Easy DIY “OK To Wake” Timer

Homemade sleep alarm -- nightlight plugged into a digital timer.

So, W is understanding more and more language these days, and I can explain increasingly complex ideas to her. I’ve been thinking of getting one of those alarm clocks that let kids know when it’s ok to get up (without having to tell time), because she tends to want to wake at around 5:30 in the morning…and I don’t. My hope is that if I get her an alarm clock of sorts, she’ll cuddle with me quietly for about half an hour between the time she wakes up and the time I feel it’s reasonable to get out of bed. I know that even with her improving language skills, communicating this is probably a long shot at this point…but it’s worth a try. Even if it doesn’t work now, it’ll work someday.

There are lots of options for kids’ sleep clocks out there; some change color at a specific time, others glow, and some show pictures of a sleeping or playing cartoon creature. The clocks are expensive, though; they tend to run in the neighborhood of $40. In scouring the interwebs for a good deal, I ran across this site, which (in addition to doing a comprehensive review of sleep clocks for kids) suggested saving a bunch of cash by making your own sleep alarm. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself. Major DUH moment. A homemade sleep clock is a simple thing to put together. You can get little light timers like this one for about $5 bucks; digital ones are a bit more. Plug a nightlight into the timer, and you’re all set; when the light goes on (or off — you could do it either way) it’s ok to get up!

I think we’ll give it a shot!


How do you let your munchkin know when it’s ok to get up?




5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ashley @ C is for Cockerham
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 08:40:56

    This is brilliant! I could see the timer light being really helpful when they are in a toddler bed and can climb out on their own.

    T generally gets up after 7, so it hasn’t been an issue. Since he’s up in his crib by himself, he goes back to sleep on his own, if it’s before wake-up time. I heard him at 6 this morning, but he was fast asleep at 6:45 when I woke him to go for our morning jog.


  2. Trackback: Ok-To-Wake, My New Car, and A Parenting Fail | SquintMom.com
  3. Trackback: Today’s Hint: The Frugal DIY Tot Clock – Hint Mama
  4. Jennifer (aka Hint Mama)
    Apr 03, 2014 @ 11:19:44

    I love this idea. We also tried a frugal tot clock approach that seems to be working so far – we use our regular old digital alarm clock and tell my tot it’s time to wake up when she hears the alarm music. So far, it seems to be working. More on that, and a link to your post, here: http://hintmama.com/2014/04/03/todays-hint-the-frugal-diy-tot-clock/


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