This product totally works, my son is only 22 mths old, but 5 days later it had completely changed his waking times from 4am to 6am! And 9 days in, he's now consistently waking up between 6.15 - 6.30am. Below is how I did it -
My 22 mth old son has always been a bit of a challenging sleeper, but recently it was just getting ridiculous. 4am starts told me that something needed to be done (not least of all because my husband was away, so I was doing all the early morning starts!) Anyway, I invested in a groclock after a friend recommended one. I have to say, I was a bit dubious, my son is only 22 mths old, and I wondered if he'd actually understand what was going on.
The first day I got it, we read the accompanying book a couple of times, then I spent 3 x 5min sessions with him running through the demo mode, so we saw the sun wink (bye bye Mr Sun!) and turn into the star (Night night! Sleeping time! - we pretended to go to sleep) then into the sun again (Morning Mr Sun! Get up! Get up! - we leapt up and danced around). We did this until it seemed like he understood what was going on. I ambitiously set the sun to come up at 6am, and waited to see how it would go.
Anyway, needless to say, day 1 he woke up at 4am, I went into his room, sat with him, and just kept saying, no, sleeping time, we need to wait until the sun gets up (I'd put some toys in his cot for him to play with, and I encouraged him to do so). After an hour of this, he was beginning to lose the plot, so I subtly changed the clock to the sun, and waited for him to notice. When he did, I made a HUGE fuss of him - yes, yes clever boy, it IS the sun. Let's get up!!
Day 2, woke up at 4.10am. This time I gave it a bit longer before I went in to sit in his room, then again encouraged him to read his books, play with his cars etc. I talked to him about having to wait for Mr Sun, and didn't stay in the whole time, went in, reassured, then went out. At no time did I get him out of his cot, I just encouraged him to wait for the sun.
Day 3, woke up at 5.40am. This time, because it was only 20 mins until he had to get up, I didn't go in at all, just talked to him from outside the door about having to wait for the sun.
Day 4, woke up at 4.55am. I was a bit discouraged, felt like we were going backwards, but this time I didn't go in, just called out to reassure him, and encourage him to play with his cars, read his books, and wait for the sun. Again, I constantly reassured him if he called out or cried, but I didn't go in.
Day 5, woke up at 5.45am, and played until the sun came up
Day 6, woke up AFTER THE SUN!! 6.01am!!
Day 7, woke up at 6.35am
Day 8, woke up at 6.16am (I then took the plunge and changed the wakeup time from 6.00am to 6.15am)
Day 9, woke up at 5.40am, but didn't cry, then put himself back to sleep until 6.20am. He has NEVER put himself back to sleep before.
My top tips for success are
1) Decide you really want to do this before you start. You'll need an iron will to keep going even when bubs is protesting.
2) Once you really decide you want to do it, do NOT get the child out of bed until 'Mr Sun' comes up. I found it was ok to go in and sit with them, encourage them to play in their bed / cot, reassure them etc. If the child really starts to lose it, I would press the button to bring on the sun for the first day, or the second at a real push, but try not to let them see you doing it, otherwise they'll associate you with the sun - and it's key they understand the sun comes out independently of Mummy or Daddy coming into their room! Similarly, try not to go in if you can possibly help it.
3) Set the wake up time as their regular wake up time for the first day, then move it by 15 mins each day until you get to your desired time. I didn't do this, and think it would probably have helped.
4) Think about what you do with your child when they wake up. I thought about it and realised that we were letting him watch telly (mainly because we were so wiped!!), but actually this was reinforcing the early waking, as he was leaping out of bed, so excited about watching Peppa Pig! By not allowing him to watch telly until I was preparing dinner, I removed this association. So now, it's a cup of milk and independent play until 7am, when he has breakfast.
5) Spend a bit of time each day for the first week running through the demo mode with very exaggerated actions and enthusiasm (e.g. loud snores for sleeping, big leaps for getting up). Make it fun. And do it until your child understands. Reinforce it whenever you're reading any book, most kids books have pictures of suns or stars somewhere in them - point at it, and say what is this? Child will say 'sun, stars' etc - say, yes, it's the sun, star - what does that mean? Child - wake up, sleep. You - yes, that's RIGHT. Clever boy/girl - when we see the SUN we WAKE UP!, when we see the STAR we SLEEP.
6) Be consistent - be consistent, be consistent. Don't do it unless you're going to see it through, as your child will absolutely test you to see if you're serious. So this is why it helps to set the wakeup time close to their actual wakeup time to begin with - it's much easier to reinforce if you don't have to deal with an hour of protesting to begin with!