Ever since Max moved from the moses basket in our room to a cot he has shared a room with his big brother. This has worked really well for us, and when Max moved from his cot to the bottom bunk it seemed to be the perfect solution space wise – we got rid of the cot, moved some toys into their room and made it a real boy heaven with an Avengers theme. They both slept well, going to bed at around 7pm and waking at 7am.
And then we sold our house, and have had to move in with my parents until our new build is ready. And the successful sleeping seemed to go out of the window a bit.
The boys are still sharing a room currently, and still will when we move into our new house. But at present their bunk beds are in storage and they are sleeping on the spare beds at my parents house – which is fine and works well for now, but it has obviously upset the boys a bit. They are not going to sleep so well at bedtime, and Max is getting up FAR too early for my liking. So we have staged a 2 pronged attack with the help of the Gro-Clock and the Gro-Light.
Not just any clock, the Gro-Clock helps children to understand and recognise the difference between sleep time and getting up time. It can be set as a simple digital clock – ideal for older children who are learning about time – or just as a simple sun and star image. Simply activate the wake up time – 7am for us – and before that time the blue star will show. This means it is time for sleeping. When it gets to the wake up time you have chosen, the display will change to a yellow sun, meaning it is time to get up.
Top tip: If your child is used to waking at 6am, don’t set the clock for 8am and expect them to suddenly stay in bed for an extra 2 hours. Make it a slow and gradual thing, increasing the getting up time by 10-15 minutes every few days.
We have been using the Gro-Clock for a couple of weeks now, and it has become a vital part of our bedtime routine. We head upstairs for a story before bed – the Gro-Clock comes with a lovely little book called ‘Sleepy Farm’ which actually features the Gro-Clock and gently explains the difference between night and day – and as soon as the clock display changes to the blue star Max knows it is time to settle down in bed. It has definitely helped with settling him at bedtime. As for the mornings, it has been a slow process – but by gradually increasing the time we expect him to stay in bed we have managed to get him from a 6am wake up to a 6.30am wake up – which is HUGE progress in a couple of weeks. Eventually, I hope we can aim for a 7am wake up time! Now I just need to teach Eliza about lie-ins and we are winning…
In conjunction with the Gro-Clock there is a reward chart you can use, to encourage that routine a little bit further and teach children what you expect from them. Feel free to download and use this yourself
As well as using the Gro-Clock, we have been trying out the brand new, and very clever, Gro-Light. A simple piece of kit that fits over your usual bedside lamp or overhead light, this light offers a soft glow when you flick the switch. You can use it as a nightlight, or for night feeds with a small baby – we have 2 of these Gro-Lights and have been using them for both purposes.
As a feeding light it is perfect. It doesn’t wake Eliza up too much, which means I can dream feed quietly and gently and pop her straight back into bed. It also doesn’t wake Kevin up, so if he has work in the morning it means we don’t disturb him.
As a night light it is also perfect. I think the house move has unsettled Jacob – he would usually sleep without a light, but now asks for a light to be left on in his bedroom. A standard lamp is just too bright and wakes Max up. The Gro-Light is such a soft blue light that offers enough light for reassurance without being stimulating. It is also ideal if your child needs to get up in the night to go to the toilet – it is just enough for them to see where they are going without needing the main light on.
The really clever bit comes when you need your main light on during the evening or dark days. A simple flip of the light switch will pop the Gro-Light nightlight on. Another flick of the switch turns the Gro-Light off and the main light on! No need to remove it when you need a standard light on.
As with all Gro products, these are well thought out, practical, easy to use and designed with children and parents in mind. We will continue to use both the Gro-Clock and the Gro-Light for many years to come, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are must have items for any nursery or childs bedroom.