A Wake up Light is a special light or device to help your child know when it’s “ok” to get out of bed in the morning.
Toddler’s don’t tell time but they do understand “lights on” or “lights off”. Lights on means it time to be awake. Lights off means it’s time to sleep.
You want a wake up light that is dark at night, not glowing. It’s better to sleep in the dark if you can. Many wake up lights you purchase at the store have night lights on them that glow all night so I choose to make one myself.
You can make one yourself, too. You probably have everything you need already in your home. Use any small lamp that you have. A pretty Mayan salt lamp or a cute Disney lamp or an old ugly, stored in the garage meant for the next garage sale lamp. It’s even fun to use a small green bulb (found in the outdoor Christmas lights section of your hardware store or in your storage Christmas lights box) or a chandelier light bulb. If the base of the bulb is too small for your lamp, you can get an adapter piece (also found at the hardware store -guys already know this) that screws into the lamp that changes the base size.
Plug the lamp in to the wall through an appliance timer (also found in your storage Christmas stuff, or the hardware store or in the hardware aisle of the grocery story $3). This is like the one you would use for your outdoor Christmas lights. Set it to go on at the wake up time like 6am or 7am. Everything you need you may have at home already or can be found for low cost at your local home hardware store. If you can use a green bulb, you can teach your child that green means go! Talk about the light at bedtime and again in the morning to reinforce what you expect. “When the light is dark, it’s time to sleep. When the light is on, it’s time to wake up.” The light shouldn’t be bright enough to wake her up but it will be a signal that sends a clear message for when she does wake up. If she wakes before the light come’s on, and she can’t get back to sleep, stay with her until it comes on to reinforce the meaning of the light.
Certified Gentle Sleep Coach
Helping children sleep better one family at a time.