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.

Can Sleep Deprivation Kill You?

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!

Baby Sleeping

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.

Gro Clock Instructions and Review
The Gro Clock instructions claim the product is designed to improve toddler sleep – but does it live up to its promise?

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!

How to Night Wean - Sleeping Toddler

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.

An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is a huge advocate of personal growth, focusing on journaling to increase positivity and facilitate mindful motherhood. With a wealth of experience in breastfeeding and CMPA, Kate is also an expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.


  1. Claire Bayliss Reply

    My youngest struggles to tell the difference between night & day, especially this time of year when the sun is later to ‘get up’, so she regularly wakes in the early hours and can’t tell if it’s morning or still night.

  2. Heidi Brown Reply

    My little boy wakes between 5.30 and 6am most mornings. I know this isn’t that bad and always wondered if I am just expecting to much to get him to have an extra half hour o an hour. Sometimes he will just play, but most of the time he needs to announce to me he has woken up!

    • Amanda Spindler Reply

      I love the gro clock. Got one when my daughter was 2 and explained that if the sun is not up she is to try and sleep and if she really can’t tjen she can play quietly in her room and only comenin when the sun is on the clock. I started setting it at her ‘normal’ time to get up and then over the course of 2 weeks I pushed it back 5mins at a time until she was staying asleep until 7:15. She is now 7 and still won’t get out of bed to wake me until her sun is shining!

  3. Keri brooks Reply

    My little girl still gets up about 3 times each night and beryl early might just be for a drink and to make sure am still around then will nod off again and still wakes up early hours bright as a button .x

  4. Lauren Tourle Reply

    All the time, but she is at an age where she would understand this and it would really help 🙂

  5. James Harris Reply

    Yes, over the last few days both of mine have been up early. My son has not adjusted to the clocks going back and my daughter has been ill.

  6. emma walters Reply

    oh yes all the time, my boys never sleep in past 6am 🙁

  7. I’m entering for my niece who is 3. She wakes up around 4 or 5 on a regular basis, my poor sister is exhausted sometimes! I’m hoping it’s something you can train them out of and they grow out of as well.

  8. Sharon stanley (@Shandy2008) Reply

    oooo yes…no matter how many times I reiterate the fact that even Cbeebies is asleep.

  9. Lisa Houston Reply

    Yes 🙁 my eldest is 11, and i have 3 children, and because my 2 youngest get up sop early i feel like ive never had a long lie in 12 years since i was pregnant with the eldest. roll on the day they sleep in a bit

  10. Angela Treadway Reply

    my eldest tries to get up early but i just tell him to go back to bed!

  11. TRACY JAMES Reply

    yes my kids wake befor dawn …i always tell them to go back to bed x

  12. Lynne Durkin Reply

    My older grandchildren are 3 and 2 and keep waking up at all hours lately. This would be perfect for them to hopefully learn to stay in bed.

  13. Jennifer Haden Reply

    Almost always, usually just take him back to bed x 🙂

  14. Diane Carey Reply

    I’m wanting this for my great-nephew. He seems to be a late riser

  15. Laura Pritchard Reply

    Yes, my daughter is 18 months but loves to wake up early!

  16. Simon Wade Reply

    Unfortunately she does. Made worse by the fact that I work nights, so my fiancé has to be up with her and then we are both tired during the day.

  17. Leanne Lunn Reply

    She isn’t too bad in the winter but in the summer she is terrible even with blackout blinds.

  18. Mary Duncan Reply

    Yes, most mornings. It doesn’t matter how early or late he goes to sleep the night before either.

  19. Claire Sutherland Reply

    Our baby is not here yet but regularly wakes me before dawn already!!

  20. sallyann johnston Reply

    Yes too early and worse on weekends and through the Summer when its light x

  21. Michaela Hannah Reply

    Yes my children are both quite bad for waking up early and getting up during the night

  22. Lara Latchem Reply

    Definitely struggling keeping eldest in his room, always wants to play at 4am.

  23. Lynn Heath Reply

    Yes!!!! My kids wake up obscenely early, especially on Sunday mornings, once ones awake they all are up, no such thing as a lie in in this house!!

  24. Karen Barrett Reply

    Oh yes! Just seem to get into a routine then we have a blip, usually due to illness or teething

  25. Nicola Lester Reply

    I’m entering this to win the Gro-clock for my daughter to use with my grandson. He wakes up during the night wanting to go into Mummy’s bed, but will sleep OK when in there. I think this clock might help him to understand that he must stay in his own cot while the stars are shining on the clock.

