Can something as simple as an alarm clock change your life? YES! Yes, it can!
For two solid months after the new year, Claire has been waking up between 6am and 6:40am. I am sorry, but she goes to bed at 9pm so I expect her to at least sleep until 7am. I do not think that is too much to ask. Every morning, we would go in her room, tell her it was not time to get up yet and then leave, she would lay there for about 10 -15 minutes and then start yelling between sobs "I'm awake! I waked up!" I got really tired of this really fast. I decided to take action and make a purchase I had been wanting to make for quite a while, I just had enough reason to justify it now.
Taaa Daaa!!! The Okay to Wake alarm clock! ( I ordered it from Amazon) When you set the alarm, the red light turns on until the time it is set for, then at 7am, (or whenever) the light turns green. (no sounds, although there can be if you want)
(**side note** Claire has also recently learned about the traffic lights while driving and we literally can not go ANYWHERE without her yelling "No! No Momma, don't go! The light is red!" Then I let her know it is sometimes okay to turn right when the light is red. But this is too much for her little brain to handle apparently because she stills yells at me everytime.)
So anyway, needless to say, even though it is not the most attractive clock, Claire is in love with it. (and so am I)
We explained that "When the light is red, stay in bed! When the light turns green... wake up!"
She caught on quickly and is so excited every morning when she sees it turn green and runs out of her room shouting "It's green! I wake up now!" Often times, she insists that I come look at her green light to verify that yes, it is green and praise her for staying in bed.
We used to have a baby gate in front of her door so she couldn't get out in middle of the night or too early in the morning. (We have never let her sleep in our bed and we never will. ) I hated stepping over that gate though, lifting her up every time she had to go in and out of her room was not fun - especially when I was heavily pregnant. Now, we are gate free and have no worries of her coming out when she shouldn't. She feels like such a big girl too since she can go in and out and wake up on her own.
I set the alarm clock for nap time too. That way I for sure get 2 hours to myself. (before I never knew if I would get 40 minutes? and hour? and hour and half? Now that she is used to it, she usually sleeps the whole time but I noticed that if she does wake up early she'll see that is is red and go back to sleep, or just lay there and think and wake up a little before she can come out. When that happens, she comes out a much happier girl.