The Gro-Company have come up with many fantastic ideas to make like easier for parents. I have been ‘blessed’ with a child who has always loved early mornings, I have seen more mornings around 5 a.m in the last 3 years than is good for your sanity. Cbeebies doesn’t even start until 6 a.m. proving that anything before that should illegal!
I have seen so many parents buying these gro-clocks but I never really believed it would work for Ben so I just got on with pleading, hoping and hiding under the pillow. None of these work btw!
This spring was our first with Ben not in a cot and also being more aware of light/dark/morning/night time, I had made the huge mistake of saying it is night-time as it was dark over the winter and that came back to bite me when spring sprung with the delights of it being light at 5.30 a.m.
After a run of pre 6 a.m. wakings and the pad pad pad across the hall way into my bedroom and the argument of “Ben it is still night-time” “No Mummy it is light” I knew that now was the time to try something new.
I asked around for reviews on the Gro-clock and it was a general yes it works…most of the time. So I decided to take the plunge, knowing that the re-sale on eBay is really high anyway so not really a risk.
I ordered from Amazon as it was the cheapest I could find at that time and it arrived in a few days.
The new version which I received now has the option of also showing the time to allow older children to learn the time as well as see the visual sun and moon display.
The clock comes with a book to explain to children the theory – we have only read this once on the first night then never needed it again, but for younger children it might be needed more.
I decided to be realistic on choosing when the sun came up so set it for 6.10 a.m. and we read the book, turned it on and had a chat about Ben would only get out of bed when the sun came up.
The first night I heard him wake at 5 a.m. mutter a bit then nothing until 5.45 a.m. when he called out he needed a wee. So I got up and he did one and then I said “Back to bed as the sun isn’t up” and he went with no fuss. Usually that would have been us up. At 6.10 a.m. I heard great excitement that the sun had come up.
We have had the Gro-clock for a month now and it really has made a huge difference to us, it means I have a definite thing to say if he does wake up too early, asking if the sun is up yet. On the occasional times he wakes around 5 a.m. for a wee he then goes back to bed afterwards. It was really useful when the clocks changed too.
I do think the key is being realistic about what time you set for the sun to come up as setting it to 7 or 8 a.m. when your child wakes at 5 a.m. is not going to work!
Also I got caught out one morning as Ben came in at 1 a.m. to tell me the sun was up – after posting on Facebook to ask friends what had happened as yes the sun had been up at 1 a.m. it seems the default setting for the 2nd alarm to be used for naps is 12 a.m. and I had by mistake chosen that the night before. So as advised I set the 2nd alarm for the same time as the 1st so it doesn’t matter which one is set now.
So in this house the clock has meant no more coming downstairs at 5 a.m. and arguing if it is morning or night-time, it won’t change the fact sometimes Ben needs to wee at 5 a.m. I get that (it is only a clock after all!) but it does mean your child can easily see what is night and what is morning time regardless of the season and actual lighting outside.
30th May 2011 Update
Well we have had the clock for about 10 weeks now and I am pleased to report I have managed to get Ben to 7 a.m! I have gradually added 5 or 10 mins as the weeks have gone on. we had a few hiccups on the way where he was ignoring it and I let him for a few days but then I realised and got strict again and he clicked back to waiting.
I still have no idea if he wakes up and looks at the clock and waits or just happens to wake up then – I am not too worried, all I know if that for the last week I haven’t had to deal with pre-7 a.m.