The Great Clock Experiment Part II

It's working!! My gosh it's working!!

Earlier this week, a grumpy zombie "me" went out to buy an alarm clock with fun ambient sounds so my 3 year old would know when to get out of bed, instead of waking the whole house up at 4 a.m.

Since he's been waking up at 4 and 5 a.m., I set the "rainforest" to come on at 6:30, so that if he was up and he was playing in his room, it wouldn't completely feel like forever. He came out at 6:31 proclaiming, "I heard the music! I heard the music!" Now, I have no idea if he actually got up at 6:30 or if he was playing in his room for a while, but the point is, he stayed in there!


The second day, we set it to 6:45 (15 extra minutes of sleep, whooo-eeee!!) He came in at 6:46 proclaiming, "I heard the music! I heard the music!"

The third day, we set it to 6:45 again. This time the music actually woke him up! And he was mad about it! "Mommy, can you buy a longer clock? Because the sun's not up yet and it woke me up." HURRAH!

So we're going to try 7 a.m. tomorrow. That's like the holy grail. Oh if "past-me" could just see me now. If "present me" could go back and tell "past-me" that I actually wake up before 7 every morning, "past-me" would never believe me.

But here is the biggest benefit of said alarm clock experiment. He didn't really know what time it was before, so now he has this little bit of empowerment. He now has the knowledge that if he wakes up at 4 a.m. and the "sounds" aren't on, it's not time. Which means he doesn't get out of bed, come into our room, interact with a grumpy one of us who marches him back to his room and tells him to wait for this unknown amount of time. And he doesn't get frustrated thinking time is up when it really isn't (5 minutes later) and do this every 15 minutes until 7.

In fact, when he wakes up, he's so excited he waited until the music came on and feels like he accomplished something! And in return, everyone is actually happy to see each other in the morning! There are no hard feelings, no one's frustrated, it's like the rainbows are shining and the birds are chirping!

Why didn't I do this before?
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  1. Oh my goodness -- I'm so happy to have found your blog! I have a 4 year who is doing the SAME thing. I am definitely going to give this a try!! :) Thanks so much for your post!

  2. Christie O, you are brilliant! I wish I had thought of this 8 or 9 years ago, when my now 12 year old son was doing the same thing. Instead, we taught him how to work the TV remote (yah, please don't judge). Your solution is so much better. On the plus side, I do have a 12 year old boy now who has never overslept or been late for school and can program the DVR better than the rest of us ;)

  3. YAY!!! I am happy for you and your whole family! Sleep is wonderful and for him to feel empowered is a great bonus!

  4. That is so super awesome!!!!!!! I am so happy to hear the good news!


  6. How AWESOME! I'm *still* wishing this would work for Laney....I WILL be storing this idea away.

  7. This is a good idea. My daughter does this too and I hate it. wonder if this would work on her? Might have to try it!

  8. Great idea! There is an article in Parenting the early years about this. Now how do I get superman to stop waking up 1-5x a night from nightmares? Ugh is there a clock for that?


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