A Toddler Clock: 4 Tips for Sleep Success

Toddler clock tips: Child lying on bed as viewed from above.

Toddler clocks have gained a lot of popularity over the years, and we consider them to be a great tool to help parents keep their boundaries when it comes to their child’s sleep. Children thrive on routine, and do best with consistent boundaries. This is where a toddler clock can come in handy. Giving your child a symbol to signify the start of their day or the end of a nap, can help you (the parent) stay consistent with your boundaries. Just set the clock for wake up time! Now it’s the clock that will determine when it’s time to get up, you don’t have to worry about going into your child’s room early, or reminding your child that it’s still time for sleep.

When to introduce a toddler clock

Typically, a child around the age of two will benefit from having a toddler clock, but you can introduce it earlier! When your child is ready for independent sleep, start using the clock as a signal that it’s morning time. Even if your child is not verbal yet, they will see that the light has come on (whichever colour you choose), signifying that it’s morning time. You can point it out to them when you enter their room to start the day. “Look! The light is green, it’s time to get up!” 

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If your child is older and you have not yet introduced a toddler clock, it’s not too late to start. A child at any change will benefit from having one. Ensure that you explain to them how it works and what will happen before you start using it. If they don’t get it right away, it’s ok. As with any new introduction, it may take a few weeks for them to fully adjust to it. With consistency, it will become a familiar part of their wake up routine.

How to use a toddler clock

A toddler clock is going to be a symbol, indicating that it’s morning time, or the end of a nap, and it’s time to get up. Before you introduce any new tool to your child, have a short meeting about it and explain to them how the clock works and what the rules will be. When the light is off, it’s time for sleeping. When the light comes on (choose your colour depending on the brand of clock), it’s time to get up. If your child needs a night light, choose a warm colour, like red or pink and make your wake up colour something different. Show them ahead of time what the clock will look like when it’s off, and what it will look like when the light comes on.

Let your child know what they can do if they wake up and the light is not on yet. They can lay quietly in their bed with their eyes closed or give their teddy bear a hug. When the light comes on, it means that Mommy or Daddy will come in and it’s time to get up.

Make it fun!

Praise them for waiting for the light to come on in the morning! Let them know that their body got lots of rest because they waited for the light and now they have energy to play throughout the day.

Keep it safe

As always, with any electronics, ensure the clock is placed in a safe space, out of reach, and that the electrical cords are secure.

Sleep Consultant Jenny Peach
Sleep Consultant Jenny Peach

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