Good Nite Lite: Teach Your Kids When To Wake Up

03/24/2009 at 10:00 AM ET

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. The father of two young boys, Adam Nelson desperately craved an extra hour of sleep in the morning. As many parents know, the natural rise and fall of the son and moon don’t jibe with the schedule that families keep. Like many parents, his kids were getting up (and waking him up) at sunrise but they didn’t understand that it was too early. Since they were too young to read a clock, he needed a simpler way to show them when it was ok to get out of bed so he invented the Good Nite Lite.

He came up with a product that is simple to understand. The Good Nite Lite has two settings – Moon/Sleep and Sun/Wake Up. At the time the parents designate, the Moon/Sleep set is activated with a blue smiling moon face. Then, at a designated time, the Moon changes to a Sun with a yellow smiling sun face. You teach your child that as long as the Moon face is on, he needs to be sleeping, or at least in his bed (eventually, most kids will fall asleep if they’re in their bed) and that they cannot get out of bed until the Sun face appears. So when he wakes up at 3, 4, 5 AM, he knows that it’s not time to get up. Also, during the night, the glowing Moon serves as a gentle night light.

Does it work? Well, the device technically works in that it goes on and off like it’s supposed to, but mom and dad have to reinforce the behavior modification. I love the concept and theoretically, Anya does too, but we still having her coming into our bed at 1 AM every day. However, she does understand that when the Moon is on, it’s time for bed (she used to fight us), so that’s one improvement we’ve seen since we started using it.

My one wish is for a stand for the light (it needs to be plugged directly into an outlet) because in Anya’s room, there are no available outlets that are in direct view of her bed. Adam told me that they do have plans to develop something like this in the future, but they wanted to keep it as minimal as possible and to make it easier for travel (where you often need/want that extra hour of sleep).

If your child stays in his bed but wakes up too early, the Good Nite Lite may be exactly what you need.

— Danielle

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Showing 12 comments

Heather on

Very clever idea! My son is old enough now to be able to stay in his bed until his clock has a “7” on the left side, but this might be perfect for my daughter when she is a little older.

brannon on

I set an alarm for my son and he knows the only reason he can get out of bed is to use the potty. In the mornings, I keep a book on his nightstand and he can ‘read’ in bed if he wakes up before the ‘alarm.’ It has stopped the 6 am wake up calls as his alarm is set for 7:30. He is slowly sleeping later as well and I no longer worry that i won’t hear him get up and it will be unsafe. He loves waiting for the alarm to say ‘good morning oliver!’ He is only 2 and this has worked for months now.

GG on

OMG! I LOVE THIS! My 3 year old son is DRIVING US CRAZY by coming into our bed at 2:00am, 3:00am, etc. Maybe this will help him understand when it is okay to do so…..willing to give it a shot.

Lisa on

I love this idea. In fact, my sister in law just told me about a similar item that I am thinking about buying. http://www.americaninnovative.com/products/teachmetime.php

Stefanie on

This is a good idea. It would be great if it was projected onto their ceiling, like those clocks, so they could see it when they open their eyes!

Heather on

Great idea, though I am nearly positive the face itself will scare the pants right off my kids in a middle-of-the-night-half-asleep state….

Twins mom-to-be on

I’ve seen some other similar products (like the one Lisa mentioned), but the Good Nite Lite seems like it would be much more effective because of the sun and the moon faces. Those images are something little kids already recognize and it seems like it would be easier for them to understand.

Megan on

We’ve been looking for something like this, and the only other product we found didn’t look half as good and was $50 instead of $35. I might need to try this!

Our 3 year old doesn’t have a clock in his room but he knows to check ours and knows that he can’t wake up until “it’s seven time” (his words!). He can use the bathroom, ask for help if he needs it, get dressed, turn his light on and read or play on his bed, but he can’t go anywhere or do anything else. Unfortunately, he’s very light sensitive and is waking up earlier and earlier as it gets closer to summer. Maybe we just need better blinds and curtains!

Brandey on

We were having so many problems with our daughter waking up at 430 and 5 am. We got this night lite and within two days she was loving the change to yellow sun. We hear her saying in there light, light. And we know its time for her to get up. No more screaming at 5 am.

mary on

I LOVE this concept! I just might buy this for our 3 year old. But I want someone to come up with one for the other children we have 14 and 16 year olds. They will sleep till noon if we let them. I want a product that will meet us in the middle! for all 3, 14 and 16 year olds!

Tonje on

I really like the design of this! We bought a similar clock for my daughter, called kid sleep:
http://www.kid-sleep.com/enfant/wake-up/indicateur/does-your-child-wake-early.html
And it was working. She got up when the bunny got up, but then her cousin broke the clock…

Hannah on

We have this and LOVE IT!! Our son is almost 3 and it has helped us immensely when it comes to keeping him in bed. It’s been worth every penny!

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