Our 18 month old son goes through phases of waking up early (between 4:30 am and 6 am) and sleeping to a decent time e.g. 6:30-6:45. So his early waking doesn't seem to be due to hunger, and he is not particularly happy that he woke up... but somehow cannot settle himself to sleep. He shares a room with his older sister, and falls asleep by himself in the evening. Any drastic measures as "leave him to cry"... are not easy to implement for us, as this hauling would also wake her up :( and result in 2 grumpy kids. Has anyone used the toddler training clock in a similar case? I've read some opinions ranging from: "it's so bright that my kids are awake from it" to "great tool". Is an 18-month old too young to get the clock concept? Any tips on how to introduce it to him? Any other tips? THANKS!

  • What's different during the early wake-up phases? Does his nap schedule need to shift at those points (maybe a little more daytime awake time - even just 15 minutes would make all the difference)? Teething? Does he have signs of a big developmental change afterwards such as a verbal explosion? Does it happen after he goes to bed late or has a short nap for too many days in a row? Those are all possible reasons for the phase, as is, unfortunately, the earlier rising of the sun in summer.
    – justkt
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 12:49
  • My son (15 months) mostly sleeps well, but occasionally wakes up two hours early. He can't get himself back to sleep, but if we bring him into our bed, he just plays, so NOBODY is getting more rest. Our approach is to keep the lights off or very dim, so it is very obviously still night. Pick him up, give a hug, a diaper change, drink of water -- he gets about five minutes of attention and snuggling. At that point, if we put him back into his crib, he will often settle back down for another hour or so. I do NOT know if this would work for everyone, though!
    – Acire
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 14:01
  • @justkt, we noticed that teething definitely causes him to wake up earlier. Excessive sleeping during the previous day has a similar effect (so we started limiting his naps). Other than that we didn't see any patters. His room has window blinds and curtains on top, so it is really dark in the morning.
    – Grzenio
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


I think 18 months is too young for a training clock. Having just looked through a bunch, most of them say for age 2+, and I think the average 18 month old would not understand the "rules".

Can you bring him in with you when he first wakes, if it's still early? If it's dark and you are lying quietly (asleep or pretending to be) he will get the idea it's still sleep time.

Other than that, I wouldn't do anything in particular - this kind of thing goes through phases and usually by the time you get annoyed with it enough to post a question about it, the behaviour changes anyway :-)

  • That's what we do (take him in to our bed). But to be honest we are already annoyed....
    – Grzenio
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 16:56

I'm pretty sure one of my sisters-in-law and her husband used something similar around 18 months on their oldest. I don't know the ins and outs of how they used it, and I think it took a few months for it to really "take", but I think he eventually got the point. I have read similar things about a lot of those lights--some of them can be extremely bright.

I'm not sure that you're going to get much use out of it before age 2. I think if you start using it now you'll probably still be using it when he turns 2, but it's worth a shot!

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