say goodnight and she’ll put herself to sleep, but much of the time putting her down is a struggle. And staying asleep is another issue. Naptime for her lasts maybe 40 minutes if I’m lucky. Since both the older boys sleep (or at least stay quietly in their beds) for two hours or more, Arianna’s restlessness has been a thorn in the side of this tired mama who often would love a chance to lie down and nap herself.
This short napping has been our biggest battle. She’s barely two but she often tries to get by on only a twenty or thirty minute nap. I tried putting on a Winnie the Pooh audiobook for her and telling her she could get up when the stories were done (about 50 minutes) but we just ended up with tears and drama. How do you communicate to a two-year old that they haven’t slept long enough and need to stay in bed? Her behavior made it very clear she needed more sleep than she was getting.
When Ian was about this age I had been looking for ways to let him know when it was okay to get up in the morning. I saw an advertisement for a clock that changed colors at a set time in the morning so a child who couldn’t tell time would know when they could get up. After some research I discovered several products based on this idea. My first choice at the time was “My Tot Clock,” but they seemed to be out of stock everywhere and I was desperate to help my early bird.
I ended up buying a “Teach Me Time Clock,” which was a bit less expensive and had the basic feature I needed: it turned green at wake-up time. It worked like a charm for him, and then when Elijah got older he too learned to stay in bed until the clock turned green. Beautiful!
With Arianna, however, we had issues both in the morning (she kept trying to get up at 5 am!) and nap time. Even if I was willing to take the boys’ clock out of their room, I didn’t want to have to reset the wake time twice a day. Then I remembered “My Tot Clock,” which has a few more features than Ian’s Teach Me Time. I ordered one for Arianna’s birthday and prayed it would help.
Oh. My. Goodness. What a difference! First of all, she was thrilled to have a clock of her own. I was a little intimidated by all the buttons at first, but once I sat down and tried to figure it out it was really quite simple. I showed her the different color lights (blue for sleeping, yellow for awake time) and gave it a go. From the very first day I saw a change. It was so nice to hear a pleasant, happy voice calling from her room, excitedly chattering about “light” and “yellow,” rather than crying and stubborn drama.
It’s been over a week now, and while she may not be the perfect sleeper (yet), I am amazed at what “My Tot Clock” has done for her. If she fusses at bedtime, it usually just takes one time of saying, “Look, your clock is blue! That means it’s time to be in bed.” That even worked when she work up at 3 am a couple nights ago. Prior to the Tot Clock she was waking up almost every night and it took one of us going in a sitting with her for an hour or more to help her fall back asleep or else she would just be in tears (and by “tears” I mean noisy hysterical sobbing). She’s napped for more than an hour the past 3 days (a miracle!), and the early morning wake-ups have stopped. (This morning she actually slept past 7!)
The Tot Clock also has timers you can use for time-outs (red light) or “encouragement” (like setting how long they need to brush their teeth or take turns with a toy), as well as music and stories, though I don’t know if we’ll ever use those features.. What I do is that we are all getting a lot more sleep these days! Guess we won’t be needing that money-back guarantee on the My Tot Clock website. So if you still need to find the perfect gift for the restless toddler in your house, check out “My Tot Clock”! (I know, I sound like a commercial, but I’m seriously in love with this clock. Best money I’ve spent in a long time!)