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4.3 out of 5 stars
Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer
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1,923 of 1,954 people found the following review helpful
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!
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2010
Having twin girls our sleep is very precious! Our girls went from sleeping to 7am to suddenly having night time wakings were they would not settle and waking anytime between 4.30 and 5am! Rather than sitting quietly in their cots, they screamed the house down, ensuring they woke each other and us. We tried everything - no daytime sleep, later bedtime, controlled crying and blackout curtains to accompany our black out blind! We had a miserable few months as this new wake time became the norm.

Then we found Gro-clock. A little unsure if this would work (and wondering if it was worth the expense) but willing to try anything it has once again led us to have a full nights sleep. Our girls, only 2 years old quickly grasped that if the stars were out it was time to stay in their cots and go back to sleep or at least do no shouting! If they woke in the night we had reasoning power - "the stars are still out, its sleep time, you're not coming out until the sun comes up." This quickly had a positive impact on night time waking. With the early waking we gradually increased the sun coming out from 4.50am, to 5.00am, to 5.10am etc.

We are now at 6.20am and they sometimes go past this. If they do wake before the sun they wait quietly and then excitedly shout "mummy, daddy the sun is out wake up time!" It did take a couple of weeks but it was well worth it. I would recommend one for each child if you have two sharing the same room - which we did, so they can each see the stars/sun clearly on their bedside table. I would also point out that even on the lowest light setting they do seem bright, but to be honest after initially worrying about this it has not been an issue. My only other little criticism is that although you can lock the buttons when the clock is in night time mode, once the sun is up the lock comes off so little fingers can end up changing settings!

They enjoy the little story book and point out that they have the same clock! Saying goodnight to Mr Sun is now part of the bedtime routine. Thanks for a great product!
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on 29 October 2010
I had a look at a couple of these clocks that are available, discounting some that were battery powered only, and liked the simplicity of the design : blue moon for sleep time and yellow sun for wake up.

My little girl is nearly 4 and was struggling to stay in bed once it started getting light outside. The first night we used the clock she stayed til the yellow sun showed. Marvellous!

The option to show the time as well as the moon is helpful to adults and would be useful as she gets older, even if it is just digital. The screen brightness can be adjusted so it also makes a good night light. During the night there are little stars around the face that disappear as the time passes so they also have an idea of how long it is til getting up time.

The overall look is a simple clock (no mickey mouse ears!), and there is an audible alarm option too, so can could be used as a normal alarm clock when they get older, assuming it lasts that long. First impressions are that it is of a good build quality, from a known company Gro who make the baby sleeping bags, so would think it should stand up to some use.

I was surprised at the size because the photos make it look a bit of a huge novelty thing but it actually sits on the bedside unobtrusively during the day, and the screen dims to a grey power save mode when its not being used.

The only reason I didn't give it full marks was that the menu and buttons take a bit of getting used to. Its all icons and arrow keys and had me flicking back and forth a few times before I made it do what I wanted, but once that's learned it's a great device and well worth getting.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2014
The display was broken such that the black images and numbers barely rendered. But the LED light worked and I was excited to try it for our son, so I held the clock at a weird angle just so I could see the program and set the time and the wake up time. And after all of that, it still didn't work. The clock turned off completely during the night, upsetting our kid. Then I heard him crying after wake up time--the clock never changed over to day time. He was so sad, but didn't call for me because the clock was still blue. I'm mad.
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253 of 304 people found the following review helpful
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 10 May 2015
This has worked. From the first night my 3yr old has adapted to the clock.

It is a very clear and simple visual prompt.

This is how we did it.

I usually do bedtime so I read the book to her several times during the day. First I read it and then she asked for it repeatedly.

Then her normal routine for bed included the introduction of the clock and reading the book once again.

She was very excited that she had the same clock as in the story.

We set the clock to night time together and discussed the need to stay in bed when it was blue and the stars were out.

We talked about waking in the 'morning' when the sun came onto the clock and it was yellow.

Put the clock out of reach but visible.

The next morning she woke up at 5.30am got out of bed, looked at the clock said 'Oh!' got back in bed and went to sleep again.

Since then she has only woken up or shouted for me from her nursery when the sun has come up on the clock. I now get 'it's morning!' when we reach 7am on the dot. Not a sound before.

I have been praising her all week about sleeping well and how it has meant she is able to play and have lots of fun during the day just like the character in the story and she can relate to it.

This really is a brilliant clock that can be incorporated into a calm and restful bedtime routine.

I recommend this product 100%.
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on 6 January 2014
Santa brought our 3 yo a Gro-Clock for Christmas as she had been joining us in bed every night since she could walk, at any point from midnight until dawn. Not so bad when she was little, but seriously sleep-hindering now she's bigger and likes to sleep virtually on top of us! We tried the return to bed technique but the endless tears and hour-long sleep interruption for us all was a complete nightmare, and she seemed to take it very personally.

On the first night we explained that she was allowed to join us in our bed once the sun had changed from the moon (set for half an hour before our alarm as we do like cuddles, just not at 2am!). That night, she came into our room twice - both times I led her back to bed to see if the sun was there, and when she saw he wasn't she hopped right back into bed without any fuss. The next night she came in once, and I did the same - still no fuss. On the third night we didn't hear a peep out of her until our own alarm went off. I may have done a happy dance that morning.

Cons: It took a little getting used to to set it up. I do still find the buttons a bit confusing - maybe an extra button on there would make it a little simpler and more intuitive as I found I kept going around in circles at first. Perhaps I'll get more used to it in the next few days (it's only been half a week).

Would I recommend? Definitely. It has given me a child-free bed for the first time in 2 years!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2015
This is brilliant. My daughter is 3 years, 5 month old and understands it perfectly. I'm not sure why people are complaining, it's fantastic. She used to be up in the night and then up between 5-6am and would be tired all day. I got the clock and from night 1 she's slept all night until the sun rises at 6:45am. She knows if she wakes in the night it's time to go back to sleep if the star is out. I agree it isn't overly accurate and seems to be slightly slower than a regular clock, but this hasn't been a problem for us. Very glad I purchased this product,
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on 1 March 2011
A very well-built clock - not flimsy and cheap. I found it very good to start with but it began to lose time - about 15 minutes a week. I hadn't noticed this happening until one weekend when my daughter had started to ignore it because it was getting later and later and she was wanting to get up. I re-set it a couple of times with the same results. The company were very good and accepted its return with no postage to pay to return it. Whether this was a fault with just this clock or a general lack of quality in the manufacturing I don't know. I also found it to be very un-user-friendly - It's simple enough but time-consuming to set and can't be done with just the touch of a button. I also think it's quite uninventive and dull for a child to remain faithful to, and the novelty may wear off quickly. Some of the animal clocks available look much more creative, like the monkey clock, and I think there'd be more of a chance of a child taking notice of them for longer, but sadly they all require batteries.
After much searching, I have since discovered that this seems to be the only sleep trainer clock on the market that is totally mains-powered and requires no batteries, which is a real shame. All the others are battery powered and after reading several reviews, use lots of them by the sound of it. It also seems to be the only one that has a locking facility. For these reasons I would recommend it but only because it's the best of a bad bunch.
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