To buy a product aimed at 2-3 yr olds for DSS (6)?

(64 Posts)
spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 20:54:36

DSS stays with us every Fri and Sat night. DH and I are both full-time teachers so term time is pretty full-on.

DSS is lovely but has always been a very early riser. Normally he'll wake up before 6 and we've imposed a rule of not coming into our room before 7am, where he sits on our bed and watches TV whilst we snooze. We live in a 3 storey house so am not happy for him to go to lounge on his own and watch TV 2 floors below us, and he has no TV in his room - we don't want to change this.

In the past, he's been good at either settling himself back down to sleep or playing quietly until 7am when we go and check on him and bring him upstairs but recently he's really struggled with time, waking up earlier and also not settling back down to sleep - he is getting very tired and it's taking it's toll on all of us.

I've heard of a "gro-clock" which has some great reviews with people saying it's helped their child to adapt to more sensible timings and helped them to understand it's still "sleep time" without waking up the rest of the family. However I've not seen it reviewed by people with children older than 4. WIBU to buy it anyway and give it a go? Mornings are horrible at the moment with DSS up at crazy-o-clock, I'm struggling with sleep anyway at 6.5 months pregnant and by the evening DSS is flagging by 5pm and DH and I are finding it hard to stay awake too!

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 20:56:38

Oops...forgot to explain - apparently the clock displays a "night-time" face and a "day-time" face and the child can tell when it's time to get up by checking which face is displayed - parents set the time the face switches from night to day.

MrsCantSayAnything Mon 19-Nov-12 20:57:01

My DD is 8 and she wants a Spongebob Pirate ship for Christmas. I have no doubt they're meant for 5 year old's but I'm getting her one!


CrapBag Mon 19-Nov-12 20:57:36

Does he not tell the time? Can you not put a clock in his room and show him where 7 o clock, or later is and that is the time he is allowed out of his room?

My DS is 4 and can see what 7 o clock is as thats his bedtime. If not then you could use the gro clock, it will change from night to day so he will know thats when he can come in to you.

picnicbasketcase Mon 19-Nov-12 20:58:22

It sounds like a really good idea, personally is take no notice of the age thing.

Get him a digital clock?

crazygracieuk Mon 19-Nov-12 21:00:34

I'd get a digital clock or something like put fairy lights on a timer to signify wake up time.

TessDurbeyfield Mon 19-Nov-12 21:00:58

My 5 year old still has one, though we did get it at 2, and always has it on at night, in fact won't go away without it, and will still follow the day/night rule. I am thinking of giving it to my 2 yr o,d now and getting the 5 yr old the onaroo clock which has a proper clock so may be less babyish

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:01:34

No, he can't tell the time without help just yet. We have tried with putting a digital clock in his room but he struggled with it - firstly thinking that if there's a "7" displayed anywhere then it must be 7am, but also when he wakes up it's like his brain is not quite as awake as his many of us I guess!! He is getting better at time but cannot seem to comprehend it so early in the morning and without adult support.

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:04:27

He was running in to our room every 5 minutes with the digital clock for us to check it so it kind of defeated the object of "don't come upstairs until x o'clock!"

Looking at the gro-clock, apparently the newest version also displays the time in digital format so maybe it could help him to recognise time as well as giving a definitive "yes/no" answer to whether or not it's time to get up?

greensnail Mon 19-Nov-12 21:04:37

We just have a normal lamp set on a time switch for our dds, they know they're not allowed to get up until the light comes on. Works just as well as a gro-clock but is cheaper. DDs are aged 2 and 3 though, would a grown up alarm clock be better for a 6 year old?

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:06:50

Thanks green, the only reason I'm reluctant to go down the alarm clock route is that I really don't want to set an alarm for weekends unless we have to be out somewhere and it's time-sensitive. What if the alarm woke him if (magically) his body decided he needed a lie-in one day?

oldraver Mon 19-Nov-12 21:09:27

DS is 7 just after Christmas and he still uses his Glo-Clock as otherwise he would get up earlier and earlier each day. The clock changes always throw him as well.

