Oliver has always been a good sleeper in the respect that since he was 3 months old he went to sleep when he was put to bed, however – apart from the odd occasion – he never really slept through the night and was always the first in the house to wake up, which wasn’t exactly ideal. So when the Gro Company emailed me asking me to review the Gro Clock, although apprehensive that it wouldn’t work, I was happy to give it a go anyway.
My reviews are always honest and so I won’t be writing about a revolutionary, miracle product that will magically make your child go to bed at a certain time, sleep through the night and wake up at a reasonable hour. However, I will be writing about an extremely good sleep aid, that alongside some work can improve a child’s sleeping habits.
The Gro Clock is a very simple product, you set the time and then set the time you would ideally like your child to wake up. When you put your child to bed, a few clicks of a button and the screen turns blue, a large star surrounded by a number of smaller stars arranged in a circle around it appears. During the night, the smaller stars disappear one by one as the hours tick by, then at the time you have set as an appropriate wake up time, the screen turns from blue to yellow, the large star fades away and a happy, smiling sun appears.
The Gro Clock comes with a little bedtime book, that explains the basic idea of the clock in a fun children’s story about farmyard animals. The book itself is a great way of explaining to a child what the Gro Clock is about and there are instructions that indicate when to turn your clock from day to night mode in order to accompany the story. Oliver now understands how the Gro Clock works, so we don’t read the book to him every night, but we do occasionally still include it in the pile of bedtime books and he does sometimes still choose it as one of his bedtime stories.
Although in the book there are instructions to turn the Gro Clock to night mode during the story, this didn’t really work with our bedtime routine as we have story time in our bedroom before putting the boys to bed in their individual bedrooms. So once we had finished story time, I put Oliver to bed in his own room and started our own Gro Clock routine.
As I mentioned before, Oliver has always been very good at going to bed so the Gro Clock didn’t actually make much of difference when it came to that aspect of Oliver’s sleeping habits. However when Oliver would wake in the night, we would go in and gently explain to Oliver that the Gro Clock is still blue and there are still some smaller stars on the screen meaning that is wasn’t time to wake up yet. For the first week or so, it took a few times explaining this before Oliver would settle into bed and on one occasion in the first few days of using the Gro Clock, I ended up sitting with him in his room until he drifted back off to sleep. But within a couple of weeks, Oliver was sleeping through the night. Something I thought wouldn’t happen for a long time if I’m completely honest.
Now for the part which has been a slightly more difficult sleeping habit to break, the early wake up calls. Because there were two separate sleeping habits that we were hoping to improve, we actually didn’t push this one too much to start with and at first focused on just sleeping through the night. However after the first few weeks – when Oliver had started sleeping through the night – we began to focus on getting Oliver to sleep until the wake up time we had set, which was 7am.
At first the Gro Clock made absolutely no difference to Oliver’s wake up time, so instead of trying to get Oliver to stay in bed, snoozing away until 7am, we tried to get him to stay in his room until 7am. So when he woke up, we would get him dressed and play with him in his room until the sun appeared on the clock. After a week, he would just play on his own until the sun appeared, so we then encouraged him to stay in his bed until the sun appeared, instead of getting up and playing. After a couple of days we would go into his room at 7am and he would be sat on his bed flicking through a book. We decided not to push the idea of going back to sleep, but once he started staying in bed we explained that he should try and go back to sleep until the sun appeared if he could. It’s been a long process, but I’m pleased to announce that last weekend Oliver actually had a lay in, where we had to wake him up. Something that two months ago, I wouldn’t have believed could happen.
The Gro Clock certainly isn’t a magical product that will alter your child’s sleep pattern at the click of a button, but it is an amazing aid which has helped us to establish a sleep routine that works a lot better for our entire family. Oliver is now a much happier toddler, who tantrums a lot less because he is better rested at night. So here is a big thank you to the Gro Company, for helping us improve our toddler’s sleep habits. Now I wonder when we can start using the Gro Clock on our youngest… is six months old too early?!
Have you tried using the Gro Clock to improve your child’s sleep habits? What did you make of it? Would you recommend it? I’d love to know. Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, Instagram or on Facebook. You can also follow me on Pinterest.
*Note: The Gro Company sent us the Gro Clock in return for an honest review.