Handling The Morning with Babies and Toddlers
Updated: Jun 23, 2021
If your favorite part of the day is waiting for those happy baby squeals to determine what time you open your eyes, then you do you! I, personally, like to know what time I need to be “on” so I can take my first breath of the day and start the coffee machine in peace.
This is actually pretty easy to accomplish. Just choose an OK to Wake time and stick with it. Babies and young children are biologically hardwired to live an early to bed and early to rise lifestyle. Anything from 5:30am to 7am is an appropriate wake time for babes, but that doesn’t mean the day starts at 5:30am just because your kid is up. Let them chill in their crib until your pre-determined OK to Wake time. If the idea of allowing your babe to wait and possibly cry out creates instant knots in your stomach, start with a time that is only 5-10 minutes later than the time your little one naturally rises. Baby steps. Get comfortable holding your boundaries and your little one will learn. They are so much smarter than we often give them credit for.
With a toddler, an OK to Wake alarm clock is a genius invention for giving them an additional cue as to when it’s appropriate to start hollering. The trick is being consistent. It's normal for toddlers to test boundaries, so don't be surprised if they try hollering to get up earlier than scheduled for the first few mornings. Just remember, you did everything you were supposed to do. You showed them the cool new alarm clock, you explained how it works, you provided plenty of fun practice during the day, and of course you explained exactly what will happen when the rules are followed and what happens when the rules are not followed, and you even gave them ideas about what they can do if they wake up early and have to wait. You fully prepared them, and now the only other thing you need to do is follow through. Once they learn that the day truly does not start until the clock says so, you have that teeny tiny bit of control you were hoping for, and a great start to the day.