I think you can also get a lamp that gently simulates daybreak

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:09:35

I really don't mind about the fact it's maybe not the cheapest option that's been mentioned...I'm willing to pay whatever it takes just to get some sleep! On a serious note though, I'd really like to encourage DSS to get as much sleep as possible ASAP because I don't want him to be losing sleep especially when baby arrives.

mrskeithrichards Mon 19-Nov-12 21:10:52

Why not just get up or let him snuggle in with you?

lightrain Mon 19-Nov-12 21:12:24

Just get one - they're not expensive. Asda was the cheapest place I found, about £15.

mrskeithrichards Mon 19-Nov-12 21:12:51

What time does he get up at home?

It sounds like a good idea to me. You can always use it for your baby once he/she arrives.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 19-Nov-12 21:18:47

Yanbu to get one at all. Perhaps you could also try something like this to entertain him in his room before getting up time.

But it's not you who should be dealing with this in the mornings your dh should be getting up with him and you should be having nice lay ins.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 19-Nov-12 21:19:18
spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:20:05

mrskeith we have had him in with us but he's so wriggly and just wants to chat and pretty much do anything but sleep, plus with my maternity pillow we are struggling for room in bed with just me and DH in there!

We have tried getting up with him in turns but like I said earlier it's just unsustainable for all of us - DH and I can get through the tiredness but DSS is literally in tears by 5/6 pm as he's so tired and emotional. I was interested in the gro-clock as I just think that it's a pity that DSS is often missing out on parties/family occasions etc through not having the energy to get through it. If the clock could "train" him to go 7-7 instead of 5-5 then I just feel (rightly or wrongly) that it'd be better for all of us. DSS is up at 6:30 ish at home but they're all school mornings so he has to be up at that time anyway.

Sorry if any of that sounds harsh, I just want the best for him and hate seeing him getting so wound up in the evenings and not getting the best out of DH and I in the mornings sad

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:26:25

Thanks sock, that looks good.

I think DSS gets quite tired out by school so wakes up earlier on Sun/Mon mornings after having had a more relaxing Sat/Sun.

Blatherskite Mon 19-Nov-12 21:26:58

DS has had a groclock since he was about 2 - admittedly probably a very old version now - my one warning would be that the clocks (or ours at least) is very bright even on it's lowest setting and it took DS a while to adjust to sleeping with it on as it was brighter than most night lights. We had a few nights of disturbed sleep as the light was keeping him up.

You can get non-light up ones that look like bunnies that open their eyes and lift their ears when it's time to get up but I was warned off those at the time because the 'click' of the eyes opening was enough to wake a child and any accidental lie ins were being ruined by the clock.

I'd be very tempted with some fun shaped fairy lights on a timer switch if I were doing it again. Very low light and no noise.

My DCs have one of these, they are 8 and 5. They find it great for letting them know when it is time to get up. If it works then why not?

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:29:30

Ok, I think that the newer version of the clock has been sorted with regard to the brightness of the light but DSS won't sleep without a nightlight - could we replace the nightlight with the clock maybe? I guess we'd have to turn it away from him but I think it could still work?

Blatherskite Mon 19-Nov-12 21:33:00

You definitely wouldn't need a nightlight and the clock. They said they'd resolved the brightness with our version and it was still way too bright. We tried all sorts but you can't really cover the face with much as they need to see the sun/moon to know if it's time to get up.

If he has a night light anyway then I think you'll be fine with it though.

apostropheuse Mon 19-Nov-12 21:37:21

I personally would look on it as gentle preparation for your new baby, who will be up several times a night. Then you will find out what sleep deprivation is smile

goingupinsmoke Mon 19-Nov-12 21:39:36

We have a grow clock here that you could try out? for the life of me I can't find the adaptor otherwise I would of put it on ebay - why don't you trial this one? I'm pretty sure nay 12Volt adaptor would work.

