At almost five, one might think that Lil’ CB might be past the need for timeouts. But one would be foolishly mistaken in that case. ;) As Lil’ CB has grown older, his outbursts and tantrums have certainly grown fewer and farther between, but we still do see them and we still combat them with some time away to breathe, think, and calm down.
We adhere by the “one minute per year of child’s age” rule when it comes to the length of the timeout. This means that, currently, Lil’ CB’s timeouts last for almost 5 minutes. While I fully believe that is an appropriate length of time for him to sit, decompress and calm down, I also felt like he was having a hard time gauging how long he would be sitting there, which sometimes makes it harder for him to settle down.
I had seen these calm down bottles or jars all over Pinterest and decided to give one a try, especially once I read that you could adjust the “ingredients” so that it acts almost as a timer. Calm down bottles are essentially a type of sensory bottle (see more from Mrs. Deer here), made with glitter, water and glue. The water becomes thickened with the glue and glitter and when shaken up, the glitter slowly settles down to the bottom, much like a snow globe. The more glue you add, the longer it takes the glitter to settle. Not only does it act like a timer, but with the swirling glitter to watch, it becomes a sensory tool and a way to help young children self-regulate (more about that here).