Gro-Clock (Review)

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.

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  1. says

    We LOVE the Gro Clock. SO much so that we now own two of them! It makes it so easy to explain to kids that if the star is out they need to go back to sleep.

    With the geekdaughter we have never managed to get her to go back to sleep past 6am, but we've reached the understanding that if there is only one star left around the side she can get up and play as long as she doesn't wake us up!

    With the geekson he has been known to get up when his sun comes out and switch the star back on so he can go back to sleep! Chalk and cheese, my two! 🙂

  2. says

    I've heard so many good things about these but I'd started thinking maybe Leo was too old for one and I could teach him to stay in bed with a digital clock but now I don't think it would be half as effective! Both my boys are terrible sleepers and after five years of broken sleep I will try anything!

  3. says

    I keep wondering if i should get one for the boys bedroon but at the moment they are sleeping past 7am so i do not consider that too bad! However, if they relapse especially once the mornings get lighter, then i may consider a gro clock x

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