Tackling Toddler Bedtime with Groclock

22 Aug 2018

*Features press samples

It's no secret that Willow has always been a good sleeper, something I discussed in a feature last year, 'I'm not sorry our daughter sleeps well'. Whilst Willow is still a great sleeper, once she's down she sleeps through till morning unless unwell, now that she is a fully fledged toddler we do find both bedtime itself and waking up in the morning a little bit trickier. That's where the Groclock comes into play, a wonderfully simple yet effective sleep trainer for young children that has helped us get Willow into a really good nighttime and morning routine and it's so easy to use!

A review of the Groclock sleep trainer for young children

Before adding the Groclock to Willow's bedroom, we would face the same difficulties each night and each morning. At night time, once the evenings became lighter for spring and summer, Willow would be reluctant to go to bed at her usual time of between 6:30pm and 7pm. She was determined that as the sun was still up 'and smiling', that it couldn't possibly be bedtime yet. We do have great curtains in her room that block out a good chunk of light but have had to resort to using our Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind again in the height of summer, which I shared back when pregnant with Willow in my 'The Gro Company Baby Essentials' feature. Still, she wasn't so easily 'conned' and we spent many nights trying to persuade her that it was time for bed - until, we introduced the Groclock.

Mornings would give us the same problem; as soon as the sun came up, especially if we weren't using our Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind the night before, Willow would be up exceptionally early. On a good day, her average wake up time would be between 6:45am and 7:30am. Over summer this has drastically changed, with her waking up anytime between 5:30 and 6:20am. Of course, we could try rolling back bedtime to a later time to see if that made her wake up later, but I was pretty sure that it was the super bright early mornings that were prompting the early starts and, generally, I feel her bedtime of 6:30pm - 7pm is a good time for a toddler.

So how has the Groclock helped? Well when it comes to bedtime, we have managed to use it as a great motivator to get Willow into bed, as we turn on the night time mode which changes from a bright and cheery yellow sunshine screen to a blue "Mr Star" night time screen surrounded by little stars, which is much lower in brightness so it doesn't keep her up at night, like a very subtle nightlight. Throughout the night each of those little stars surrounding Mr Star will disappear one by one, counting down the time to morning. Switching the Groclock from daytime to nighttime mode lets Willow know that it's bedtime now, regardless of whether the sun is still up outside - if Mr Star is out in her bedroom, it's bedtime! If your little one still naps, you can also set a second sleep time for during under the 'nap time' setting which works in the same way.

A review of the Groclock sleep trainer for young children

So it helps encourage Willow to get into bed each night, but how does it stop her getting up too early? Well, although we can't prevent her from waking up when she does, we can use the Groclock to encourage her, within reason (if she needs the toilet then, of course, she can go to the toilet!), to stay in bed until a more appropriate time. We set our 'wake up' time at 6:45am, which is when Mr Star will change back to the happy bright sunshine, to let Willow know that it's time to get up now.

For Willow, this works really well because although she may still wake up earlier than the set wake up time we've given her Groclock, she is happy to stay in bed. Sometimes if she wakes up really early and sees it's still Mr Star on her Groclock, she'll fall back asleep. Other times, she'll happily play in bed with her teddies or read a book to herself, waiting for the sunshine to show it's cheery face before she declares it's 'time to get up now mummy!'.

Some other features to the Groclock which we don't personally use but I think are really fab, are the option to change the nighttime setting from Mr Star to a digital clock, for those slightly older who are learning to tell the time. This was actually a popular request from Gro fans, which the brand took on board and added as a feature to their latest version of the Groclock - I love brands that listen to customers! You can also use an audible alarm sound, which would also be great for older children who need encouragement to get out of bed ready for nursery or preschool.

The Groclock itself uses mains power, is exceptionally easy to set up with easy an easy-to-read instruction manual and it even comes with a free bedtime book, which for our little bookworm was a really lovely addition and goes so well hand-in-hand with the Groclock. It's also very lightweight, which makes it perfect for taking away with you or using at sleepovers. There's also a super fun reward chart you can download from The Gro Company website to use alongside your Groclock, which is a great idea if you're little ones need a bit of help getting used to the idea!

If you want to add the Groclock to your bedtime and morning routine, you can find out more at www.gro.co.uk.

*Feature includes complimentary press samples sent for review; I have not been financially compensated for this feature. Please see my disclaimer for more information.