If you’re the parent of a toddler who isn’t a big fan of sleeping, the chances are a friend, acquaintance or internet search engine will have recommended buying them a Groclock. But what is it, and is it any good? Father Hood reveals all…
The Groclock explained
The Groclock sleep training aid is designed to help children who are too young to read an ordinary clock understand when it’s time to get up. It has two versions: Star (currently £19.99 on Amazon*), which features stars and the sun; and Ollie (currently £29.99 on Amazon), which features an awake and asleep owl.
Both Groclocks have two screens. The ‘wake-up time’ screen is a glowing orange, and features either the sun (Star) or an awake owl (Ollie). While the ‘sleep time’ screen is a soothing blue, and features a number of stars (Star) or an asleep owl and a number of stars and hearts (Ollie).
In theory, you or your child switch on the ‘sleep time’ screen when it’s time for bed, the stars disappear as the night goes on to signify the passing of time, and your kid stays under his or her duvet until the owl wakes or the sun comes up. In practice, here goes…
My wife, 3-year-old son and I have been using the Star version of the Groclock for around six months with mixed results. On the positive side, he sleeps much better than he used to and we have been able to seamlessly integrate the process of saying “night night to the sun” into his bedtime routine. Negatively, he always bounds into our room far too early in the morning, while informing us of that there are only “one or two stars left”.
Other parents’ perspectives
But what do other parents think about the Groclock? Honestly, I couldn’t care less. This is my site, my review and… …I’m just kidding. I appreciate that our experience may not be the norm, so I took to Twitter and polled my followers.
As you can see, it was another mixed bag, with just under a third of respondents loving the Groclock, half seeing no benefits whatsoever and the remaining 19% choosing “meh”. Note to self: provide a more insightful third option next time.
What they really think
Perhaps more interesting than the results, were the comments parents left below the poll. These ranged from the wholeheartedly positive…
It’s great. Worked a treat.— Josh Jeffery (@JeffCarnage) May 15, 2019
…to the good, but it takes a while…
Ours has worked but it’s taken a long time to kick in. Small gains here and there until she finally now plays/reads in her room until the sun comes up.— Neil – OneDadsView (@One_Dads_View) May 15, 2019
Massive game changer once he got to 3. Before then he didn’t give a toss!!— Claire Lock (@clairewoods93) May 15, 2019
…via the funny and sarcastic…
6am, GroClock optimistically set for 7.30am:— Jude Peppis-Clay 👩👦 (@GluingCheese) May 15, 2019
“mummy, my clock isn’t yellow yet!”
Repeat every morning until teenager-hood.
…to the overwhelmingly negative
No. No. No. No. No.— Ross Wintle (@magicroundabout) May 15, 2019
Shiny light up things with buttons? To help sleep? 😂😂😂
I don’t think so.
Wish I’d seen this poll when it was still open; would’ve battered my finger on the “it did nothing” button so hard— Andi Best Design (@AndiBDesign) May 16, 2019
So, what does it all mean?
It means that I am about the plonk my backside firmly on the fence and say the Groclock could be the sleep solution you’re looking for, but it also might not be. Or, to put it another way. Buy one by all means, but it’s probably a good idea to keep the receipt.
Until next time…
*As an Amazon Associate, Father-Hood.co.uk earns from qualifying purchases.