Earlier this year on twitter I expressed
mild irritation concern at The Boy's inability to stay asleep in the early hours of the morning. He was going through a phase of waking at around 5.30am and not going back to sleep; we were all exhausted and life was becoming quite unbearable! Many, many people stepped forward and suggested a sleep training clock, and The Gro Company stepped in to send us a Gro Clock to try out on him.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to the wonderful folk of twitter and the ingenius person who invented the Gro Clock, for changing my son's early morning sleeping habits.
The Gro Clock is a small white clock made up of a circular display with digital images on it. During daytime or 'waking' hours it shows a yellow screen with an overlaid image of a smiling and awake sun, but at nighttime or 'sleeping hours' it displays a soothing blue screen with a snoozing star to remind a stirring child that it's still sleepy time. The adult sets the acceptable waking time in the clock and, once the nighttime button has been pressed to change the screen from the sun to the sleeping star, the display will continue to show the sleeping star (with miniature countdown stars around the outside edge) until the clock has reached the time set. At this point the sun wakes back up and takes over the display with the yellow background again.
With the clock comes a wonderful story which explains the way that it works via a setting of a pig who lives on a farm and is grumpy because he doesn't have enough sleep. This is a wonderful story, beautifully illustrated and it really explains to the children the important of getting enough sleep.
The Boy took to the clock very quickly and it has become firmly embedded into our bedtime routine. He understood the point of it very quickly, and it took around a month for him to realise that if it was still blue then it wasn't time to be awake. We did have a random week early on where The Boy would wake up and rather than go back to sleep he would lie awake waiting for it to change to yellow. As he had no idea how long it would be (and sometimes it was an hour!), this was a particularly infuriating point of the training. However, it then took a month for him to train himself to go back to sleep, with consistent reiteration from us that if the screen was blue he had to close his eyes again. Once he'd understood it and 'got the hang of it', then we were able to change wake-up time from 6 o'clock to 6.45am. This took another month as we took it very slowly and only changed it by an extra ten minutes or so each week.
We're now eight months on from starting to use the Gro Clock and I could not recommend it strongly enough to parents of toddlers or older children! Every time we go away (even if only for one night), the clock comes with us. It is so reassuring to hear The Boy tell me that he saw the clock was blue and so he went back to sleep!
The Gro Clock is available from a variety of high street stores or online directly for £29.99.
I was sent this product for the purpose of this review, my opinion is honest and unbiased.