I’ve dealt with more than my fair share of baby and toddler sleep problems; so much so that I’ve tried most approaches, and assessed most products claiming to improve the situation. Today I’m reviewing a clock designed to help toddlers sleep beyond dawn. I’ll be sharing the Gro Clock instructions, how it’s meant to work, and whether it can actually deliver on its promise…
If you follow my blog, you’ll be well aware of the dreadful sleep problems I’ve dealt with over the years. First from our Devil Pixie – so-called for her blatant disregard for sleep – and then from her sister, ironically nicknamed Elfin Angel.
I was so sure that if there was any fairness in the world, we were due a sleeper when we had our second child. Alas, there is no fairness and our second-born was far, far worse than our first. I thought Pixie had been bad; turns out I had no idea how bad things could get.
When Pixie was around 18 months, we finally had a good run of perhaps six or eight weeks where all was well. Hurrah! Long enough to lull mummy into a false sense of security…and then – BAM. We were back to square one with wakings three or four times during the night. Poor me.
Anyway, I’m pleased to say I eventually resolved that not inconsequential issue. And in the end it was actually quite straightforward: I simply got a bit tough. (Not that tough – I’m a believer in gentle parenting.)
By then, Pixie was old enough to understand what I was saying to her, and though she resisted, when I told her mummy needed to go back to sleep and Big Teddy would look after her, lo – she accepted it!
My next battle was dealing with the 5.30am starts. Admittedly there was the odd 5.50am; but basically Pixie was getting me up slightly before what I deem acceptable, even for a small child. (Going back to my darling youngest for a moment – Pixie’s sister has since taught me what truly unacceptable is: regular – very regular, for months and months and months – 4.30am starts.)
So when I was sent the Gro Clock to review, which is designed to combat this common toddler problem, I was delighted – if slightly dubious.
How the Gro Clock Works
The product arrived several weeks ago and I’m only now writing my review. Why? It’s simple really: I wanted to be sure of a fair review, and as my lovely daughter has clearly demonstrated, she is fickle of nature. Also, I shan’t lie, I dared not believe it could work.
The concept is simple: the clock plugs into the mains and displays a picture of a sun. Come bedtime (or naptime, for which there’s a handy function if your child naps in a bed, unlike mine), you press a couple of buttons to bring the stars out: the sun gives a cute little wink goodbye, and the clock turns blue.
You’re left with one large star in the centre of the clock face, and several smaller ones around the outside, which disappear as it nears the time you’ve set for the sun to ‘rise’ again.
Gro Clock Instructions
If you’re anything like me, it’s entirely plausible that you’re here not because you’re looking for a review, but because you’ve mislaid your Gro Clock instructions. Here’s a link to the Gro Clock manual.
And if you prefer to do things visually, I have you covered there too:
How to Set a Gro Clock
Gro Clock Review: Our Experience Using the Device
Here’s how we got on…
Week one: Fail.
Morning Eight: Fail.
Morning Nine: Fluke?
Morning Ten: Fluke…?
Morning Eleven: Fail…
Until I remembered we’d had a power cut. I checked the time and – it had apparently worked after all!
Each time I went to Pixie and the star was still showing on her clock, I’d make her lay there until the sun rose. I stayed with her, but I refused to play, or take her out of her sleep bag, or play. And over the course of those first two weeks, I was amazed by her progress.
When we had another fail at the weekend I was gutted. I’d been planning to write this post and I was so hoping for a positive result. And then hubby informed me that the clock on my phone was running slow – I went into Pixie and the sun was up! I was disproportionately thrilled!
Since then I’ve been waiting for a slip back into her old ways but, as yet, there has been none.
I’m surprised and delighted. On reflection, I think perhaps she was developmentally ready and just needed a little prompt to help her – and that’s exactly what the Gro Clock provides. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.
Update: I’ve since tried – several times – using the clock with Elfin, and no dice.
She’s an absolute monster so possibly not a fair test, but in the interest of transparency, I wanted to add this! No guarantees, sorry. However, for further support with baby sleep, check out more products to help your baby sleep.