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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!

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.

MimsyBorogroves Mon 19-Nov-12 21:39:57

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

Blackpuddingbertha Mon 19-Nov-12 21:42:10

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.

fromheretomaternity Mon 19-Nov-12 21:46:11

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.

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