Here’s Marie’s brilliant hack for teaching her early riser about a reasonable wakeup time. (Especially handy now that the sun’s rising earlier.)
My three year-old daughter was a very early riser and would wake me up repeatedly to ask if it was time to get up yet. [Don’t you love that? My kid would creep up to me while I was sleeping, and then wake me so he could demonstrate how quiet he could be. — Ed.] She was too small to read a clock, and although telling her to look for a “6” was an option, she didn’t quite get it that 5 was not OK, but 7 was. I was looking for a simple “yes/no” cue that did not require her to do too much thinking if she were to wake up in the middle of the night. I did not want to set an alarm, because I didn’t want to disturb her sleep if she were to sleep in.
My hack inspiration came from an electrical appliance timer. I used it to rig her night light to turn off at 6am and told her she was to stay quiet and in her room until the light turned off. After a minor setback when she turned off the light manually to make it “time to get up,” it has worked like a charm!