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Can there be in existence a parent of a baby or toddler or doesn't have at least 50 searches in their Google history along the lines of: 'how often should a 6 month old wake at night?', 'baby waking every 45 minutes', 'toddler not tired at bedtime' and so on.
Sleep becomes an obsession for most parents and - if you've got early risers - you might well be currently panicking about the imminent clock change. 6am starts are just about acceptable, but 5am?!
Fear not, we're giving away what could be the answer to your problems - a Gro-clock! Gro-clock is fab for helping children understand when it's time to get up (and go to sleep). At nighttime it displays fun images of the stars, which go out one by one to show the passing of time, then in the morning the sun comes out to show it's time to get out of bed!
It comes with a range of thoughtful features, such as adjustable screen brightness, optional digital clock display and silent operation. You can be in with a chance of winning one by just heading to this Facebook post and leaving us a comment...
Here are some other tips for getting your children to sleep when you want them to:
Rethink night lighting
Artificial lighting can block the body's natural production of the hormone melatonin. Watching TV and using other electronic devices before bed could well make it harder for your child to fall asleep. Another common culprit is bathroom lighting, which is often the brightest in the house, especially if part of their bedtime routine is a 'relaxing' bath.
Try keeping the lights off as much as possible in the hour or two leading up to bedtime and using red-based lighting when you need it. Battery-operated candles can be good for use in the bathroom. Blackout blinds can be helpful for blocking daylight in the early morning too, hopefully resulting in a later wake-up time.
Reset circadian rhythms Reset circadian rhythms by getting lots of direct daylight during the daytime. Getting out as early as possible in the morning can be helpful. So once they've had their breakfast, why not bundle them up in warm clothes and head out to the park. You never know, getting them active early on might even mean they're more tired come bedtime too! Sarah Ockwell-Smith goes into more detail on her super helpful blog.
Stick to a predictable bedtime
It's the oldest advice in the book, and the advice that can be the most annoying to parents with children who really resist bedtime. But stick it out for a couple of months and you might eventually see an improvement at least! Skip bathtime in the evening if it tends to get riotous and choose some calmer activities to do in the same order every evening so your child knows what's coming (hopefully, sleep). Maybe some puzzles in their bedroom, clean teeth, get on PJs, get into bed for books then lights out and sleep. Reading the same book last every night might help too. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is a nice one.
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