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Raise your hand if you've been victimized by a child standing over your bed like a Victorian ghost at 4:30 am, waking you from a sound sleep and shaving at least six months off your life. 🙋♀️ The sun may not be up, but they certainly are and now you are too.
Welcome to the second installment of sleep training, mama! With babyhood and the security of a crib in the rearview, now's the time to teach your toddler when it's time to stay in bed and when it's OK to get the party started. And since numbers on a clock mean nothing at this age, an OK to wake clock is the way to go.
What is an OK to wake clock?
OK to wake clocks (also called sleep training clocks or toddler alarm clocks) use visual cues instead of numbers to let kids know if it's time for sleeping or OK to get up–even before they're old enough to tell time. The best versions also double as sound machines and night lights, creating a calming bedtime routine and kid-friendly sleep environment. And we can't make any promises, but in our own personal experiences, they also help the entire house get more sleep.
At what age can you use an OK to wake clock?
If your little one is old enough to understand the concept, they're old enough! Generally between the ages of two and three kids are old enough to understand that red means stay in bed, green means it's OK to get up. The good news is, many styles are designed to last long after they can tell time.
How to introduce an OK to wake clock
Don't expect a kiddo who's currently waking with the birds to suddenly sleep until 9. (Though that would be rather blissful, wouldn't it?) Instead, opt for a more realistic expectation and go from there. If they're currently launching themselves into your bed at 6 am, set their clock for 6:30. Make it as easy as possible for them to be successful and then celebrate their wins. Eventually, they'll fall into a wake up routine that's as dependable as their bedtime.
Do OK to wake clocks work?
With a bit of practice, parents and experts alike agree that sleep training clocks are an effective tool to help kids develop healthy sleep habits. As with so many situations, toddlers thrive on routine and clear expectations. Think about your typical preschool classroom. Everything from their daily schedule to where to line up is clearly defined with pictures and labels. An OK to wake clock makes time a visual concept with rules they can understand and follow. They're also a big help during daylight saving time. After all, just because the clocks change, it doesn't mean their tiny biological clock shifts with it.
While there is an ever-growing collection of OK to wake clocks out there, we've done the research to find the ones worth buying. From simple models that cover the basics to versatile app-enabled versions with all the bells and whistles, these are best OK to wake clocks based on our personal experience and rave reviews from friends and parents.