Humour · Motherhood · Parenting · Single motherhood · sleep · Toddlers

An Honest Review of ‘Make Toddler Stay in Their Bed’ Clocks

OK, so that isn’t actually the technical name, but I don’t want to get sued for liable or something. I’m sure you know the ones I mean. The clocks that claim your little one will stay in bed until a bright sunshine pops up, at which point your little cherub will come skipping in to your room merrily chirping ‘happy morning mummy’, and you, feeling oh so refreshed after 12 hours toddler free time, will blow back loving kisses and ask him what he’d like to do today.

Still no idea what I’m on about, just google the damn thing.

Right, now we are on the same page I’ll continue.

I can only assume that the inventor of said clock thought they would save parents the hassle of writing a list like the one below that a kid I used to babysit for had beside her bed:

Is it dark outside? Yes. Go back to bed.
Is your sister in bed? Yes. Go back to bed.
Are mummy and daddy asleep? Yes. Go back to bed.
Can you even read this thing? No. Go back to bed.
Are you breathing? Yes. Then just

(OK, so maybe I’m misremembering the last couple of points slightly but you get the picture).

I don’t go in for all this baby paraphernalia under normal circumstances but a friend assured me that her little one was now staying in bed ALL.NIGHT.LONG thanks to this wonder clock. Once I’d heard you could set your own ‘morning time’ (I was thinking 11am would be reasonable), I decided it was worth a shot, especially as my cot clambering toddler has been promoted to a bed (well, cot minus one side if you want to be exact), so now there’s nothing stopping him escaping in the middle of the night. Needless to say I’ve had a few sleepless weeks which *may* have impaired my decision making ability (remember this as you read on).

So, I was very excited when the clock finally arrived (thanks ebay), now we can get back to sleeping, or at least something resembling it.

Excitedly, I took the clock upstairs, complete with little book to explain the concept to my son. I set the timer up and then….

No, wait. That wasn’t how it went.

I took the clock upstairs and tried to set up the timer. However, it proved an impossible task because apparently you need a PhD in physics for that and somehow I haven’t quite managed to finish mine in amongst the nappies and snotty noses of the last two years. Yes, yes there were instructions and I was trying to read them but my little sleep thief had other ideas. He kept grabbing the instructions and then the clock. Alternating, and throwing them on the floor, just to keep me on my toes. It was like he instinctively knew this clock was threatening his all-night freedom and he for one was not up for that.

It was right around this point that the sleep deprivation kicked in full swing. All I could think was I JUST WANT TWO FUCKING MINUTES WHERE HE’S NOT IN MY FUCKING FACE. All I wanted to do was to understand what the bloody instructions were telling me. But sadly, this kind of reasoning did not work with my son. Apparently he was not in the mood to So instead I opted for the classic, collapse in a heap and cry, tactic. Not that it worked any better of course but at least it let out a bit of the pent up stress.

I didn’t try again on Saturday. I figured I’d reached my limit and that I could try again on Sunday.

Cue Sunday’s arrival. I set him up with his train tracks to play with. However, his idea of playing with the train tracks was to rip them apart and run after me shouting, ‘need show mummy, need show mummy’. Needless to say it didn’t happen on Sunday either.

Right Monday, for sure.

Monday came, and Monday went. I didn’t have the strength to attempt it again. I’m not even sure now when I did get it set up but at some point during the week my mum came round so I left her in charge of the maniac, sorry I mean my son, and set up the clock.

Yes, really, I actually managed to set up the clock. Oh my god. The relief. I even worked out how to do the cute little demo to show my son. Perfect. Who wouldn’t want to sleep with these sparkly stars telling them it was night-time.

I started off nice and realistic; I didn’t go all out for the 11am start just yet. I thought I’d lull him in to that gently. I went for 7.30am which personally I thought was very reasonable of me. I read him the accompanying book all about the grumpy pig who doesn’t get enough sleep. He wasn’t really into the story, bit long for him if I’m honest but he was super excited by the clock. So excited that he didn’t want to stay in his cot. No, he wanted to turn the clock this way and that, just so he could see the stars exactly like so. On the positive side at least he likes it I thought.

Fast forward four hours, in clambers the little one into my bed. Hmm, I’m pretty sure it’s NOWHERE NEAR 7.30am so how can this be? Does this clock not come with some sort of guarantee? Even my crappy Ikea stuff comes with a two year warranty, what’s with this shit?

Anyway, I think we can cut a long story short at this point. This went on for about a week. He got excited by the stars. The stars had no impact on his desire to stay in bed. We are now a good few weeks down the line since that excited Saturday when the delivery first arrived and we have had zero sleep filled nights so far. The clock is now lying face down under his cot. I don’t think either of us can bare to look at it ever again.

I’ve got some advice for the esteemed clock makers out there. Maybe you could make a clock that, at ‘sleep’ time, shows an image that scares my son into not moving. Or perhaps you could make a clock that combines the clock function with one of those motion baby sensors. Only this would tell you when the baby was moving and if they were about to get out of the bed. At which point it would let out a high pitched scream. Something along the lines of, ‘GET BACK IN TO FUCKING BED NOW’, so high pitched in fact that it’s not audible to adult ears because otherwise that would disturb my sleep. And, let’s be honest here, that’s what this sleeping through the night is all about; letting ME sleep through the night. My son, like most little ones, has no interest or, it would appear, need to sleep through the night. But I sure as shit do.

So, in summary people. If you are thinking of buying one of these clocks. If you’re thinking, it’s worth a try, because quite frankly anything is worth a try. Don’t bother. It’s about as much worthy of a try as gauging your eyes out with a potato peeler (which to be fair I have considered on occassion). Those friends who claim it works are lying. I have no idea why, I can only assume they have shares in the clock company. My only advice to you is, give up. Give up and accept you won’t be getting a decent night’s sleep for a long time. Probably not until those teenage hormones kick in and you aren’t able to drag them out of bed for love nor money. Until then, stay strong.

P.S. If anyone is after a baby sleep clock I’ve got a cheap one going. 

I am not being sponsored by any clock company to write this review. However, if you are a clock company I’d be open to offers of monetary gain so that you may reproduce this honest review on your marketing materials. You’re welcome 

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