Friday, October 17, 2008

    The Alarm Clock

    One of mine and Dalynn's biggest issues with Cole is that he's an extremely early riser. The child would wake up at 5:30 every morning if he could and most mornings he is up promptly at 6. I'm currently reforming my sleep patterns to get up at 5:45 am (so as to be into work at 7 am) but I still like to sleep in as much as I can, you know?

    So, one of Dalynn's friends told us about using an alarm clock to teach Cole when it's OK for him to ask to get out of bed. They recommended using a clock with hands, but we opted to try it with a digital alarm clock.

    Much to our amazement, it worked the first night we put Cole down with it. We covered up the minute digits so as not to confuse him. I showed him that night what a 6 was on the clock (I was pretty certain he already knew that, but I wanted to make sure) and reiterated several times that he couldn't get out of bed until he saw a 6.

    The next morning Cole started crying at 5:30 but rather quickly stopped. Then, promptly at 6 am, he started crying again (that's how he asks to get out of bed). When we went to get him he was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to get out of bed. I asked him later on that day if he woke up before 6, and he said that yes, he had. I asked him if he waited until it read 6, and he said he had.

    After a couple of days of this, he started saying that he went back to sleep if it didn't read 6. So, this gave me an idea. After all, it could have been coincidence as he generally wakes up right at 6 most mornings anyway, so what if the clock said, oh, 5:30 when it was actually 6? Would he wake up and ask to get out of bed, or would he wait until it read 6?

    Lo and behold, when I set his clock back a half hour, he waited until his clock read 6 before he asked to get out of bed. So, Dalynn is now able to sleep til after 6:30 most mornings before Cole is wanting to get out of bed, which is a nice state of affairs. That 30 minutes may not sound like a lot, but it is when you're pregnant (just so you know, I'm normally gone by then. Up til I got this new job we would each take two nights/mornings with the boys so the other could sleep in til 7:30. Now, with me out of the house by 6:30 am, I can't help out like I used to).

    The real test will come next week, however. He's going back on steroids, which normally brings with it a bad bout of insomnia. I'm interested to see if he'll be able to go back to sleep when he sees that it's not 6. I don't have my hopes too high, honestly, as he's not very interested in abiding by rules when he's on steroids, but one can always dream right?

    I'll let you know how it goes.