When I wake up early in the morning…

Heather's Big Girl Bed!

Heather is growing up so quickly it’s ridiculous. Her first steps and words, those important markers in every child’s development, seem like a million years ago. I thought the rate of change would have slowed down by now, but if anything the last three months feel like even more of a whirlwind than the preceding two years.

Back in March, when Megan was born, Heather was still in nappies 24/7 and still slept in a cot. She’s been nappyless during the day for about a month now (even managing a wee in the toilet on our cake date at 3 Steps to Heaven!). As of Sunday night she’s been nappyless at night too, and doing about as well as can be expected.

Something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now, though, is her transition from cot to bed – or Big Girl Bed as Heather likes to call it. We’d planned to move her before Megan needed the cot, and had bought the bed well in advance – it was on offer and flat packed beds don’t clutter the place up too much. Things happened sooner than we expected, though, thanks to the cot’s drop-side coming off one of its runners one night at bed-time – THE INCIDENT as I like to call it.

After a couple of minutes it became apparent that fixing the side would involve partially dismantling the cot – not ideal when your toddler is sobbing her eyes out because her cot is broken. And so began the job of convincing her that it wasn’t broken, and that we’d taken the side off as a practice for the big girl bed she was so looking forward to sleeping in.

Getting her to stay in bed those first few nights was a challenge, although not as bad as it could have been. For the most part Heather is a good sleeper, so once she actually dropped off we didn’t have too much trouble – getting her to stay in bed long enough to drop off was the harder part. And especially once she was in her new Big Girl Room, with its Big Girl Bed, bedtime was good again. There was just one more problem – light mornings!

Being woken at 5am by a toddler who’s convinced it’s getting up time, because it’s light outside, isn’t fun. Trying to convince said toddler that she needs to go back to bed because it’s too early is even less fun -and it’s hard to argue with the light coming through the cracks in the curtains!

It was Gem who came up with the solution though – we got her a Gro-clock, and for me it is absolutely the best parenting gadget we’ve bought. I genuinely can’t speak highly enough about it, and would recommend it to anyone in an instant.

Like all the best ideas, it’s pretty simple – when your child should be asleep it shows a blue star, and when it’s time to get up it turns into a yellow sun. What could be simpler? Getting up time is set just like an alarm clock, and two different times can be pre-programmed, which means we can easily sneak a few extra minutes in bed at weekends. The buttons also have a lock function, to stop your little one bringing the sun up early – invaluable with a child like Heather who will press any buttons she sees, and is very adept at figuring out what they do.

Stay in bed...

...until the sun!

The clock comes with a rhyming story book, about the animals on Sleepy Farm who club together to buy lazy Percy Pig a Gro-clock so he’ll know when to stay in bed – see what they’ve done there? After two months of reading it every night at bed-time, Heather pretty much knows the story off by heart – and Mummy and Daddy aren’t far behind!

Again, we might have been lucky, but it only took a night or two for Heather to get the hang of it, and now it’s rare to see her up before the sun. In fact, there have been a few times we’ve heard her get a book out and read in bed while she waits for the sun, rather than coming to wake us.

Amazon are currently selling the Gro-clock for £22.75, and it’s definitely worth every penny!

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

3 thoughts on “When I wake up early in the morning…

  1. You have of course failed to mention that The Incident was on one of the rare nights she was late in bed! Dealing with this at 930/10 is NOT fun…

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