You know those parents that gloat that their children have slept through the night since three days old? Or the smug ones who implemented a routine very early on and tell you how their children sleep all night.
I was a mix of those things for a while; although the boy would wake and grizzle for a minute or two which would wake me up we’ve been pretty lucky in the sleep department.
There was no sleep training or anything involved – he just simply slept quite well from early on. Total fluke, no skill involved.
And then six months ago it all went to shit. He would wake up and go for a little wander, usually ending up scaring the shit out of me by beating me round the head with the bloody dream sheep.
He started waking at 5am, then 4am, then 3am and one day 2am. He would happily chirp good morning and be adamant that it was time to get up.
A week ago it all got too much. After being woken up at stupid o’clock I completely lost my shit and (probably) woke the whole street up by dramatically yelling at the cat, dog, my husband and the wall.
The next day I cried into my (extra strong) coffee and decided to research sleep aids.
Obviously intravenous sedation was off the cards, along with anything drug-related.
(I joke. Or do I?)
I soon came across the Gro-Clock sleep trainer, a little white plastic device that promised miracles and came with mostly good reviews.
A few friends advised that they had one and they worked well and so I was convinced rather swiftly to part with £20 and buy one.
Hubs was unconvinced. Yet another waste of money or fad, and I had to agree – sleep deprivation and generally being a sceptic bitch had got me unconvinced before the Gro-Clock had even arrived.
When it turned up, it looks shit. I couldn’t see how I could make my three year old understand something I didn’t understand myself. But after launching the bloody thing several times I had it set and we followed the instructions for bedtime.
Hubs bathed the small one and read him the book that comes in the box which explains how the clock works; the crux of it is that you press a button or two and the screen will go blue with stars which countdown through the night. At wake-up time(we went for 6.30am) the sun wakes up and the screen goes yellow. Very simple and child friendly.
We explained in great detail to the boy that when he woke in the night he could look at his clock and if it was blue then it was still bedtime; and once the sun came up he could come and wake mummy and daddy up.
He went to sleep happy and excited and we waited with baited breath to see what would happen. At 9pm I assumed he would be awake at the same regular ungodly hour and went to bed.
I woke up at 6am with a start – why hadn’t he woken me up, was he okay?
I waited. And at 6,30am I heard him say “morning sun” and in he toddled, happy as larry.
I couldn’t believe it. The £20 plastic clock had done the trick. I’d slept, he’d slept, everyone was happy.
That was a week ago – and still every night he watches his clock and knows when it’s time to get up.
If you don’t have a Gro-Clock and are experiencing similar, please go and get one – you won’t be disappointed!
(I wasn’t paid for this article, I simply wanted to share the magical powers of the small plastic clock)