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Sleep-wake clocks are a great tool for helping children to sleep. They can be understood from about 19 months. They are a very successful sleep tool when used correctly. Here are some tips to help:

  1. Choose the right clock

The simpler the clock the easier it will be for your child to understand. Claessens bunny clocks for example show a ‘bunny awake’ and a ‘bunny asleep’. Very easy to understand and very effective. Growclocks are also great (we use one in our household) however it does require your child to understand symbols (the sun means its day and therefore they can get up and the moon means its night and therefore they must stay in bed) as well as the day and night colours. So they are better suited to an older child.

  1. Role play it

Once you have decided which clock to use do some role play with your child so they understand what is expected from them. With the bunny clock for example show your child the clock– Look bunny is asleep! Quick kiddo into bed- go to sleep. Look bunny is awake. You can get up now! The more your role play what your child sees on the clock – the more you will reinforce its message.

  1. Reward it

Sleep-wake clocks work brilliantly with a reward chart until they are well established. I always advise clients to buy the clock and the chart together.

  1. Adhere to it 100% of the time – no exceptions – EVER!

Sleep wake clocks are very effective if they are adhered to 100% of the time (without fail). If even once you let your child start the day when the clock says its night – it’s a slippery slope. You will teach your child the rules of the clock don’t really exist. So to make sure the clock is effective – stick to the rules.

Leigh. X

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