  26. Robyn Clarke Reply

    I’ve got 3 little ones and they seem to take relay all night, then its a race to see who can get up earliest.

  27. What a good idea; my step-son gets up at 530 for his mum, so this would be ideal for her. At first when he stayed with us, up at 530 he was but we firmly said its 7am and no earlier; it seems to have worked! That or he’s scared of me the horrible step-mother (only joking)

  28. Simone Kilshaw Reply

    yep constantly. apparently its the optimum time to jump on mummy and daddy’s head…and at every hour before that.

  29. Victoria Prince Reply

    Thankfully not regularly. I just love this concept, it’s so clever!

  30. Sarah smith Reply

    My son has always had problems with sleep
    Since he was born, tried
    Everything audio storybooks, dolphin music, ceiling projectors

  31. Liam Stephens Reply

    Occasionally usuallywhen we have to up earlier than normal.

  32. every single morning, however since he turned 2 it is 5:55 wake up instead of 5:00am so slightly better but not great

  33. Sadiyya maryam Reply

    Yes my daughter is an early riser especially during weekends and holidays! This wouldn’t be too bad but she still wakes a few times in the night so it’s a disturbed night for both of us. I’ve forgotten what a good nights sleep is!

  34. Anthea Holloway Reply

    Yes, she does and it is every morning very very early!

  35. Hayley Elvin Reply

    My 3 youngest of 5 children are regularly up before 6am, generally between 5-6am they get up but sometimes it is before 5am!! 😮

  36. lorraine stone Reply

    Sometimes, but now I am so well trained (!) that I am usually awake anyway!

  37. Terri-louise Dudey Reply

    my son was really good with his sleep but entering for my friend as she had a little girl the 4th xx

  38. Nancy Bradford Reply

    She is and always has been the first one up in the mornings – even on weekends which can be a bit annoying.

  39. Yes she does!
    We’re all quite early risers but she is up at ridiculous o’clock !
    These sound amazing!

  40. Rebecca Howells (@PeanutHog) Reply

    On the odd occasion. What a lovely giveaway – great idea.

  41. Jessica Cook Reply

    My youngest has recenty moved into his big brothers room and he keeps waking up at all hours

  42. Kirsten Barthy Reply

    YES!!! Can’t remember when I wasn’t tired last! If this clock works it will save me a fortune in coffee and anti aging cream.

  43. Marsha Richardson Reply

    Yes, she wakes really early and plays. Just as she gets in a routine, the clocks change and we are back to square one!!!

  44. Stacey Gahan Reply

    Yeah every now and then we get “Mummy, Daddy!” and have to lead her back to bed

  45. Rachel white Reply

    Yes most nights but currently I’m trying to cut the afternoon nap session to see if this helps

  46. Rachel white Reply

    Yes most nights but currently I’m trying to cut the afternoon nap session to see if this helps

  47. Carly Belsey Reply

    No matter when my daughter goes to bed, she is always up at 5am, always. My son used to be the same and he’s still quite an early riser now but he’s 9 so sleeps in a bit longer

  48. Hayley Todd Reply

    My little one is a nightmare sleeper! She takes forever to drop off and wakes at least 5 or 6 times a night. She has always been terrible with her sleep patterns!

  49. Anneka Hulse Reply

    my son wakes at 4am each morning but get him to go back to bed till after 7am

  50. Kim Styles Reply

    all my children inherited the ‘wake in very early hours and then sleep for an hour or so just when mum wants them to get up’ Gene

  51. Gemma Middleton Reply

    My son is hard to wake in the week when I need to get u but wakes mega early at weekends!!

  52. Oksana Fitzgerald Reply

    My daughter wakes up at 5 am. My husband’s alarm is set to 7am. I wish she could sleep 2 more hours in the morning

  53. My son wakes at 5am most mornings, he’s like an alarm clock 🙂

  54. Hayley Colburn Reply

    Our little one starts to stir from about 4, goes back off by about half past then up at half 6

  55. Fiona jk42 Reply

    My little granddaughter is up at 5 most mornings, which is not so bad during the week, but dreadful at weekends for my poor daughter & SIL

  56. Kerry Smith Reply

    My babies aren’t too bad but my husband’s shocking do you think it would work for him

  57. Tracey Woods Reply

    No can not get mine out of bed but there 23 and 26 but my step grand children do.

  58. Samantha Fernley Reply

    He goes through periods where he wakes so early. At the moment he’s sleeping in quite a bit.

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