I can’t really complain. Ever since sleep training at 6.5 months, my kids have generally been very good sleepers. A hiccup here and there, but overall solid. Whatever combination of good luck and good habits have gotten us there, I am grateful.
Especially so that my kids tend to start the day at the incredibly reasonable hour of about 7AM. Sometimes they wake up earlier and chat for a while, sometimes they sleep even later and don’t require my attention until nearly 8. (Insane! I know!) The trouble is that, every now and then, Rebecca will wake up extra early (like 5:45 or 6AM). Not only have I grown so used to the luxury of 7-7:30 that I can’t handle the sight of a 6 on the clock, but she tends to be pretty cranky if she gets up at that hour and clearly needs more sleep. And yet, shockingly, my attempts to tell her that it’s “too early” or “not time to get up yet” have fallen on deaf ears. Since, brilliant though my children are, they cannot yet tell time.
Enter: the Good Nite Lite.
My friend Rebecca got one first, on recommendation from someone in our twin club. After hearing her raves, and a few extra early (and cranky) mornings, I hopped online and got one for myself. The deal is that you set your bedtime and wake-up time on the clock. At bedtime, the light turns on and is a blue moon. The blue moon stays on all night. At wake-up time, it changes to a yellow sun. The sun stays lit for a couple of hours, and then turns itself off for the rest of the day.
Want to know how long it took my kids to adjust to their new light? Approximately 15 seconds. Seriously. It arrived in the mail, I set the time and put it up in their room. That night, I told them that the blue moon means it’s nighttime and time to sleep. When it turns to a yellow sun, that means it’s morning. They thought it was very cool. And the next morning, at 7AM on the nose, the excited shrieks came from their room. “MOMMY! Sun is yellow mommy! Means it’s daytime! MOMMY! Sun is YELLOW!”
A couple of times, Rebecca woke up cranky while the moon was still blue. I went in the room and asked her what color the light was. “Blue.” And what does that mean? “Nighttime.” It wasn’t an ungodly hour in the middle of the night, so I didn’t really expect her to fall back asleep. But I offered her a book to read in her bed, and told her to tell me when the light turns yellow. And then I walked out. And that was that.
This is genius for toddlers and preschoolers. It gives them a way to understand daytime and nighttime, even if sunrise is early (though we do have blackout shades in their room) and they can’t read a clock. They have the independence to figure it out for themselves, and it removes the burden of argument. It’s not that mommy is making me go back to bed. It’s that the clock says it’s nighttime. End of story.
The only down side is that the days of sleeping in (or, at least, lounging contentedly in their beds) seems to be mostly gone. While I don’t think the yellow light is enough to wake them up if they’re asleep, I suspect much of the time they’re already quietly awake, and see the change of color, and immediately feel the need to notify me of this event. And on the “minor annoyance” front, the light does have to be plugged in, but does not come with a long cord (just the outlet plug coming straight out of the back). So I kind of had to jerry-rig an extension cord to hang it on a mostly un-used lamp.
But those two small complaints aside, I love this thing. It resolved a somewhat minor but annoying issue in our sleep routine (and, as we know, better-rested kids are happier kids, and happier kids make happier moms), and removed a power struggle. At this age, I will be grateful for small victories.
Disclosure: I was not compensated, or in any way asked, to write about this thing. I just like it, and thought you should know!