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Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer Review

Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer ReviewScore 79%Score 79%

Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer Review

Disclosure:  Some of the links below may be affiliate links.  This means that at no additional cost to you  I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.  For more information click here.

Are 5:00 am wake up calls something you have become accustomed to from your toddler?

I was ready for the lack of sleep with a newborn.  I expected that by the time he was a toddler, I would at least get “some” sleep.  He had other plans.

Now I should say that my son was never a great sleeper.  He was still waking up a couple of times a night when he was two.  When he was two and a half, he was finally sleeping through the night, but was waking 5:00 am, sometimes 4:30 am.  I was exhausted.

When daylight savings time came around this past fall, (a few months before his third birthday) and we had to push the clocks back an hour, I had had enough.  He woke up at 4:00 am! I was frustrated and exhausted.  I purchased the Go-Clock, and it was the best decision I ever made.

What is the Gro-Clock?

It looks like a standard bedside clock.  But in reality, it is so much more.

The Gro-Clock allows you to teach your children to understand when it’s time to get up.

It’s essentially an image based clock, for kids who are too young to tell time.  The screen either glows blue with a moon and stars when it’s time to sleep, or yellow with a sun when it’s time to wake up.

Essentially you set the time you want your child to wake up in the morning.  When it’s time to go to bed, you set the clock to “sleep” your child watches the Sun “go to bed” and a blue moon and stars appear.    The stars go out one by one throughout the night to show the passing of time. Then, magically, at the time you set, the clock changes to a yellow sun, indicating to your child that it’s an appropriate time to wake up.

There is also a digital time display for parents or older children.

The Gro-Clock also came with a small book called “Sleepy Farm”, which features the Gro-Clock and helps explain to the child how the clock works.

You have the option to also set a wake-up time for the morning as well as a nap.

The brightness of the display can be adjusted to your desired level.  There are a total of 11 different brightness levels.

The recommended age for this product is 2 years and up.


Favorite things about the Gro-Clock

I’ll start with my favorite things about the gro clock.  The concept itself is really simple.  Which translates into an easy concept for toddlers to understand.

It is pretty to look at with charming colorful displays of the sun moon and stars.  It is white, and can easily match any nursery decor.

The first night, I had set the sun to wake up at 6:00 am.  The next morning, my son woke up at 5 am, his typical wake time.  When I reminded him to wait for the sun, and that it was still bedtime, saying that he didn’t like his gift and that I should take it back.  At first, I thought that the experiment was a failure.

Then I found the reward chart that was designed by Gro-Clock, along with some tips.  I wish this reward chart had come with the clock itself.  But it was easy to print.  They recommend the first night, you set the sun to wake up at the time your child normally wakes up (even if it is 5:00 am) so that they have a positive association with waiting for the sun.  Then to gradually increase the time on the clock by 10 – 15 minute intervals until you reach the desired wake time.

You can download the Gro-Clock reward chart and top ticks created by the Gro-Company Here.

I printed the reward chart.  You can add stickers every morning your child waited for the sun to get out of bed.  I laminated the reward chart, and use a dry erase marker so that I don’t have to print the reward chart every two weeks.

I tried again, and you know what…it worked!

Now bedtime and waking up has become a fun game.  Every morning he proudly says “sun, sun sun” as a way to tell me that it’s time to wake up.  The reward chart made a huge difference. He is so happy when I draw a happy face on the sun (almost) every morning.  Plus he can see his own progress, which motivates him to do it again the next day.

Like moths to a fire your children, like mine, will likely be drawn to the buttons.  It won’t take long for them to realize that pressing the buttons can make the sun come up sooner.  The good news is that there is a key-lock feature.  Once the sleep mode has been activated, press and hold the down key for 3 seconds until you see a cross in the large star’s cheek. To unlock this feature, press and hold the down key for 3 seconds until you hear a beep.  I recommend that you do this inconspicuously so your child doesn’t see how you lock and unlock the clock.

I started using this with my son when he was a few months shy of his third birthday.  The manufacturer suggests that this product can be used from the ages of two and up.  I agree and wish I had known about this product sooner.

Room for Improvement

The Gro-Clock does have some drawbacks.

While the concept is simple, setting up the Gro-Clock is neither simple or intuitive.  This is one of those products where you have to read the instructions to program the clock.  It took me some tinkering to figure it out.  Even after setting the time, I had to refer back to the manual for a few days to remind myself how to set the various sleep modes.  While frustrating at first, I can do it quickly.

This product is not battery powered, you plug it into the wall.  That means that if there is ever a power outage, or your child likes to pull plugs out of the socket, the clock ‘freezes’ all the settings, including the main time, the wake-up times and brightness settings. If it’s only for a few seconds, the time would only have been paused for a few seconds.  However, if the power was off for a few hours, or you didn’t realize that your child had unplugged the clock, it will need re-setting.

For this reason, I recommend that you keep the manual handy.  If ever you do have to reset the Gro-Clock, you will likely need to refer back to it.

As I mentioned above, setting the clock is the most frustrating part of the whole process.  I would prefer it came with the option using either batteries or a DC adapter.  Essentially you couldn’t bring the clock with you if you were traveling to a country with a different power supply.

You can set the Gro-Clock to day mode (naps) and night mode (nighttime sleep), and we use both, as my son still has afternoon naps.  I wish it also came with a weekend option.  If my son wasn’t napping, I could use the day mode setting on the weekends, but I am left choosing between night and naps or night and weekends.

The clock does have an alarm feature, however, we have never used it, so I can’t make any comments in that regard.

For a clock, it wasn’t cheap.  I paid around $65.00 for it.  Is it worth it? For my sanity yes.  The extra hour, or more of sleep every morning is worth every penny.

This product has seriously changed my life.  It’s a strong claim and one that I cannot make about too many things.  I would not hesitate to tell any parent who is struggling with a child who rises too early to try this product.

You can find the Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer Here.

I was not compensated for this review.  I am simply an exhausted mom of two young boys who found a great product that has helped me and my toddler sleep.

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Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer Review


Summary How do you get your kids to understand when it's an appropriate time to wake up? The Gro-Clock allowed me to sleep train my toddler quickly and with no tears. It isn't intuitive or travel-friendly, but despite these hiccups, I couldn't live without it.

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