Owen has been hitting a lot of milestones recently that I really didn’t think we’d be facing until closer to age 3. Potty training is the big one, but also asking really mature “Why?” questions and understanding nuances that I really though would go over his head until he was older and wiser. Recently as we played at a friend’s house, Owen became enamored with his friend’s “big boy bed” and began begging for one of his own.
I’m aware this is super cliche. But, waaaaaah!
I know it’s just about time. Heck, some people switch to the big boy bed by 18 months, and here we are at 2 1/2 still in a crib. But I LOVE the crib. OWEN loves the crib. It’s safe and it’s contained and he knows the “rules” and he sleeps like a champ. I haven’t wanted to rock the boat up until now, and I still don’t. I didn’t realize that I’d feel so emotionally about Owen and his crib, but I do. While Owen may be almost ready for this big switch, I think I’m the one who is not.
Anyway, my own my-baby-is-growing-up issues aside, not to mention I’m-scared-he’s-going-to-get-out-of-bed-all-the-time-and-we’ll-never-sleep-again, we’re working on taking baby steps towards this goal.
Step 1: Get the OK to Wake clock.
I’ve seen several different versions of this clock around the internet, and I think they are genius. Essentially it’s a clock that changes color at a certain time to let your kid know he/she can get out of bed, or wake up from nap, or make noise. Since they can’t tell time yet. My thought process was to institute the clock and lay the ground rules first (since he’s still in a crib, for instance, we’re working on being quiet until the clock turns green, then he can say “Mommy!” and I’ll come in and get him in the morning). I told myself that once he knew the rules, he’d be more likely to follow them (“you have to stay in your bed until the light turns green in the morning”) when he got his big boy bed.
Well, it hasn’t exactly worked out as I planned. For some reason, introducing this clock has caused nothing but problems.
- The first night I told him the night light would stay on all night (because I thought it would), and the yellow light would turn to green when I would come get him in the morning. Except the night light part went out at some point during the night, and he woke up at 4am screaming because his room was too dark and the nightlight had disappeared. Sad.
- The next night I left his regular night light on, and figured out that even without the night light on, the light would turn green in the morning when he could wake up. So Owen was up at 5:30am crying, “The light is not green, Mommy. ::Sniff, sob:: It’s NOT GREEN!”. Prior to this, he was staying quiet in his room until 6:40am almost every morning. Harumph.
- We did a lot of talking during the daytime about what the clock would and would not do, and how I wasn’t going to come in his room until it turned green in the morning. The next night he was up at 5:00am again, this time wailing about his blanket falling off.
- Recently he’s been getting really confused by night time sleep and daytime sleep (he’ll wake up at naptime begging for a vitamin and his milk, which he gets in the morning, and then gets really upset when I tell him it’s the afternoon). We have only been using the clock at night time, since I usually have to wake him up from naptime, but he seems really confused by the different routine for night/nap. The clock does have a nap timer, so first order of business is figuring out how it works.
Now, here’s the deal. I don’t know for a fact that these issues are related to the clock. Owen is dealing with some extra congestion and is definitely fighting some sort of bug, so I get that he’s not feeling well. We seem to have solved the blanket issue by giving him a bigger comforter (he was using a tiny infant blanket that he loved and didn’t want to give up, but it was getting really really small). But still, this morning, more crying right before the clock turned green.
I want to just take the stupid clock away and go back to our blissful sleeping patterns. But I honestly don’t know if this is illness/teething-related, or truly a result of adding the clock. And, in theory, this clock thing could be a really useful tool as we think about getting a big boy bed.
Anyone else use one of these clocks? Did it cause disruption to the routine when you introduced it? Am I missing something about how to explain how it works to Owen? Is this even a useful thing for his big boy bed transition, or should I just scrap the clock and see if getting out of the big boy bed is even an issue?