My DS, now 4, has had one since 2. It's never lost the magic - though now he's older we say that if he wakes up earlier than the clock that he can read comics quietly in bed.

We've got him a digital clock but haven't given it to him yet - not until he's more confident in his numbers.

Allonsy Mon 19-Nov-12 21:40:17

We have always struggled keeping ds in bed in the morning so i bought him a normal kids clock with clear numbers and then drew a picture of a clock at 7.00 and put it beside it and told him he wasnt allowed out of bed until the clocks matched, it worked. He wont go a second later though but better than being up at 5am! its also helped him start to learn some times as he recognises all o'clocks now

Mspontipine Mon 19-Nov-12 21:40:29

I think you're being very unfair to him trying to screw his body clock up like this - he's obviously an early riser and you're not. Many children around his age are in bed by 6.30. It sounds like he's also used to an early bedtime. If the parties and family occasions are in the evening then he'll just have to miss them for now and he can do them when he's a little older - it's not fair to keep him up when he's obviously hanging. sad

He is just getting up at his usual time - you can't make him have 2 settings - 1 for weekday/1 for weekend and it's very unfair for you to try. If you get your way he'll end up up all night and impossible to get up for scholl. Tired all day. Is that really fair so you can get more sleep in the morning? As teachers you know what harm that can do to a child.

Suggest you get earlier nights too so you'll be ready to start the day with him, not expect him to stay put away until you're ready to "bring him upstairs."

Allonsy Mon 19-Nov-12 21:41:45

meant to say ds is 6 too btw

My DDs both have these, now 5 & 6. Both had them for three years and can't recommend them enough. DD1 can now tell the time but still relies on the clock. We also allow them to turn their light on and read if there is only one star left but not actually get up until the sun comes up. This effectively means that they can read from around 6.10 if they wake early (clocks are set for 7am) but any more than one star left and they will settle back down to sleep.

Would definitely replace the nightlight. We have them on the lowest brightness setting and they're fine.

We have this one which is v good as its battery not mains and the light it gives off is not too bright

Used it for our 4yo. Dont see why it couldn't work for an older child till they can properly tell the time!

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:47:22

Haha apostropheuse I knew someone would say that at some point! I know my sleep is going to be wrecked but would just like DSS to be a bit better at getting himself settled again and being less "needy" in the early mornings (does that make sense?!) before little one arrives and makes it harder for us all!

And going thank you SO much for your kind offer...guess it's time for me to confess that I kind of already bought a gro-clock a couple of days ago - just waiting for it to arrive to try out over the weekend. If it doesn't work for DSS then I guess we could put it away for a couple of years and use with the baby instead but just wondered if it could make any difference in the meantime, hence this thread! I know I've gone about it in a bit of a backwards way (buying first, asking second) but I guess I could still send it back if people had said it was a bad idea.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 19-Nov-12 21:50:03

Monspontipine 7 am is hardly forcing the child to stay in bed till lunchtime

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:53:36

mspontipine thanks for your comments. To be fair, I'd be happy with 6:30 to 6:30 and if this were the case then i'd totally agree with you on all points but our issue is that it's often 5-5!!

I can totally see where you're coming from and don't think 6:30 is too bad, but 5 is unworkable sometimes- it's so hard getting him to eat a meal in the evening as he is just so tired...that can't be healthy can it?!

Would I really be unreasonable to think 5pm is not a bedtime which most 6 yr olds have?

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:54:40

Plus he gets up on a school day at 6:30 so I don't think that saying either settle back down or play quietly until 7 is too bad is it?

LiegeAndLief Mon 19-Nov-12 21:55:17

I have a 6yo ds who is meant to stay quietly in his room untill 7am. He has a digital clock and understands that if the first number says 5 or 6, it is still "night time", but if this hadn't worked I would definitely have gone with a groclock thingy. The clock works very well (initially we provided a bit of a reward for staying in his room but he doesn't need it now) and as he is usually in our room at 7:01 proclaiming it's morning I assume he is still waking up early!

