Timed Nightlight – Changed Our Lives!

“When the nightlight is on, it means time to go to sleep.” “When the nightlight goes off, it means time to wake up!” That is our motto around here ever since we made this DIY timed nightlight.
DIY TImed Nightlight

B was waking up often throughout the night and at 5:30 am for the day. I fell in love with this Good Nite Lite when I read about it in Parents Magazine. At the time it was on backorder. I was desperate for anything that was similar (B was 2 and had just moved to a big bed)! My hubby suggested we buy a timer from Lowes and connect it to the nightlight we were already using. We did it and it is AWESOME! I know it looks a little crazy, but it works for us and we saved some money.

Here is how it works for us:

  • Set the timer to go on at bedtime (10 min. earlier than you would ever need).
  • Set the timer to go off 10 min. or so after they normally wake up. Each week, set the timer 10 min. later until you reach your goal time.

The first night, make a big deal about the light being on.
We said, “Ooooh look! The nightlight is on. That means it’s time for bed. In the morning when you wake up, if the nightlight is still on that means it’s still time for more sleep. If you wake up and it is off, that means you can run to the door and shout Mom and Dad my nightlight is off. Time to get up!”

For the first week, B would wake up really early and I would go in there and say “Your nightlight is still on, that means it’s still time for more sleep” and I would tuck him back in. There was a little crying but he would go back to sleep.
I have occasionally heard him wake up in the middle of the night and say “Oh no, still more sleeping.” It has been months since we started using it and EVERY morning he wakes up and shouts “Mom, Dad, my nightlight is off. That means it’s time to get up!”.

*You can blame the nightlight – When B is putting up a fight about bedtime I say “Sometimes I’m not ready for bed either but LOOK the nightlight is on and you know what that means…time for bed.”
*Sometimes he wakes up before the nightlight goes off, BUT he doesn’t try to get up or call for us.

*We don’t use it at nap because that time varies a little bit for us. He often says “My nightlight isn’t on.” And I have to remind him that we don’t use it at nap time.
*When the nightlight goes off there is a very tiny click and sometimes I wonder if that actually wakes him up on days that he might sleep a little bit longer.

You can get your own Digital Outlet Timer for your nightlight at Amazon.

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  • Reply Stefany

    Great idea!!!!

    September 9, 2009 at 6:07 pm
  • Reply Life is Good

    I bet it would help with the tranistion to Daylight savings, too.

    September 9, 2009 at 7:51 pm
  • Reply Ticia

    Someone recommended to me using a CD to help with naptime and that’s helped for me on the days they’re not as sleepy. I need to forward this to my husband.

    September 9, 2009 at 7:58 pm
  • Reply Valerie

    This is simple, but so effective! I love it!!

    September 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm
  • Reply LaVonne

    thanks! I linked my own WFMW post to yours. Enjoy your evening.

    September 10, 2009 at 12:16 am
  • Reply Holly

    Great idea! I think I might put this in my 3-year-old’s bathroom so he knows to go back to sleep if it’s too early, and then maybe he won’t hear the click if it’s far enough away from his bed.

    September 14, 2009 at 2:13 am
  • Reply Packer Family

    Soooo doing this!!!!!! P.S, love your blog!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:31 pm
  • Reply Jen

    That is a neat idea to have a timer! We just put a night light in our daughters’ room. They are adjusting to a new room on our 3rd floor. They had to give up the nursery on the 2nd floor for baby. Thanks for sharing and stopping by!

    Creative and Curious Kids!

    December 17, 2009 at 12:35 am
  • Reply JDaniel4's Mom

    I needed some wonderful posts for a Mommy Blog Carnival I am hosting and I included one of yours. Here is the link:

    January 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm
  • Reply Katie

    awesome idea – we need something to keep our little guy in his own bed…maybe this would do the trick!

    January 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply Jenny in Utah

    BRILLIANT – I will be doing this for our little fella!

    January 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm
  • Reply Jamie

    What a great idea! I’ll have to remember this in case I ever need it.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:29 am
  • Reply Annette W.

    Oh, this is good stuff! Thanks for sharing the link!

    March 15, 2010 at 1:46 pm
  • Reply Zina :: Let's Lasso the Moon

    When my daughter has always been an early riser. As a baby she’d be up at 5:30am everyday. When she was a toddler that time frame started getting earlier. Finally when it hit 4:45am it was too much for me. We did this same concept. IT WORKED PERFECTLY for us too!

    My daughter is six now and we still use our “wake up light.” If she wakes up before it goes off at 6am she knows to read books or play in bed until it is the right time. Love it.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:19 pm
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