Friday, November 13, 2009

Get Ready for a Few Extra Minutes of Sleep

Ever wish you could grab just 10 or 15 extra minutes to sleep each morning? Is your baby an early riser? When Thing 1 was a wee little thing in his crib, he liked to greet the mornings far too early for my liking. You know what I mean - like, *way* before the newspaper hits your doorstep. I used to wonder what I could do to just have him either a) sleep a bit longer so I didn't have to get up before dawn, or b) find some way to for him to remain happy and occupied in his crib for a good chunk of time.

A mom-to-mom chat with my good friend Kelly soon left me a changed woman. She offered me the gold nugget of parenting tips.

And I am about to offer this tip to you. Drum roll, please.

Find yourself a small container with some sort of clip or edge that will enable you to attach it to the edge of a crib. Those plastic cleaning containers work well (the ones that carry your cleaning bottles in it) although I found this composting container for a couple dollars at Zellers and really liked its sturdiness and size. It also happens to fit perfectly on our crib.

Each night after Thing 3 goes to sleep, I fill up her "crib bucket" with surprises for her to find when she wakes the next morning. I usually include a couple books, her favourite Little People . . . anything small and safe for her to play with on her own in her crib. In the picture below you can see I've also included her Auntie Steph's Monchichi, and our Playmobil pterodactyl.

Later in the evening, when I tuck her in as I embark on my own bedtime routine, I clip the bucket to the edge of her crib so it will be there waiting for her when she wakes up. In the morning, she opens her eyes and is pleasantly surprised by a bucket-full of goodies with which to amuse herself. She pulls out different toys and books each morning, keeping her occupied for a good 30 minutes or so before she begins to call out for me to come get her! I rotate the toys/books quite often, almost every night if I remember, because that seems to be key to keeping her excited about the bucket - the fact that there are different items in it each morning.

I try not to put the bucket in the crib with her at bedtime when she falls asleep, because it does seem to foster a little too much "playing" at bedtime and her crib is strewn with toys and books as she pulls all the items out. Be very careful which items you place inside the bucket - no sharp edges or dangerous toys of any kind. I never put in any books other than board books, as I wouldn't want Thing 3 to rip paper pages and potentially chew on them or choke. I sometimes put in several chunks of Lego, as she just loves putting four or five pieces of Lego together.

Yes, this little trick worked for all three Things. As babies, they grew to really look forward to their "buckets of fun" and ended up being very content and happy each morning as they woke up. Rarely did we ever hear fussing from our babies in the mornings, and to this day they are still all content and cheerful when they get up in the mornings.

I do not recommend adding the bucket to the crib of a younger infant. It is too dangerous until a baby is able to sit up on their own very well, hold toys, flip through the pages of a book, etc. I did not use the bucket for any of our children before they were at least nine or ten months old. And it is perfect for ages 15-20 months, when they are very curious and love reading books and are beginning to play with toys on their own.

So there you go . . . grab yourself a crib bucket, fill it up, and grab some zzzzs (or an early morning cup of coffee!) before your little one gets up.

12 comments:

Jen said...

I love this idea!! If I had another baby I would totally steal this!!

Btw, your Christmas cards were GORGEOUS!! I saw them in my reader but didn't have a chance to comment so I just wanted to make sure to tell you how much I liked them.

Christine said...

Well FABULOUS! I am stealing this for my youngest. Wish I knew it for my first. Can't wait to get started. He's not quite ready yet, but will be soon I'm sure.

Landerson said...

OMG, the monchichi is a blast from the past! Thanks for reminding me of this, I haven't used ours in a while but may have to surprise Hunter with one tomorrow morning:)

Chantal said...

I saw the photo before I read the post and I was all "IS THAT A MONCHICHI!!!" LOL.

I love this idea and may just have to steal it. You know you could patent something like this (cuter than a recycling bin) and make your million... Just saying. Think about the person who first made that Bathtub frog toy holder. Really, as basket is good enough, but the frog is just too cute.

Phyllis said...

AWESOME idea!! I will most definitely be doing this for Nora!

Anonymous said...

Sounds great. This is a wonderful blog. I thought your readers might be interested in a friend of mine's crafts...she is a mom too and spends her free time making these beautiful bags. Check 'em out at Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/craftelaine

JoeGirl said...

Brilliant! I can't believe you waited this long to share such a fabulous tip with us!!! ;) Thanks, Shannon! I will try this with Jake tonight...

Heidi said...

Shannon - I remember you mentioning this smart trick a long, long time ago - did it with Ava and hey, can probably start it with Reese anytime now! :-) Thanks, chica!

dougnlarry said...

What a great idea!

dougnlarry said...

What a great idea!

Shannon said...

Such a great idea! Love it!

Marti said...

This. Is. GENIUS. Thank you for sharing...I am so using this idea.

 
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