Alternatively, just tape a bit of paper or something over the last two numbers on the digital clock and tell him not to come in until the number says 7.

However, I would second someone upthread who said he won't run on two different times - kids tend to get up at the same time every day regardless of weekends. If he's getting up early in the week then unfortunately he's probably going to keep waking at the same time when he's with you.

LiegeAndLief Mon 19-Nov-12 21:57:10

Sorry, cross posted a bit about times. 5pm definitely not a normal bedtime for a 6yo (none that I know anyway). Mine is rarely asleep before 8:30, but he doesn't need much sleep (never has, and neither does his sister - yawn).

PoohBearsHole Mon 19-Nov-12 22:00:19

Best thing we ever bought - it is great and it has an alarm if we were to need it, also has the ability just to have it as an on off thing.

Its brilliant.

maddening Mon 19-Nov-12 22:00:51

I say sod practise - if it helps you get some sleep in advance then go for it smile

I had pg insomnia and everyone kept saying it was practise for the baby - 21 mths later he still doesn't sttn - so if you can get a few extra hours now then get them! You''ll have plenty of practise once your nb js here smile

MerryMarigold Mon 19-Nov-12 22:04:16

My ds has gone through phases of early waking. He is usually stressed about something. Is your dss stressed about baby? We started putting him to bed later which definitely helped. He was 7 yesterday and goes to bed at 9 then up at 7. This helps us all inc my other 2 young children who he used to wake up.

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:09:50

As far as I can tell, he's not stressed about the baby - he's really excited and one of the first things he does in the morning is come to say hello to the baby and try to feel it kick...I often get woken up by him kissing and talking to my tummy! Will keep that thought in mind though merry.

He has struggled particularly since the clocks changed - not sure if that's common. We have tried putting him to bed later when he's not seemed too tired and it's made no difference whatsoever to the mornings - the boy's like a human alarm clock! Only consequence was that he is so much better after 12 hrs sleep - he has been pretty grouchy after late nights as he still gets up really early the next day.

MerryMarigold Mon 19-Nov-12 22:23:48

Is his sleeping normal in week at home? 6.30 is not really silly o clock! When my ds is going through bad patch it is 6 then 5.30 then 5 and has even been 4am on the odd occasion. That is clearly stress related. If he goes to bed at 6.30 and gets up at 6.30 during week but he gets up much earlier at yours then i would imagine it is stress even if it is just the change of bed/bedroom especially if he is quite emotional and sensitive.

MerryMarigold Mon 19-Nov-12 22:25:28

(12 hours is a lot for a six yr old i think. My 4 yos get 11 hrs).

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:34:55

Yeah I guess he could be described as quite a sensitive little soul! Having spoken to his mum, she has said that 6:30 is average for a school day but does tend to fluctuate depending on how far through the term he is, i.e. the further through term we are, the later he'll wake up as his tiredness increases. She was the one who suggested that the early Sun/Mon wake-ups are to do with the fact that Sat/Sun are more relaxed days - apparently after a day of school, he is absolutely shattered.

When we pick him up on a Fri, he often falls asleep in the car on the way home (4pm) and we then wake him up to feed him but after dinner he'll ask to go to bed as he's so tired. Saturday is a totally different story though - he'll wake up slightly later but is often reluctant to go to bed at 7, then is up at a really early time on Sunday morning.

It's very strange...good to discuss these things though as it's always better to address the cause rather than just the symptoms.

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:36:22

So to sum up, Tues - Sat normally 6:30ish, sometimes earlier, Sun/Mon earlier than that - 5ish.

spg1983 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:39:22

And yes I agree that 12 hours is a lot but he really struggles to function on much less than that...but for some reason keeping him up late doesn't push the 12 hour stint back, it just shortens it so that he's grumpy and emotional the following day!!

foreverondiet Mon 19-Nov-12 22:54:06

My DS1 had at a digital clock since age 5. We put a sticker above the hour number and told him he can't get out of bed until that number is a 7, and at weekends better if its an 8!! Its a cheapo alarm clock from argos, probably cost less than £5 (doesn't even have a radio) and we have never once set the alarm. You could even put black masking tape over the other numbers.

thebody Mon 19-Nov-12 23:04:28

All of my 4 slept 7 till 7 at the age of 6.. They needed it.

