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Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Good morning and welcome to the kids sleep show. My name is Courtney Zentz. And I’m here today chatting all about okay to wake clocks. So the okay to wake type of clock is a clock that will turn a specific color in the morning, when your child is allowed to get either out of the crib or out of bed depending on their age, it is essentially what it stands for okay to wake, right, we don’t want a child thinking it’s okay to wake at 430 in the morning, and if they’ve gotten used to you coming in getting them and starting the day, their body clock starts to recognize that and for 30 wakings may have become the norm out of habit. I like okay to wait clocks starting between somewhere around 12 to 18 months. And you may think that’s a little early, but kids at this age actually start to pick up on things like the okay to wait clock between 12 and 18 months, they’re also shifting from, you know more of a sleep training type of approach to more of a behavior adjustment, right? They’re moving from infants to toddlers, they want to have independence, they want to make choices, they want to be in control, right, but giving them that control can often be overwhelming for them. So I do recommend beginning to use one somewhere between 12 and 18 months. And if you haven’t used one yet, and your child is three or four, no problem there, just grab a clock, right. And we’re going to talk about the different ones today and why I like them. So the benefit in okay to wait clock brings is that first it’s as a definitive, it’s okay to wake. If your child gets up anywhere before 6am. And they perceive that it’s morning and they’re ready to go and they come in and get you you need to get a clock, right, because you have to set appropriate boundaries around first and foremost, sleep success, you made it the whole night. Great job right, they need to understand that that’s the finish line. The sun is also a good finish line. The problem is depending on your location and the time of year, that may not be a good marker, because if the sunrise is early or rises late, it’s going to screw them up. Right. Also if you’re using blackout blinds and blackout curtains like I do in my kids rooms, they can’t see the sun until I choose that they can because I have to open the blinds and curtains for any sunlight to come in. So the okay to wait clock makes it a very definitive time that your child has the ability to wake up right you are now allowed to get up. And what this looks like is the clock turns green, or red or blue or whatever color you pick based on the device you’re using. When it is time to wake for the day. I often encourage that children who were using an okay to wait clock, meaning they’re typically between kind of 12 months and six years old, right? That their bedtime is somewhere between seven and eight o’clock respectively. depending on the age, I think that’s an age appropriate bedtime for children in that entire range, believe it or not, right. And I believe all of those children should be sleeping at a minimum to 6am based on the American Academy of sleep medicine guidelines,
So if your child is going to bed between seven and eight o’clock and acceptable wakeup time, is somewhere between six and eight o’clock in the morning. If it’s happening earlier, you have to ask yourself, why has it turned into a habit that maybe was created out of accident, maybe they were sick and you had to go in and check on them. Or maybe they had a toothache or maybe the shower was kicking on with somebody getting up to go to work. And that kind of created this habit where they sort of heard the heat kicking on or the shower, they thought it was time to get up and they had slept enough to get up but not enough to feel awesome. And they’re typically fussy and cry, right? We’ve all been there. So first thing you want to do when you’re looking to implement a clock is figure out which one’s gonna work best for you. I used two different clocks in my house. So I’ll speak personally to those because they kind of very clearly set that the type of clock you can buy right? The first is the okay to wait clock and that clock is a definitive, you know, the the timer goes off, for example, at 6am. And the clock turns green. It omits a green light and says hey, you’re now allowed to get out of bed. Great. The problem with that type of clock is if your child would sometimes sleep till seven and you know have it going off at six, you just woke your child up at six o’clock because that light gets bright enough that it starts to stir and wake them in an otherwise pitch black room. Right. But that type of clock is relatively cost appropriate somewhere between 20 and $25. You can pick them up at Target if you need to get a quick one today. And they do serve a great function for many kids who do just struggle with waking up early and never sleeping in. You don’t have to work worry about that, right, you set the clock for 6am, you’re now allowed to get up and they’re not allowed out of that better crib until the light goes on. Now, you may have a child that’s waking up at like five o’clock right now, and you’ve got to gradually work them to six, you know, they’re not going to get there overnight. So I would say you want to set them up for success by, you know, maybe the first day you set the clock to 515. And then you go in and get them and say you did it, you know, maybe they get a little sticker on their reward chart. The next day, you set it to 525 25, right, and you’re ultimately working yourself with success, back to a six o’clock waking. So if they wake again, at five, that clocks not coming on, and you can go to them and reinforce like you need to go back to sleep until that clock is on. And the boredom out of that laying there kind of waiting, they typically will start to fall back to sleep in a matter of a few days. On the other hand, you’ve got something like the hatch right there a little bit more expensive about $70. So not totally inappropriate, because it does have other functions as well. The reason I like something like the hatch, though, is that it has actually connectivity availability from your phone. Okay, so you can dim or brighten the light on it, you can dim or turn off the sound right? So I was at my girlfriend’s house yesterday, and we were chatting about her use of the hatch. And she’s like, you know, when I want Pharaoh to wake up, I just turned the volume down at 7am. And that kicks it off for her to begin to wake naturally. And within a matter of two, three minutes, she is up for the day because the sound is turned off, right. So there’s benefits to things like that. And ultimately you control it from your phone, maybe it’s a weekend, maybe she wants her to sleep in a little bit, she can change it from seven o’clock to like 730, for example, right? So those are benefits of something like the hatch clock, where you control the time it turns on the duration and you know, kind of the noise levels and such to like generate really a child waking naturally or really understanding that it’s okay to wake and having the time in which it goes off be flexible, based on you know, again, if they vary like one day, they’re up at 731 day, they’re up at six, one day, they’re up at 645, well, you don’t want to do is wake them at six. So that type of a clock gives you a little more flexibility if your child kind of falls into that particular realm as it relates to sleep. Okay, the balance here is boundaries, you need to make sure that you’re setting your child up for success, but that you also have boundaries, and that you stick to the boundary. If your child knows that a boundary is flexible at and they’re going to wake up and they’re going to push the boundaries. That’s what kids do. So if you let them out of the room, if you let them come play, if you let them watch a tablet, I had a client that was giving their children tablets, so that they could sleep in and guess what happened. Their kids were waking up at four o’clock in the morning to watch YouTube keep devices out of the bedroom, you have to set a boundary and say, Look, the expectation is you don’t have to stay asleep. If you’re really awake, you’re not welcome to come out of the room. You can choose to lay and read a book you can choose to lay and take deep breaths you can choose to lay and dream about and then put something on the wall like a picture that they can kind of create a story off of, but you are not welcome out of the room. That kind of stuff loses its luster after a couple days, you know, they’ll say like, well, I can I don’t have to go back to bed. But after a couple days, trust me they do because they’re bored. Right? So the excitement of that initial sort of, Oh, I don’t have to sleep anymore wears off when they’re not allowed out of the room. And there’s nothing in there for them to do in order to play or engage. So when you’re looking at something like the clocks for your children, definitely make sure that you’re trying to figure out do you want the okay to wait type clock that is a set definitive time? Or do you want something that’s a little more adjustable like the hatch that allows you to have control and ownership through your phone as
to when those clocks go on and off. Hold on one more thing before you go. As the value listener of the kids sleep show, I want to help you build a great sleep or not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community that’s tiny transition stuff comm forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.