Good Night Stoplight for Regulating Bedtime Excuses

I am intrigued by the following product. The Good Night Stoplight by Moms on Edge is a training tool for keeping kids in bed. It’s an 18" tall stuffed felt traffic light hung around a door knob. Green and yellow fabric lights are detachable, but the red light is sewn on.

Marketing photo of a child holding a Good Night Stoplight that is attached to a doorknob.

The Big Idea is that you let your child have two valid reasons for getting out of bed, such as a potty break or getting a drink of water. You remove one light after each departure, but when only the red light is left, you put a stop to the nonsense. "The light is red, so you must stay in bed."

I am intrigued because this isn’t yet an issue with my 2.6-year-old daughter. Rarely does she need a potty break after bedtime, and water is kept on her pint-sized nightstand. The notion that she could leave her bed without our permission never enters her mind.

This traffic light has me wondering… if your toddler does jump out of bed whenever he wants, how do *you* go about handling the situation?

Is giving your child two preapproved chances to delay bedtime a more convenient solution than the alternative?  If you don’t have a prop such as this one, do you just rely on your stern voice to keep your child focussed on getting to sleep?


8 Responses to “Good Night Stoplight for Regulating Bedtime Excuses”

  1. Jim says:

    I guess stern is a good word. When I’ve had enough, my voice sounds “determined” (but not mad) and my boy knows there’s no wiggle room, goofing time is over.

    February 5th, 2007 at 7:13 am

  2. selah says:

    My son was the same way at that age and I secretly thought him superior to his running out of their bed peers. He’s now 4 and as often happen with kids, it’s a whole new ballgame. I wouldn’t pay money for that but we do a free-pass system. He decorated 2 little “tickets” and he can use them at naptime (not bedtime). He doesn’t always use them, but when he does it’s mostly for hugs. It gives him some semse of control over what has become a difficult time for him. He also doesn’t have to nap but he has to stay in his room. Hope you never have to deal with this but the product doesn’t look as ridiculous to me now as it would’ve 2 years ago!

    February 5th, 2007 at 7:40 am

  3. thordora says:

    In my mind my daughter gets a freebie, but even then, she’s not allowed to leave her room unless we’ve said ok. Usually it’s because we’ve forgotten something in the rush, or because she suddenly needs to go. Otherwise, she’s good. In the morning, she only gets up when the sun is up-otherwise, it’s into the bathroom and back to her room.

    Our younger daughter who’s 23 months is another story, but she’s a bit harder to train right now. I still wouldn’t use something like that, since to my kids, it would be permission to run riot.

    February 5th, 2007 at 9:59 am

  4. Christina says:

    Yeah, bedtime is bedtime, and it’s usually our daughter who kicks us out. I thought we’d lucked out and gotten a good kid, but maybe we actually did something right. It’s always hard to tell with your first. I’m sure it’ll change when she’s older and tries to assert some control over her bedtime. Maybe I should put my red light green light on layaway… NOT.

    February 5th, 2007 at 3:58 pm

  5. Michele says:

    At one time in my daughter’s life I would have felt superior to this product too. Then she turned THREE!!! We had almost zero discipline issues with her up until that point and we often patted ourselves on the back for apparently doing such great parenting. (we were SO naive!) But now, even though we maintain our rules and our (hopefully) consistent discipline, bedtime has become a huge issue. Not the GOING-to-bed part, but the STAYING-in-bed part. As soon as her little head hits the pillow she becomes like a tiny, never-ending water fountain! She will beg to go to the bathroom at least 6 times before falling asleep and the amazing thing is, she actually pees every time! This item might actually work as a deterent for our nightly potty dance and I’d pay 20 bucks for that kind of peace!

    February 5th, 2007 at 4:00 pm

  6. Carol says:

    All of my kids have just been invited to crawl in bed with us because yes, we’re that lazy.

    They’ve all voluntarily moved out of the family bed by age 3…well except for child #3. She’s not quite 3 yet so we remain optimstic.

    February 9th, 2007 at 11:00 pm

  7. Carol says:

    And by moving out of the family bed, I mean, voluntarily moved into their own beds and stayed there all night, sans a potty break now and then. Where they of course, went potty all by themselves and then returned to their beds.

    February 9th, 2007 at 11:04 pm

  8. Emily says:

    I like this idea. I’ve just made a couple of “get up cards” for my youngest. My 5 year old comes up with every excuse possible to get out of bed… she wants a drink, needs to go potty, wants another kiss, wants to see what Mommy and older sister (8 years old) are doing… it just goes on and on. I put her to bed around 7:30, and sometimes it’s after 10 when she finally settles down for the night. On the nights when I remember, I give her 2 get up cards. She can use the cards for anything she’d like, but once both cards are used, she’s not allowed to get up. It sort of works… it would be better if I was more consistent. The stop light might actually work for her.

    August 11th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

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