3 Year Old “THE SKY’S AWAKE SO I’M AWAKE”
Me “It’s 5am”
3 Year Old “But I’m not tired. I want the iPad. I want hot milk”
….and so it begins.
I have a 2 year old who doesn’t sleep and a three and a half year old who is an early riser. Suffice to say my husband and I are a little tired. After writing a recent post about our sleep deprived lives on my blog, several people suggested I try a Gro-clock. Whilst we knew it couldn’t stop our 2 year old from waking frequently, we hoped if we could keep our eldest in bed a little longer we may be able to catch up on some of those missed zzzzzzz’s.
THE DAY IT ARRIVED I posted a photo of it on Facebook. I received lots of comments from other Gro-clock users, mostly positive. Apparently lots of people were already members of the Gro-clock fan club. I was excited to be joining the gang.
THE CONCEPT IS VERY SIMPLE – For anyone who is not already in the Gro-clock club or in the know about Gro-clocks it is meant to encourage your child to stay in bed until YOUR desired time in the morning instead of THEIRS!
HOW IT WORKS IS SIMPLE TOO – you activate the clock by setting the time you would like your child to wake up from both day sleeps and night sleeps (morning time). Once activated, 12 small stars appear around one big star and throughout the night at certain points a small star disappears. This is the countdown until wake-up time. When it is time for your child to get up, the star is replaced with a bright yellow smiling sunshine which stays lit up for 2 hours.
After posting the photo on Facebook everyone was eager to find out how our first night as a member of the Grow-clock– group had gone.
THIS WAS MY EXPERIENCE OF USING A GRO-CLOCK
The girls were excited looking and playing with the clock. They helped me set it and we enjoyed watching the cute demo of how it would work (the star winks as it says goodnight and the light saver mode come on). When it’s time to get up the bright smiley yellow sunshine also provide them with lots of amusement. There is also a colourful rhyming picture book included to read to your child all about the animals on a farm going to sleep with the aid of a Gro-clock which the girls enjoyed me reading to them.
Aware that our 2 year old wouldn’t understand the concept our focus was on our 3.5 year old. We explained that if she stayed in be until the sun shone we would let her choose a present from the shop.
The following morning we were woken by the sound of our eldest daughter padding into our room saying she had lost her teddy bear. It was 4.20am.
Initially disappointed we located her teddy and suggested she go back to her bed. She wasn’t keen and not long after woke her sister up.
My husband and I blearily grunted at each other and discussed why it hadn’t worked. The answer was obvious. She shares a room with her sister and has always been instructed to be quiet if her sister’s asleep. She woke up and we couldn’t reasonably expect her to lie in the dark for 2 hours, even I wouldn’t do that. I re-read some of the comments from the Gro-Clock fans on my Facebook, most mentioned that they encouraged their child to play in their room quietly until the sun came up. Our daughter can’t do this as she will wake her sister. I needed a better strategy.
So I told her. If you wake up before the sun shines. TRY to close your eyes and go back to sleep. If you Really, Really, Really can’t get back to sleep. Then you can come and play in the lounge with your toys until the sun has come up. You are not allowed to demand hot milk or breakfast UNTIL the sun is shining (and mummy and daddy had had what would be deemed as a lie in in our house).
SUCCESS – I heard her get up and go into the lounge where she played quietly with her my little ponies until I got up. She didn’t make her usual demands until I informed her that the sun was now up and she could have breakfast. She was so excited to see the sun shining and know that she had made me happy she proceeded to run into the bedroom and wake her dad up “daddy, daddy the sun is shining”.
Was a bad night for everyone due to coughs and frequent waking by her younger sister. She managed to stay in bed until 20 minutes before the sun arrived and still knew not to demand hot milk or breakfast pre-sun
The Gro-clock has definitely had some positive impact for us with regards our eldest daughter however I don’t feel we have been able to really put it to the test whilst she shares a room with her younger sister who frequently wakes her through the night.
WHAT I LOVED
It arrived quickly – 2 days after confirming my review, it arrived in the post.
The clock is lightweight with no sharp edges so would be safe for a child to play with (as both mine did).
The user guide is SO straightforward to follow and they really have thought of everything
If the light is too light throughout the night – you can change the LED setting
If the child plays around with it – you can lock it so they can’t affect the settings
If they can’t see it for any reason – there is an audible alarm
If you want the same system for day time naps – you can set it for day time naps and sleep times so you don’t need to re-set it
If you want to show your child how it works – there is a demo mode
They even remind you not to let your child see how you set the key lock….sound obvious but as I was working through the manual I very nearly did it in front of my daughter who continually surprises me with her knowledge of technology.
There wasn’t really anything I didn’t like about it. I feel confident that if our daughter was in her own room it would work. I intend to keep using it to encourage her to stay in bed longer and as soon as her sister is a little older we will explain it to her too so hopefully they will both use it.
The Gro-clock is available to buy for $59.95 and can be purchased online at: http://au.gro-store.com/gro-clock.html
I was gifted the Gro-clock but did not receive any payment for writing this review
After sending my review to Gro-Store they provided some additional feedback:
Thank you for sharing your review.
I have read your review, it seems that the product was unsuitable for your situation and appreciate the angle you have had to take.
We would normally recommend that you use the clock from as early as 2 years of age, you mention in your article that your youngest was too young to start but we recommend starting the product as early as possible and feel that this is the ideal time for you to start.
We encourage our users to start with the book first and then introduce the clock. We also encourage people to start the process very slowly, if your little one wakes at 5am and you want to get them to sleep longer we say to increase the time to say 5:30am and then when they achieve this goal increase the time and so on. Therefor we probably think that this will work better on your younger child. To further encourage children to respond we have a reward chart that you can use this helps to keep them motivated. (See attachments)
Thank you again for taking the time to review our product. Happy for you to share on your blog as you feedback is invaluable.
Key Account and Marketing Manager