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I always wondered why people would even need a sleep trainer clock. Gentle sleep training? WHY?! Ahhhh, I just needed to wait…
Since being six weeks old, little man was always a fabulous sleeper. We could put him down at 7.30pm and not hear a peep til 12 hours later. When he hit three (ish), our secretly smug, well-rested heads were in for a huge shock. It all ended.
It got to the stage that if we’d managed to sleep through the night (a very rare occurrence), we’d think something bad had happened. He started getting up at least once throughout the night, often more. We were shattered. After trying lots of ideas, we thought we’d get him a new big boy bed, and it got even worse!
Whilst looking for night lights (no, they didn’t work either) I came across the Gro Clock bedtime trainer clock and, after hunting through the Glo Clock reviews online, thought it must be worth a try.
What’s the idea behind the Gro Clock sleep trainer, and how does it work?
In case you’ve never heard of it, the idea behind the Gro Clock is a simple one. You turn the sun off at bedtime, then the stars come out. When the sun reappears in the morning, your little ones can get up. Sounded easy peasy and also like a great, gentle sleep training idea.
The clock is about 15cm tall and is mains powered – yay, no replacing batteries. It also feels nice and robust. Little man has dropped it twice and it still works and no bits have fallen off. No, he shouldn’t have hold of it, but you know what toddlers are like – “But mummy… LOOK, THE SUN IS OUT. LOOOOOK.”
In addition to the morning setting, it’s got a nap time setting – essentially just two different time settings, should you need them. We don’t use the nap setting as he doesn’t sleep during the day, so we just set the morning timer (you only have to do it once, unless you unplug). I did, however, manage to set the nap time by mistake when we first set it up and wondered why the sun wasn’t coming up on time. I really should learn to read instructions! See more of that later in this Glo Clock review… 😉
Our favourite bit is the accompanying Gro Clock book. I’m pretty sure this is the thing that really helps this sleep training clock to ‘work’. It’s a brilliant little story about a lazy/sleepy/grumpy pig who gets bought a special clock by his friends.
Every night we have to say goodnight to the sun, then we read the story together. The book suggests to turn the sun off mid-way through the story, but, hey, little man has other ideas. He actually knows the book off by heart now, and loves us changing words while we are reading, so he can tell us off and correct us.
The ultimate question… Does the Gro Clock work?
We’ve had it for about two months now, and it definitely has worked. With the help of the book, and us telling him every night, little man now knows that in the morning, if the stars are still out, he is to stay in bed, and if the sun is out, it’s fine for him to get up. We often hear him stirring and he doesn’t come in to our room until 6.30am – the time we’ve set for the sun to come out.
It seems like the only time it doesn’t work for us, is in the middle of the night, when it’s dark, as he’s still occasionally waking up in a panic. Nothing is going to stop that but just giving him time, so it’s no reflection on this bedtime trainer clock.
He now only gets up a couple of times a week in the night, which is a massive improvement, as it had turned into nearly every night pre-Gro Clock. I think this improvement has come from him being ‘watched over’ by the stars and knowing that a good night’s sleep ‘helps him play with his friends’ – a message from the Gro Clock’s book.
Would we buy the Gro Clock again?
In the spirit of honesty, when we saw it online, we had a voucher left over from our wedding gifts, so we thought why not? At the time we probably wouldn’t have paid £19.99 in cash for it if I didn’t have the gift card. I would now though, it’s been worth every penny.
Now, I’m not in any way claiming the Gro Clock has been a wonder cure, and obviously all toddlers are different, so I can only confirm that it’s certainly helped for our little man. It has also helped get some of our sanity back. Now to slowly add five mins at a time onto the morning wake-up time so we can get more of a lie-in! 😉
I’m not personally sure it’s of any use to babies, as they can’t understand that they have to stay in bed til the sun comes up, but once your child can understand that concept, that’s the time to get one I think.
Also, although I do describe it as a toddler preschool clock, I just think this is a great time to start with it, but that doesn’t mean its usability stops after this time period. I know of family members who still have it heading up towards ten-years-old.
Where can I buy the Gro Clock?
If you’re interested in purchasing a Gro Clock, they are available on Amazon by clicking here. Also worth checking out all the other parent reviews on the Amazon page too, as that’s where I went to decide whether to buy it.
When Mummy doesn’t read Gro Clock instructions…
Just to prove I’m not a professional reviewer who is making up stories about products to grab a sale, and I’m just another genuine sleep-deprived mum, I’ve recently discovered – erm, the Gro Company told me – there is actually a child lock setting on the Gro Clock. Who knew?!! I did mention up there ^^^ that I should really read instructions!
I’m leaving the below text in, which was from my original review, just to show you what happens without the child lock setting, and also what happens when mummy doesn’t read instructions…
Cheeky little man ‘Beat the Gro Clock’ update: This morning we heard little man get up, run towards our room, stop, run back to his room, then came back into our room. The Gro Clock sun wasn’t due to come up until about 15 minutes, so we asked him if the sun was up…
“Is the sun up? “
“No it’s not.”
“Yes it is.”
“It shouldn’t be.”
“Did you turn the sun on?”
“Yes. So it is on mummy.”
Sooooo, he now knows how to turn the sun ON! We’ve told him that this is cheating and he shouldn’t do it or the sun will get upset.Time will tell how this plays out. Will continue to update below, over the next week or two.
- Night one: Have put little man to bed and explained that Mr Sun was a bit upset this morning as he was woken up too early. He’s promised not to wake him up again tomorrow…
- He hasn’t done it again and we’re now on day four. Seems to realise that the ‘sun’ doesn’t want to be upset again hehe! 😉
- It’s a couple of weeks later now and we’ve crept it up to 7am. Woo! He still hasn’t turned the ‘sun’ on himself yet since he first did it.
- It’s now over ten months later and he’s never done it again. More importantly, the Gro Clock is still doing it’s job nicely and has helped him settle back into life after our RTW trip. A fabulous little invention!
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