Gro clocks - do they work?

Gro clocks - do they work?

Working on sleep with a strong willed toddler who knows exactly what they want can be truly soul destroying. 

Often, toddlers need some additional tools from our trusty sleep toolbox to have them sleeping harmoniously again. When toddlers are old enough to realise they can push boundaries, they likely will. When they’re old enough to escape their cot, they’ll likely try. When they’re old enough to delay bedtime with 5,000 different requests, they’ll likely find all the random things they suddenly require. 

What is one tool that we can use to have our little ones falling asleep, staying asleep and staying in bed until a reasonable hour of the morning?

The gro-clock ( or any sleep training clock)

When is a good time to introduce a gro-clock?

Before the age of 2 is probably a little too young. Between 2-3 is a great time!

Each child's cognitive understanding differs greatly between 2 and 3 so some kids will be ready for it closer to 2 and others, you may need to wait until closer to 3.

Before you use the Gro-Clock for the first time…..

Teach your kids about the sun and the stars prior to introducing. For kids to be able to understand the gro-clock, they need to understand how the sun goes away at night and the stars come out then the sun will appear again in the morning and that’s when we’re allowed to wake up. Begin to teach your child about this transition from day to night using the sun and stars before you look to introduce the gro-clock.

If you’re battling early rising….

  1. Work out the average time your child has been waking 
  2. For the first 2 days, set the clock 10 mins earlier than this time (soz). You want them to be able to achieve their goal early one otherwise they will be disinterested. Celebreate LOT'S when they achieve the goal!
  3. The next 2 days, return to the normal wake up time you started with
  4. Each day, set the clock 5 minutes later until you reach your ideal wake time

Don’t set your clock to your ideal wake time from the get go. Your child will likely not achieve that goal and this will have them disinterested in the whole process.
The first day, set an achievable goal by setting the clock 10 mins PRIOR to their usual awake time (soz). When our child wakes for the first time and the sun is out on our clocks, we will go in and make a HUGE song and dance about how wonderful they are and how well they’ve done. Rewards can also be a great addition!
Each day, set your clock 5-10 minutes later until you’ve reached your ideal wake time. Each time your toddler reaches the goal and stays in bed/asleep until the sun comes out, continue to shower them with praise.


Reward charts are going to be your best friend and secret weapon to ensuring things stay on track and the Gro Clock does it thing. Introduce a rewards chart inline with your little one staying in bed until the clock turns yellow and praise them for this. Make a huge deal out of it to help encourage them to do it the next night as you slowly move the goal posts with your timings on the clock. 

Consistency is key!!
Like anything we implement with our little ones, consistency is key!
If we tell our little ones they have to try to sleep or stay in bed until the sun comes up on their clock but they yell out for us and we go into their room, we’re teaching them that they can ignore the clock if they want to. There will be times you may need to enter the room (toileting accident, sickness etc) but if it’s just because they want to start their day, we need to stick to our rules and boundaries!

It’s important to remember that every child is different.
Your child may LOVE the gro clock and respond positively straight away
Your child may take a few weeks to respond
Your child may love it at first but then it becomes ineffective.
It’s not a fix-all solution but it’s a proven tool in assisting with toddler sleep behaviours!

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