By Thomas X. Camarillo
It’s 5:30 Saturday morning. The alarm was not set but the backup alarm is going off. Robert our son has begun stirring and is moving stuff in his room and singing to himself. We hear him in his room through the monitor that had been so nice and relatively silent throughout the night.
My wife and I try desperately to hit the snooze and Robert continues making noise but it’s relatively quiet and we continue drifting in and out of sleep.
“Mommy, where are you?”
It’s 5:50 now. The snooze goes off, we stir a little more, still not quite conscious.
THUMP! – now 6:10 in the a.m.
“What was that sound?” We take notice but it doesn’t repeat and there’s no crying, just the usual singing to himself. We talk briefly and blearily fall back to some kind of rest that’s not quite sleep yet not quite awake.
“Daddy COME HERE!!!” It’s now 6:19 and the snooze is going off yet again. My wife and I desperately try to mentally push that snooze button just one more time, lying still, pretending to each other that we’re both still asleep. But at 6:21 the jig is up. The game is over and there’s no more pushing the snooze because we hear, “I want to go potty!!”
I get up and drag myself upstairs to our son’s room after turning off the monitor and the day begins. “Thanks,” I hear from my wife as I quietly close the door. We were both up late last night but today it is my turn.
“Daddy!” I hear, in person this time, as I open the door and that little smile makes me smile too. Sleeping late? Who needs it?
As cute as that is, the question remains, is it possible to get your toddler to sleep in too? In doing an early morning web search, some hope may have emerged. According to‘Rise & Shine – Tips to Stop Early Rising in Toddlers’ atthesleeplady.com,
“ If your child is awake at 6:00 or 6:30 a.m., cheerful, refreshed, and ready to start his day-even if you aren’t-you’ll probably have to live with it. That’s a common and biologically appropriate wake-up time for a baby or small child.”
However, the article does list some things to try. First and foremost is scheduling. The effects of an inconsistent schedule can make it almost impossible as a child can never get fully rested the way a dependable, consistent schedule allows.
Perhaps the most interesting point recommended that could be practically tried, at least in my family is:
“If too much light is coming into the baby’s room, buy room-darkening blinds (also good for napping). If an external noise-garbage trucks, songbirds, or a dad with a long commute who has turned on the shower-is waking him, you might want to try a white noise machine or a fan.”
I always prefer a darkened room to sleep in with no distracting noise therefore I believe these suggestions are the practical ideas to try in our household. On the other hand, as tiring as it may occasionally be, I kind of like hearing our little ‘alarm clock’ calling out in its little voice, reminding me of how special it is to have him and who’d want to tamper with that?