Reviews / Giveaways

Sleep training with the Gro clock – Review

March 22, 2016

IMG_20160224_221126If there is one thing toddlers are known for, it’s getting up way too early! Dexter used to be so good at sleeping and I thought he would be an exception to the rule. Sadly though, he has now started getting up way too early for my liking. My smugness has bitten me on the bum! So when we were given the opportunity to try out the Gro clock from the Gro company in exchange for an honest review, I literally grabbed it with both hands.

I have never been a morning person. Never, ever, ever! I’m a night owl. Give me night feeds over early mornings any day.

Anyway, when we received the clock, I couldn’t wait to show Dexter and get him as excited about it as I was. We took it straight upstairs and plugged it in. A quick read of the instructions had me setting the time correctly and then we were ready to play.

How it works.

The Gro clock has a happy looking sunshine on it that tells your child when they can get up. At night, the clock face glows blue and has a big star in the middle and lots of little stars around the outside. The smaller stars disappear throughout the night and act as a sort of count down. Once all of the stars have gone, the big star goes off to bed and the sun returns, indicating that your child is now allowed to get out of bed. If they are to wake up and see that the clock is still showing stars, they have to stay in bed. (or can get up but play in their room quietly.)

I had a fiddle with the settings and set the sun to show a minute later. I showed Dexter the stars and we talked about how not getting up until the sun is awake and magically, while we were talking, the sun appeared. Dexter was fascinated so we did the a few times so that he could watch the star and sun change places.

The Gro clock also comes with a story to read before bed about some farm animals and one particular animal that is a bit of a grump during the day as he doesn’t get enough sleep. The rhymes in the book make it very enjoyable to both read and listen to. The story tells that animals tell the pig to not wake until he sees the sun. By doing so, he gets plenty of sleep and is then a much happier, friendlier pig.

One of the tips for using the clock is to start off by setting the time for when your child usually wakes and then progressively change the time setting to get closer to the time you always want it set to. This way it is more likely to work as you aren’t expecting your child to take big leaps in one go. Also, by setting it to the earlier time at the start, you are setting your child up for an early success. They wake up and see the sun and automatically think they’ve done well. Especially if you make a big fuss of it!

I didn’t read that bit though so our first night didn’t work so well. Dexter still ended up getting up at half past 6.
I tried to tell him to go back to bed but he was wide awake and ready for his day.
The second night, I set it for 6.30 am… and typically, he decided to lay in until 8:00! Grrrrr!

The Gro clock also comes with a beautifully illustrated book which helps to encourage children to stay in bed longer, which means more sleep for them and more sleep for you! “No more getting up at 5am!”. It is this combination of the simple glowing images and the bedtime story book which has already made the Gro Clock a phenomenal success.

However, we persevered. Liam normally does Dexters bed time at the moment as I feed Paisley at the same time. So I showed Liam how to set it, handed him the book and off they went. Isn’t it fabulous when your husbands first go at something works perfectly after your 2 failed attempts! Dexter got up just after 6.30 and came running into our room with such excitement at seeing the sun.DSC_2770_4

We kept the clock at 6:30 for 2 more nights with repeated success and then changed it every day or 2 days by 10 minutes and oh my word! It actually works!

He has woken up earlier on odd days but we normally just hear him singing to himself or talking in his bed. On one occasion he came in to our room before the sun so we asked him if the sun was on his clock. He went back to check and came running back excited that it was still stars! So we told him stars mean sleep. He said he ‘cant’ sleep. (Not in an ‘I’m struggling to sleep’ kind of way, more in an ‘I’m 2 years old and I say I can’t do something when actually, what I mean is I don’t want to.’) So we told him to just pretend.. which he seemed ok with and off he went. So, there are the odd days when he will get up regardless of what the clock says but for the most part, it works!

Gro clock features.

The clock retails at £29.99 and is available from here*.

It’s features include…
Glowing screen shows images of stars and sun to communicate ‘sleep’ and ‘wake-up’ time
Includes fun bedtime story book
Stars go out one-by-one during the night to show the passing of time
Key-lock option
Option to set two separate wake-up times (weekday/weekend or night-time/day-time nap)
Adjustable screen brightness
Silent operation
Optional audible alarm feature
Mains powered (adapter included)
Suitable from age 2+ years
Conforms to highest applicable British and European Standards
Educational option of showing digital clock during the ‘stars to sun’ countdown
“Mr Star” night time graphic
Beautifully illustrated bedtime storybook
Downloadable reward chart available from the Gro website

The only negative I’ve found is that you have to set it each time you put your child to bed, but that is just a case of 3 button pushes so isn’t such a hardship really. Overall, we have been very happy with the product. It does what it sets out to do but also is a great way of introducing different times to your child too ie ‘time for bed’ and ‘time to get up’ and would most certainly recommend it to any parents of early risers.. So thats all parents right? Haha

(*Affiliate link – If you purchase the clock through this link, I would earn a small amount of commission)

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  • Reply Emma March 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    We just got one of these too. It works great but yes, having to set it each night is a bit of a pain.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby March 22, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Yeah I think the option to set it each night or have it on ‘repeat’ would be an added bonus

  • Reply Donna March 22, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    We have just bought our second Gro-Clock so the kids have one each. We love them and so do the children – such a great concept x

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby March 24, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Yeah, Dexter loves his too! I think they’re brilliant!

  • Reply Ella July 14, 2016 at 11:34 am

    We have had a grow clock in my 5 year old’s room since he was three and it works great for keeping him in his room and quiet during bedtime… But he takes hours to fall asleep, wakes up in the middle of the night and wakes up at least an hour before the sun comes up in the morning.
    After all the recent stories about how blue displays disrupt melatonin production, I wonder if the clock is to blame?

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby July 15, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Hmmm that’s an interesting thought…

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