Keep Kids From Getting Out Of Bed Early With A Timer And Nightlight

Anyone who's ever parented an early riser has been through war — the battle against young kids waking you up at unreasonable hours in the morning. A simple solution to encourage kids to stay in their beds? Add a timer to their nightlight.

Picture: Jason Hull/Flickr

Parent Hacks offers this smart tip:

My three year-old daughter was a very early riser and would wake me up repeatedly to ask if it was time to get up yet. [Don't you love that? My kid would creep up to me while I was sleeping, and then wake me so he could demonstrate how quiet he could be. — Ed.] She was too small to read a clock, and although telling her to look for a "6" was an option, she didn't quite get it that 5 was not OK, but 7 was. I was looking for a simple "yes/no" cue that did not require her to do too much thinking if she were to wake up in the middle of the night. I did not want to set an alarm, because I didn't want to disturb her sleep if she were to sleep in.

My hack inspiration came from anelectrical appliance timer. I used it to rig her night light to turn off at 6am and told her she was to stay quiet and in her room until the light turned off. After a minor setback when she turned off the light manually to make it "time to get up", it has worked like a charm!

Well, it's worth a try until your child starts hacking her nightlight!

Nightlight on a timer tells early risers when it's morning wakeup time [Parent Hacks]


    Yeah, tricking kids seems like a much better solution than teaching them an important life skill...

      Michael, this is for kids who can't tell the time... when they learn to tell the time, you don't need the light any longer! We have our little boy using this system, and he stays in bed now "until the green light is on!" I am thinking that maybe, and this is just a stab in the dark, that you don't have any kids? :P

        I don't have kids, and I do understand kids learn at their own rates.. Still seems like a bad solution to me, as a logical person. It might be EFFECTIVE, but you're basically comparing your child to a machine. I mean there are 4 year olds able to quickly multiply 3 digit numbers (something even I struggle with, ashamedly), 7-8 year olds able to catch public transport alone and understand the risks and what to do in dangerous situations, and 9-12 year olds giving intellectual speeches to groups of scholars ..

        I can understand that parents want to keep their children safe, and the easiest way to do that is to lock them up and/or keep them within sight at all times, and that the kids mentioned above are far from the norm.. But do you really think something like this is the best way to allow them to reach their full potential?

        Seems more like a good way to make ANYONE feel like they are incapable of doing anything on their own.. Which is probably what parents would like their children to feel, since it would invariably lead to less hastle.. But still.

          WOW, just wow!!

          Michael you truely have some interesting insight into what you think is the logical way to do things. Until you have had children, with sleeping problems you have no right to comment on any idea or suggestion that anyone else comes up with that works for them!!

          How about you go do some work instead of telling someone how to raise their child?

            @Marty as well, I mean no offence.. It's an interesting topic. I understand being a parent is hard and I can't even imagine the issues - i'm sure any solution seems like a godsend in such times..

            That does not however exclude it as a conversation topic. You didn't just come back from the Vietnam war and are unable to discuss it..

            Chances are at this point in my life, I won't even have kids.. If you teach me something about what it's like to be in this position, then perhaps I will gain a real world insight.. With comments like these the only certainty is I (or whoever in this situation) learn nothing. If its ignorance you say annoys you.. Then there's a quick way to alter that, the power of conversation. :)

            Oh, and I do work. But I make sure to find a few minutes a day to go online and find some parents to really insult. And if you tell anyone....

            Haha, Cheers <3

        Much better to get your kids used to the dark. We never used a nightlight. I'm sure if we used one there would have been issues taking it away later.

          @Ulath - We use it the other way around tho.. the light stays off during the night, and turns on when it's time to get up - like an alarm. So if he wakes up and the light is not on, he knows it's still "nightime" and to go back to sleep. Works a treat.
          And @Michael - you make me laugh mate.. you'll "get it" one day, I am sure of it. :P

      Spoken like a true non-parent!

      We have a special monkey clock whose eyes open at a preset time, similar to an alarm, but without the sound. The kids aren't allowed to come out of their rooms until the monkey wakes up.

        Haha, that's a bit of fun at least.......

        ...Unless the monkey comes to life and tries to kill everyone in the house.... But that pretty much never happens..

        And at least it still has a clock so they might learn just by inference ("When the monkey wakes up the clock looks like this") which I believe is quite a common way kids learn (the mimicry stage or something I believe they call it?)

        Last edited 19/06/13 10:12 pm

    Check out the Gro-Clock for a commercial alternative - it works pretty well.

      My nephew has a Thomas The Tank Engine version that proved a godsend, until a holiday in the US where it didn't work and all hell broke loose. Had to persuade him it was in the Sodor Repair Shed being fixed.

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