Product Review: The Gro Company Groclock Sleep Trainer
Groclock Sleep Trainer£34.99
Things We Like
- Very effective based on our experience with daughter
- A simple concept that kids understand
- Parent lock avoids tampering
- Night-time and daytime wake up times useful
Things We Dislike
- Menu is a little faffy
- No batteries / only works with mains
What’s It All About?
The Groclock is a sleep trainer for young children which helps them understand when it’s time to get up in the morning. Using kid-friendly images of a star and a sun, the Groclock communicates and teaches your child when they need to stay in bed and when it’s time to wake up.
What Do We Think?
We’ve been using the Groclock for a number of months with our 3.5 year old daughter and have been amazed at how well it has worked. She was waking earlier and earlier each morning, so we decided to employ the Groclock to see if it would keep her in bed until a more reasonable time – we’re pleased to say that it has worked perfectly!
The concept of the Groclock is very simple. When the screen displays a star, then your child should stay in bed. When the star changes to a sun at a preset time, your child is allowed to get up out of bed. So, in essence, the Groclock is all about teaching your child the morning wake up routine that you’d like them to have.
The box consists of the Groclock unit (which has a large screen and three buttons), the power adaptor, instructions and a Sleepy Farm story book. Setting up the Groclock didn’t take long at all and involved inserting the power cable and plugging it into the wall. You then need to set the current time and set the wake up times – there are two wake up times, one for night-time sleep and one for day-time naps. If, like us, your older child (sadly!) no longer naps, then you just set the same wake up times.
When it’s your child’s bedtime, you can read the Sleepy Farm story book to explain the concept to them – it’s basically about a grumpy and lazy pig who is bought a Groclock by his animal friends to help him sleep better. Whilst reading, you are instructed to manually activate the clock – which is done by pressing ‘down’ and ‘enter’. You can also lock the controls so it can’t be tampered with by holding ‘down’ for three seconds.
The screen changes to mimic sunset as a sun on an orange background slowly changes to become a star on a blue background. When the clock is activated, you’ll also notice 12 smaller stars around the bigger star – these count down during the night to give your child an indication of how long is left to go until the sun comes up.
Once morning arrives and the preset time is reached (7.30am in our case), the screen changes from a blue star to the orange sun to indicate that it’s time to get up. You can also turn on an audible alarm if you wish, but we’ve chosen not to. If everything has gone to plan, then your child should have stayed in bed until the sun appears.
For us, it’s been an invaluable sleeping tool. Our daughter had started coming through to our bedroom at 6am each morning. Purely thanks to the Groclock, we’ve pushed her get up to 7.30am – she’s also excited to turn it on at night and even more excited to tell us that the sun has come up in the morning. Despite often waking before 7.30am, she’ll just stay in bed until the sun appears – I can count on one hand the number of times she’s got up before the sun.
In addition to this main function, the Groclock can also act as a night light. When it’s dark, the display provides a blue glow into the room which has actually replaced our daughter’s previous night light. The light can be adjusted from 0 to 10 depending on preference. The Groclock also has the current time digitally displayed on the screen which can help with telling the time when kids are a little older.
That’s not to say that there aren’t improvements. Although the point of the clock is simplicity, a few additional features would be useful. I’d like to set a different wake-up time each day rather than just the same one. In addition, it’d be useful to set a time each evening whereby the Groclock activates automatically rather than having to do it manually. Finally, the menu system is a little faffy – it uses icons rather than words, so you really need the instructions by your side when setting or changing things.
All in all though, The Gro Company Groclock has been a fantastic purchase and has definitely helped us and our family. It’s definitely something we’d recommend for other families with young kids who like to get up a little earlier that you’d actually like!
What Does It Look Like?
What Do I Need To Know?
Main Features: Groclock indicates night-time and day-time through stars and sun, two set wake up times (night-time and daytime nap) digital clock display, parent lock, alarm, adjustable screen brightness.
Contents: Groclock, power adaptor, Sleepy Farm story book, instruction manual.
Price: £34.99 RRP, however we bought for £19.99 from Amazon.
Stockists: Multiple, including The Gro Company directly or Amazon*, John Lewis, Argos, Boots, Tesco etc.
Age Range: 2+ years. From experience, we’d say 3+ when a child is more likely to understand the concept.
*Affiliate link – please see Policies and Disclosure.