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4.3 out of 5 stars2,956
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 9 November 2010
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!
3232 comments2,086 of 2,123 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 January 2016
Can't praise this product enough. Although I had read good reviews I was a little unsure if it would be effective as my son is only 23 months old and it is recommended for aged 2 and over. My son has always been a good sleeper but in the last couple of months he has become increasingly difficult to get to sleep meaning a screaming fit night after night and he has been waking up during the night with similar results meaning a broken nights sleep for us all and very tired parents. The clock arrived, it is simple to set up with clear instructions. There is a lot more functionality than we need such as alarm and daytime nap settings but a useful addition for people that have regular nap times but for us the appeal was the hope it would make him settle again at bedtime. I showed it him explaining what it did and he was instantly interested and we went through the stars and sleepy time to the sun and 'up' time several times. I read the accompanying book to him although I don't feel that has aided us much as it is a little less to the point about the functionality of the clock than I imagined so we have read it just the once. The very first night he slept, I heard him at 6am he shouted then stopped going back to sleep. I felt this must be a fluke but carried on talking about the stars meaning sleep and snoring and the sun meaning 'up' and praising him lots for settling down and staying down We have now had it five days and he has gone to bed with no issues every night. One night he was woken by his sister having a nightmare and when I put him back down he cried so I told him that stars mean sleep and he cried but when I said I would take his clock away if he didn't stop he instantly said 'no' lay down and went sleep. This has confirmed he is settling because of his new clock, he points at it lots and seems to really love it. He has woken the odd day in the morning and gone back down and on an occasion I went in and told him stars meant sleep and he chatted to himself for a bit but didn't get upset. From our point of view the main thing we needed was for him to go to sleep without the struggle as it was getting to be a pattern and it has definitely done this. Due to working shifts we don't have set nap times but I have simply changed it to stars as he has gone down and reiterated what it means and he has napped just as well and settled at various times in the day. I am really impressed and am so pleased we bought this and he loves his special new clock.
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on 30 December 2011
I cannot recommend this light highly enough. We bought it for our daughter last Christmas when she was nearly 3, and I am sure it has given us all hundreds of hours extra sleep over the last year. It took a few nights for her to get used to it (running commentary on the first night!), and we have had the occasional morning when she's come in at 5am insisting it must be broken because it is obviously "wakey-up time". And admitedly she is an owl and not a lark. But I reckon on 29 mornings out of 30, she stays in bed until the sun comes on her clock. Even on Christmas morning. And her body clock is probably now set to wake up at the right time as a result.

In terms of setting it, it's not the most straightforward but to be frank it's no more complicated than the average mobile. We use the "nap" setting to give us all an extra half an hour in bed at weekends :-) which works nicely! She can set the clock herself now (once I have set up the default times) - I didn't show her this so presumably there has been some experimenting at some point! It has a key lock if necessary, which she finds very frustrating :-)

It is fairly bright - similar in intensity to the gro-egg thermometer if you have one. We have them both on a bookcase at the other end of the bed, the light doesn't bother her at all. Most children prefer it not to be pitch black anyway.

Hope the clock helps you as much as it helps us!
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on 2 June 2015
Every once in a while the human race manages to discover or invent something that changes the future forever. From the caveman's discovery of fire, through the invention of the wheel, and more recently the invention of the silicon chip, lives were changed for the better and the generations that followed flowered in the wake of greatness. The Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer is one such landmark advancement. This seemingly simple device took just two weeks to train my 23 month old twins to stay in bed and not wake Daddy up at 5am every day. They now happily lay in bed, chatting, playing peekaboo and waiting for the sunshine to show up. For the last week, I've not had to get up before 7.15am. Yep, seven fifteen. This is the best thing I have ever bought. And for £20 too! If I'd known what a difference this would make to my life I would happily have paid ten times that. When my kids have grown up and no longer need this clock, I'm going to build a shrine around it and give thanks to it every day.
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on 28 July 2015
This clock is rubbish, when it works its great, but that is when it doesn't decide to turn off in the middle of the night, or just forget to turn to sun in the morning! Oh and no batteries so if there is a power cut in the night it just turns off! And finally extremely simple parent lock so my clever 4 year old figured out that in 2 seconds
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on 28 July 2015
Has a mind of its own. My son realised he could just switch it off and on on the wall to reset it for the sun to come up. And sometimes the sun didn't appear when it was meant to. Very hard work. More trouble than it's worth
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on 24 August 2009
I bought this a few weeks ago for my 3 year old son who kept getting up ridiculously early, whatever time he had gone to bed. As he has been growing out of daytime sleeps he was getting really tired and bad tempered in the day.
The price nearly put me off but the clock seemed a good design and I decided to give it a try over the holidays. It has worked perfectly. He has enjoyed setting it in the evenings (watching the sun close its eyes and change into the moon) and comes into our room at 7.30am with a beaming smile every morning telling us that the sun has come up. He has always had a night light in his bedroom and this doubles up as that, plus you can alter the brightness.
Setting it up initially was quite straightforward and if you unplug it to move it or to take away on holiday, it retains the settings. The fact that it can also be set to display digital time and has an audio alarm if required means that it will go on to be useful as he gets older.
In summary we are all getting more sleep and are a much happier household!
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on 3 October 2011
Bought this for my 2 year old who kept waking at 5am - which is a little too early! Followed the instructions (which were very easy) and also used one of the VERY useful detailed ratings by a lady (thank you very much - apologies for not making a note of who you were) who gave it 5 stars.
My son gradually learnt to use it (probably took 4-5 days) properly and after I'd put the clock back further each day, he stayed in bed longer each day. He now gets up around 7, which is a much more reasonable time for a 2 year old to wake up.

2 points to note: Yes, I agree with the other people when they say that it does need battery backup - this would be a very useful thing to add and I would have provided 5 stars if it had it.
2nd point - to those people who say that it is difficult to set the time....... please stay indoors and close the curtains, DO NOT GO OUTSIDE and please get someone to remove all sharp objects in your house - this is a VERY simple clock to set (for both the clock time and the waking time for afternoon nap and morning) and if you can't follow some easy instructions, you probably shouldn't be using a computer - you may well be a danger to yourself.
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on 4 January 2012
The Gro-Clock is great. We bought this for our son who had been waking us up more or less nightly at around 2am, and then again an hour or so before we wanted to get him up.

The clock comes with a little story book about going to sleep, and that worked nicely as an introduction to using it. James quickly got the hang of turning the clock on himself before going to bed and after a few nights simply began to sleep through.

The trick is to go in the first few times when your child cries, look at the clock and say "I've got to go back to bed, look, it's not time to get up yet.." Amazingly this worked

Usefully the clock has an adjustable light level because out of the box it's really quite bright, and the best thing about it is it just works. Probably the best single purchase we've made for our son - strongly recomended.

Edit - January 2014

My son is still using the clock after close to 2 years - we have settled into a grove where he knows he can turn on the light and read or play quietly if there is only one star left on the clock. It really works - very definitely still a recommended purchase.
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on 5 February 2015
Great idea and good display but... It states that you can lock the device so that your children can't use the buttons... unfortunately it locks for a certain amount of time and then by the time it's nearly time to get up... my 3yr old has pressed the buttons, changed all the settings and told me at 5 am that the sun is shining on her clock and it's time to get up! so disappointed the button lock doesn't mean lock.
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