Tee moved into her own bedroom back in March, and for the first few months things went pretty smoothly. But lately, Tee’s been getting up at least once, sometimes twice a night, every night, and wandering into our bedroom to ask one of us to take her back to bed and cuddle her while she falls asleep. After searching online for ideas to help encourage her to stay in bed, I saw quite a few recommendations for a product called the Gro-clock that helps teach toddlers and young children when it’s time to get up. I approached Oyaco, the Canadian distributor for Gro-clock, and they kindly agreed to send me one to try with Tee.
It was a bit complicated to set up. You definitely need to read the instructions carefully to set it up initially. There are quite a few functions accessed by only 3 buttons (up, down, and enter). The Gro-clock lets you set a morning wake-up time and a nap wake-up time. Tee doesn’t take naps anymore, so I just set the morning wake-up. I was happy to see the Gro-clock has a key-lock feature which lets you “lock” the clock so your child can’t manually change the sleep phase to the daytime phase. Smart!
I decided to keep a daily diary for the two week review period to track our progress.
Day 1: I showed Tee how the Gro-clock works and drilled with her that the blue stars means stay in bed, and the yellow sun means you can get up. “Stay in bed until you see the sun!” She was able to repeat it back to me, and she was quite excited to have her own clock. I set it for 8:00 a.m. Unfortunately, Tee was in our room at 7:00. Hubs put her back to bed and she fell back asleep for half an hour. At 7:30 she was up again, and hubs reminded her that the clock was still blue which means stay in bed. Tee just said, “No, it’s yellow. It’s time to get up.” Walked her back to her room twice more until 8:00 and the sun appeared on the clock.
Day 2: Tee was up at 3:00 a.m. and demanding to play. She got up almost every hour and protested going back to her room every time. What the? I’ve never seen this before. Hope it’s not a pattern!
Day 3: Tee was sick with a fever tonight and came to our room three or four times starting around 5:00 a.m. Ugh. I get it though. She was sick and just wanted comfort. I put her back in bed for the last time around 7:55, and I guess she fell asleep because she came out of her bedroom like a shot at 8:30 to tell me her clock was yellow now and she could get up.
Day 4: Still sick but got up only once at 7:00. I walked Tee back to her room, and she argued a bit that the clock wasn’t really blue. She did finally agree to stay in her room until the clock turned yellow.
Day 5: Up around 2:00 a.m. but back back to bed fairly easily. Up again around 7:30 and returned to bed under protest. “It’s time to get up! It is!”
It’s clear that Tee gets the concept. It’s the compliance part we’re still working on. She knows that blue stars mean go back to sleep. She just doesn’t want to.
Day 6: Tee woke up around 4:00 a.m. and had to be walked back to bed. She was very upset that there were no stars on the clock so she didn’t think she needed to be in bed. It turns out hubs had forgotten to turn on the sleep phase when he put her to bed. I turned on the stars, and she grudgingly went back to bed. Up again at 7:20 but went back to bed when I reminded her the clock was still blue.
Day 7: Up once around 7:10, but went back to bed and fell back asleep until just before 8:00. Came back to our bedroom but was okay to go back to her room and play quietly until the clock turned yellow.
Day 8: Up at 3:30 a.m. and again around 7:00. I walked Tee back to her room and she seemed to settle back to bed. Came back to our room at 7:30 at which point hubs got up and took her downstairs. We discussed this and agreed we need to be consistent with the rule of “Stay in bed until you see the sun!” so as not to confuse her.
Day 9: Tee woke up once to pee at 7:30, then went back to bed and fell asleep until 8:10.
Day 10: In our room at 7:30 again, but easily redirected back to bed. She returned to our door at 8:00 sharp.
Day 11: Up at 2:00 a.m. but went back to bed easily. She came into our bedroom at 7:50 very upset, telling me that her clock was broken. “It still has stars on it!” I explained it’s not broken, it’s just not time to get up yet. Argued a bit then agreed to play quietly in her room until the stars turned off.
Day 12: Came and got me at 8:00. I’m not sure when she woke up, but she had played quietly in her room until the clock turned yellow. SUCCESS!
Day 13: Up around 3:30 a.m., but then she slept in and didn’t come get me until 8:30. Yay!
Day 14: Tee came into our bedroom at 7:40 looking for Daddy. I reminded her he had already left for work and walked her back to her room. She played quietly until I came and got her at 8:30.
The Gro-clock didn’t produce an instant miracle, but I definitely see progress. I’m starting to see some improvement in the mornings, and the biggest improvement has been with the middle of the night wakings. From every single night to about half the time is a significant change in my book. There’s also much less arguing about going back to bed when Tee is up too early. I’m hoping as we continue to use the Gro-clock and reinforce night time expectations that it will continue to improve. My only regret is that I didn’t try this clock earlier.
I do wish the clock came with a battery back up or the option to use batteries. I get that having the light would go through batteries like crazy, but it would be nice to have that option, for example when we go camping or if there’s a power outage.
Oyaco has generously offered one lucky reader a Gro-clock of their own to help you and your child sleep better. Open to residents of Canada only, 18+. Entries will be verified.
Check out my other open giveaways listed in the right sidebar!
Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Tabitha!
Disclosure: I received a sample item for review purposes. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links. This West Coast Mommy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.