This clock sounds fab so get it.

Of course it won't do him any harm to be told to not disturb you till 7 for goodness sake.. Some cods on here... He could play quietly in his room or look at books. All of mine did. It's called boundaries.

12ylnon Tue 20-Nov-12 09:44:41

DS is 6 and has one of these:
When we first started using it, we stuck a post-it with the time he was allowed to get up on it and set the alarm. Now he just knows.
At the age of 6, he really should be encouraged to tell the time.

socharlotte Tue 20-Nov-12 09:49:30

I am a bit concerned that at 6 you can't trust him to go downstairs and watch alone!!

SooticaTheWitchesCat Tue 20-Nov-12 11:22:37

Ages are just a guide on these things, I often buy things that have a younger age on if I know my children will like them.

gotthemoononastick Tue 20-Nov-12 12:06:15

I use one of these (whispers am in my 6th decade) it.Also had a tiny pink spotted doll's china teaset in a little basket from Dh for my 60th!!!Age is only a number!

Mrsjay Tue 20-Nov-12 12:09:30

get him an alarm clock with his charcater of choice set the alarm for 7 and then he knows when it is time to get up

imnotmymum Tue 20-Nov-12 12:10:01

He stays with you a couple of nights and having not seen Dad all week and he not allowed in before 7. Sorry to sound harsh OP but poor thing probably wants some Dad time.

Mrsjay Tue 20-Nov-12 12:12:21

wee bit Harsh that nobody wants to get up at 6 am it is ok for him to stay in bed for a while then have all day with his dad

megandraper Tue 20-Nov-12 12:13:55

my 5yo still uses his Groclock - in fact it didn't work for us at all until he was 5.

spg1983 Tue 20-Nov-12 17:48:22

No worries imnot, point taken but I promise you that time with Dad at 5am is NOT quality time...I go downstairs at 7 and find DSS watching TV and DH asleep on the sofa! At least at 7 we are all feeling human and can stay awake throughout the day.

And with regard to going downstairs- the lounge is 2 floors below us and I just worry that if anything were to happen, I wouldn't hear. Plus all of DSS' toys are in his room (it's really big and he has more space to play there than anywhere else in the house) so there's nothing down there that he'd want anyway.

MerryMarigold Tue 20-Nov-12 17:57:28

I guess the answer then it is to do things which are really tiring! How about his Dad takes him for a jog. Have you tried a very active Saturday and see if he sleeps longer, including some brain activity too like homework/ puzzles etc. Otherwise, it may just be that he is in a place he is not so 'used' to, getting used to the bed etc. Is he with you on Mon morning or does he get up early at his Mums on Monday? Also, don't know if this was mentioned, but do you have blackout blinds?

I am less inclined to think stress about baby if generally he sleeps longer the tireder he gets. With my ds, he generally gets up earlier if he is overtired/ over excited, and the wake-up times get earlier over the term as it is stress related (I believe).

RedHelenB Tue 20-Nov-12 18:10:28

If you are having a baby you will be getting up anyway no doubt _ problem solved!!

Personally my ds at just turned 6 is capable of going downstairs & switching tv & wii on so why not let dss do it? Or when my kids were younger i would put a vdeo on in my bedroom & snooze for an extra half hour 0- 1 hour.

mrskeithrichards Wed 21-Nov-12 08:14:02

I think it would be useful to speak to mum, if there's such a big difference between what he does at home and what he does with you.

imnotmymum Wed 21-Nov-12 08:24:40

Point taken here but just all snuggle for cuddle, he will feel safe and warm and you sleep !!

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