I heart the Gro-Clock

For about six months now, Harry has been waking in the night and coming into our room. He walks in, says “I had a bad dream” (he doesn’t seem like he’s had a bad dream – he’s not scared or upset) and then either David or I take him back to his room, put him back in bed, give him a kiss and he goes straight back to sleep. And then he gets up around 5-5.30 wide awake and ready for the day.

It happens every single night. Usually twice. On Monday night it was four times. We’ve tried threats of taking away computer or TV time (total failure). We’ve tried incentives (that worked for about a week). We asked him what he thought would work. He suggested a new Build-a-Bear that he could “huggle” whenever he woke up. We bought him one. It didn’t work. (The boy plays us for fools!) We’ve tried flat out refusing to get out of bed and return him to his room, but that caused a meltdown and we don’t want to risk waking Joe as well, obviously.

So after Monday night, we’d had enough. I asked on Twitter for advice (of course) but no one had any suggestions. I googled and found quite a few people with the same problem asking for help, but didn’t find anyone offering solutions (I also found someone who’d returned their child to bed EIGHTEEN times the previous night so, you know, it could be worse).

I’d looked at the Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer a few times and thought Harry was probably too old for it to work, but I read the reviews on Amazon, saw lots of helpful comments from Rob, the creator of the clock, and so emailed him to ask if he thought it would work on a 7-year-old. He said yes (I know: he would, wouldn’t he? But after reading his comments on Amazon I trusted him. He seems to go above and beyond, customer service-wise.) So I ordered one.*

Harry was very excited about it (as was Joe). We set it up. We explained to him (as we’ve done many times) that if he woke up he should look at the clock, see that it was still nighttime and go back to sleep. I set ‘morning’ to start at 6.00am (David suggested 6.30, I told him not to push his luck). Harry asked me to set it for 6.02 cos he’s funny like that.

When me and D went to bed, David said, “I doubt he’s going to stay in bed all night, is he?” “No,” I said. “Probably not.”

At 5am I woke and thought, Harry hasn’t been in. I lay there feeling a bit discombobulated. I fretted a bit. I actually considered going in to check he was okay. I resisted.

At 6.02 Harry came in, beaming. “I stayed in bed all night!” he said.

Yep. He did.

* If I’d ordered it from The Gro Company and it hadn’t worked, I could have sent it back for a full refund, but I didn’t – I ordered it from Amazon because it was quite a lot cheaper. Sorry, Rob.

{No one asked me or paid me to write this. I’m writing it because I’m thrilled that it worked!}

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11 thoughts on “I heart the Gro-Clock

  1. Wow, that is amazing! So pleased you found a solution and I can imagine lots of parents will read this and take a little trip to Amazon. I hope your better nights continue.

  2. We have one of these! It didn’t really work because Jimmy is too little, but we will try again later. Rob’s customer service is the thing I remember. The man is a legend. We are big Gro-bag fans in this family too. Rob deserves all his success. Phenomenal.

  3. Wish I’d seen your tweet asking for advise – although you’ve found what I’d have said anyway! I love our grow clock like crazy! We even take it away with us everywhere. Glad it’s working for you, the little ones are so proud to stay in until the sun is shining aren’t they!! Lovely!!

  4. So glad it worked! Friends of mine have one too and swear by it (I didn’t see your tweet or would have suggested it!)

  5. When my eldest was little – ooooh 8 years ago now – I bought a bunny rabbit alarm clock that opened it’s eyes when it was morning. Thing was the flaming thing made such a noise when it opened it’s eyes that even if he was still asleep that woke him up! Awful! So i hope the gro-clock doesn’t have a noisy mechansim and it sounds like it doesn’t!

  6. Thanks, everyone. He’s at his grandparents’ tonight and he usually sleeps through there anyway (he took it with him though), but we’ll see if it works again tomorrow night.

    Thanks, Jo. I’ve looked at the bunny clock a few times, so I’m glad I didn’t go for that one now.

    1. Thanks for asking. Yes, we are! Some nights he still gets up, but it’s once rather than four times. We’ve actually just done a ‘staying in bed’ chart too and he hasn’t got up at all the last two nights – the Gro Clock helps with that too, since he knows he’s not allowed up until 6 and is happy to check the clock and stay put.

      1. That’s great it’s still working so well. I ended up buying one a couple of days ago. My 4 year old and 2 year old share a room. 4 year old would get up at night and 2 year old wakes up WAY too early 4am is not cool. 2 year old needs a bit more practice but it’s working great for my 4 year old. Fingers crossed it doesn’t take too many more super early mornings before he understands a bit better and starts sleeping longer.

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