Starting the Day Off Dark and Early

Friday, February 17, 2012

This week. Man. Well, it started wonderfully. On Sunday we celebrated The Youngster’s 3rd birthday. He had his first big-boy party, complete with 14 kids, their parents, a set of grandparents, story time, fun activities, and — of course — cupcakes. The excitement level was pretty high.

Then came Monday. Morning. At 4 a.m., when QB woke up looking to keep the party going and play with his new cars. I looked at the clock and thought — or I probably said it out loud — Nah, dawg. This is not gonna work. It was certainly unlike him. This is the kid who sleeps soundly and wakes up rested and pleasant. So I tried different (a.k.a. failing) tactics to get him back to bed and asleep for a few more winks. He had school in just a couple hours.

Didn’t work. We ended up just starting our “day” dark and early. The next morning he went back to his regular-ish wake-up time. But then the day after that, popped up at 5:15 a.m. talkin’ ’bout “Is it daytime now? It’s bright outside, Mommy. Time to play.” The whole thing threw my week off. I’m still tired from Monday!

We’re kind of back on track today. He woke up 6:30 a.m. (pretty decent by toddler parent standards) the last two mornings.

I was telling my wise, little sister  (between long, deep yawns) about the weird “it’s still dark outside, buddy” morning we had, and she told me about Adam Nelson. He’s dad and entrepreneur who was, literally, tired of his 4-year-old son waking the family up predawn. He developed the brilliant Good Nite Lite. The cute sun-moon device is actually a timer that helps toddlers grasp the concepts of day (out of bed, play, wake up) and night (in bed, sleep, quiet, rest). Good nights — and mornings! — for all ensue.

Getting good and proper rest is a serious matter. So I was glad to read this excellent post on Why Sleep Matters to Babies and Parents by Alice Callahan, a research scientist with a PhD in Nutritional Biology turned SAHM who writes the sharp blog, Science of Mom. It’s actually the second post in a series she’s working on all about sleep. This one looks at the dangers of chronic sleep deprivation. Fascinating.

And with that, I’ll sign off. We have a long weekend ahead (President’s Day in the U.S.), and the weather might just play fair. Have a good one, friends. See you next week!

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