As promised, I want to touch base on how it’s going using the toddler alarm clock I bought for Owen. This is a totally unsponsored, unpaid post. I bought the clock myself out of desperation and sleep deprivation!
After we transitioned Owen into his new room and big boy bed, he managed to get the sleeping all night in there part down pat quickly. But since he now could climb out of bed on his own, as soon as he opened his eyes he was doing just that, opening the door and coming into our room. Every day between 5 and 5:30 a.m…WAY too early for his tired parents.
We tried bringing him back to bed and tucking him back in: FAIL. We tried letting him cozy with us in our bed, hoping he would go back to sleep: kick you in the stomach for a half hour FAIL. We tried to let him play on his own with toys in our room while we rested: drive toy trucks on your face for 5 minutes before demanding oatmeal FAIL.
So that’s how I found myself one VERY early morning combing the internet for a solution to our sleep problem. I came across a lot of chatter about toddler alarm clocks doing the trick and figured well, it certainly couldn’t make things worse. After reading some reviews, I decided on the Onaroo OK to Wake! Alarm Clock. I ordered it from Diapers.com because the price was comparable to other places, and since I was ordering it so early in the morning, it would be delivered the very next day.
The concept is simple: you set the time you want your child to wake up. When that time arrives, rather than the clock making noise, it glows green and displays a smiley face (see photo above), indicating to your child that it’s OK to wake up.
When the box arrived, I made a big deal about opening this special gift for Owen and explaining to him what it was for. I set the clock for a few minutes from then and showed him how it glowed. “When the light is off,” I told him, “it’s still night time. We stay in our bed. But when the light turns green, it’s time to WAKE UP! And come get Mommy!” He was SUPER excited about it and started repeating, “Light turn green! Come get Mommy!” over and over. I set it for 6 a.m. and crossed my fingers.
I’ll be honest with you: it has NOT been an overnight success. Not even close. While Owen completely understands the concept of the clock, (he talks about staying in bed until the light turns green all the time), we are still not on a consistent routine with it. I don’t think this is the fault of the clock, though, rather that he’s only just two and when he wakes up, well, he wants his mom. He is slowly getting better with it, though, and after two weeks of using it we have had some really good mornings. On occasion he will wake up so close to the time, so I will go back to bed with him and we wait quietly together until it turns on. I think that has helped him understand the concept better.
I have slowly been able to push the wake time up to 6:15 and today he came RUNNING into my room at 6:17 announcing the light turned green and was SO PROUD of himself. Beaming! Kissing! Dancing!
Well, I had to get up after that. I was so proud of him too! I am optimistic about this little clock. A lot of the positive reviews are written by people with toddlers closer to three years old who seem to get it right away, so I’m not worried about having continued success with it.
– In terms of design, I don’t find this little guy all that obnoxious looking. It comes with two interchangeable face plates; a pink flower or a green “alien” (we are using the green). When it’s in clock mode it displays a digital time reading, and when it turns on it makes a smiley face. It makes no noise.
– It is battery powered, which I suppose could be a nuisance to some, but I like that I could position it anywhere in the room and that it’s portable for travel.
– You can set the alarm to stay on for up to 2 hours, so if your toddler happens to sleep through the wake time (yay!!), it will still be on when they do wake up. This way there’s no confusion about waiting for the light.
– There are also options to use the clock as a nap timer, but I haven’t used it, as Owen naps just fine without it.
– The control buttons are hidden under a panel that is flimsy. Some reviews I read said that they were disappointed their toddler broke or damaged the clock by dropping it. I kind of want to say, “well…duh” to those people, because of course your kid is going to want to play with it. To avoid this all together, I put the clock on top of Owen’s dresser facing the bed. He hasn’t asked to play with it, so that’s that.
Overall, I am really pleased with this clock and firmly believe it will only work better for us over time. At around $30 for a clock it is a little on the pricey side, but I don’t think you can put a price on sleep!