Are your kids waking up too early? This parenting hack could make a big difference in your world. How to get kids to stay in bed in the morning can be a challenge. However, with a little training, they can learn to get up at a reasonable time. It’s really a simple hack that will help them have a visual clue as to when it is an appropriate time to get out of bed. If you love parenting hacks, you might enjoy seeing my laundry hacks as well.
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Like many families, we struggled with kids that woke up earlier than what we felt was a reasonable time. Ours would wake up before 7:00, but we knew other families who had children waking before 6:00. My husband came up with a parenting hack that would give our children a visual clue to stay in bed. How you want to handle that with your kids is up to what works for your family. You may feel like they really need more sleep and their behavior is affected by the hours they keep. In that case, you might want to encourage them to keep their head on the pillow and try to fall back asleep. Perhaps you just want an extra bit of sleep but you don’t mind if they are up looking at books or quietly playing. They will know that when they get the visual clue, they can now come and wake you up. You may not even use that time to sleep. This can be your own quiet time in the morning undisturbed by children.
So, what is the big secret to getting kids to stay in bed in the morning?
It is an outlet timer. You might have one of these already for your Christmas lights like we did when the hack was invented. Pictured above is the one that we used. This is called Intermatic TN311 15 Amp Heavy Duty Grounded Timer on Amazon. If you are concerned about the red and green pegs being pulled out by your child, another option is Woods 50006 Indoor 24-Hour Mechanical Outlet Timer, 2-Pack. This is actually a less expensive version, but I just can’t testify to the quality of the product because I have never used that brand. What do you do with these Christmas light timers? We plugged their night light into the unit and set the night light to “go off” at a reasonable time for them to come out from their rooms. We chose 7:00 AM.
There are kids’ alarm clocks that do the same thing. The Onoroo (pictured above) is one such solution. Another two I found are the Stoplight Sleep Enhancing Alarm Clock for Kids and the Kid’Sleep Classic. The truth is, not everyone can spend money on these kind of clocks, so I wanted to provide an alternative with something you might have packed away in those Christmas boxes already. We were doing this hack before these clocks were on the market. It is a less expensive option to by the outlet timers. However, the clocks might be a fun gift for a birthday or Christmas.
Sleep is important, and I hope this solution helps both you and your kids get a little bit more of the sleep you need.
Love this idea! As soon as my daughter had learned her numbers, I put a digital clock in her room and told her she can ask Mommy to come in once it’s eight o’clock, but the timer is a great idea for younger kids, too!! Thanks for sharing!
So glad you like it. It is geared for younger kids that can’t tell time yet. My oldest can definitely look at the clock now too. Thanks for commenting.
Clever! We did something similar: When our son was not yet really able to tell time, we told him, “You can get up when the first number on your clock changes,” meaning the hour. This gave us somewhere between 1 and 59 minutes of delay, during which he might fall asleep again. It worked really well, with nothing extra to buy. Here’s my article about it:
Another great idea. Thank you so much for adding to the conversation.
I’m sorry to say that this idea doesn’t always work. Our daughter has always been an early bird and even when she got a cute alarm clock in the form of a sheep which would open its eyes when it was OK to get up, after the initial phase of wonder waned, she simply kept ignoring it. Even a threat to take the sheep away was not enough and now she resists anything even remotely similar in principle.
Ah man. Sorry it didn’t work for you. Sometimes I do find the novelty of things wears off. It seemed to work for us, but bedtime is a struggle, so you are right that every kid is different in this regard.