Shannon Glenn is the owner and founder of Sleep Well Children Consulting and a Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist. She is dedicated to helping parents assist their children and babies in developing healthy sleep habits. With a B.A. in Psychology, Shannon has worked extensively with children and their families for over 15 years in a variety of settings. She has been offering sleep solutions for over six years.
The wonders of a digital clock for a child
The amazing wonders a digital clock can do to help a young child regulate his mornings. If you have child around 3 years or older, putting a digital clock in his room next to his bed can make everyone’s mornings go a little smoother. The best way to utilize a digital alarm clock for a child under 4 years old, is to cover up the minutes with duct tape so just the hour is showing. Then explain to your child that he will know it is morning when his clock says 7.
The number 7 is very easy to recognize, so if your child wakes closer to 6:00am, the easiest thing to do is just set the clock accordingly so when it is 6:00am, the clock would say 7:00am. Most children at this age (3-4 years old) aren’t going to be able or interested in learning to tell time so don’t worry about the time not being correct. However if you don’t want the time to be incorrect, then work with your child to ensure he knows what the number 6 looks like and how it is different from the number 9.
Then when your child wakes in the middle of the night, you can gently remind him that it isn’t time to wake up yet because his clock doesn’t say 7, it’s also a great tool to use when a child has early wakings to help him regulate his body and get a little more rest. It can take a few days for children to “buy” into the idea of the clock, so don’t get discouraged if initially they seem uninterested, most children come around and end up really enjoying having a clock in their room. You can also build an incentive in, some kind of reward in the morning for staying in his bed until the clock said 7 to help peak a child’s interest.
Once your child is waiting to get up until the clock says 7:00am, be sure to give him lots of praise and really talk it up. That will be another way that your child will enjoy his new independence, also ensuring he is getting the sleep he needs and perhaps allowing everyone in the house to get a little more rest.
Why didn’t we try this sooner?! As we speak he is sound asleep in his crib – and has been since 7:15 pm.Karianne Wanggaard
Sleep Well Sleep Specialists
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Working with Shannon, I went from 2-3 wake ups every night to 1 or 0. She aligned the plan with my preferred sleep cycle. She was always coaching, never judging. Shannon was great, I have referred MANY people to her! That's the best testament to her work that I can give.Laura