By Bryce GruberFeb 24, 2023
You got past the worst parts of sleep training. Now your toddler is inching toward big kid routines and needs a fun-to-use toddler alarm clock. These brilliant gadgets help form healthy sleep routines that set the stage for the whole day, and they may even help them stay in bed longer. If you haven't already added one to your baby registries, do so now. They're that good.
A toddler alarm clock is a redesigned take on the old classic with little ones in mind. These are also called OK-to-Wake clocks and are typically number-free clocks that rely on lights, sounds, images and characters to show pre-readers when it's time to get out of bed. Sometimes toddler alarm clocks combine all four methods to drive the point home. No matter how you dice it, toddlers love sensory activation and quickly learn better sleep routines.
If you're moving onto toddler beds and kids' mattresses, it's definitely time to consider a toddler clock. It's best to choose the model you think your little one will respond to best, and then start slowly by easing them into using the clock. Spend time explaining how it works, why you're using it and how mature they'll be for giving it a try.
Try explaining, "If you wake up before the light on your new clock goes on, stay in bed a while longer or grabbed a stuffed animal till it's wake-up time."
Easing the transition should also help. If your goal is to keep your toddler in bed till 6:45 but they're always up at 5, try setting the first round to 5:30 in the morning. A week or two later you can push it back to 5:45, and so on. It may take time, but a month or two later you'll be swimming in zzz's and your toddler will feel like a success story. And don't feel defeated if you deal with the occasional toddler sleep regression—it's normal.
No matter what your budget or style is, there's a brilliant toddler alarm clock that's right for your little one. You can thank us later for improving their sleep routine (and yours).
Parents can't get enough of the fun-to-use LittleHippo Ready to Rise alarm clock for toddlers. With over 17,000 ratings and a nearly perfect 4.5-star average, it's Amazon's bestselling option and a hit with kids. The Mella model uses colors and smiley-face expressions to teach your child when it's time for bed and when it's okay to wake up.
Kids learn to stay in bed longer, giving you more sleep—and they love the array of gentle LED lights. Choose from four colors and know that the lights are adjustable. This model also has a nap timer, digital display and night lights.
The Hatch Rest is a bit of a splurge, but worth every penny because you can use it from the earliest days of infancy well into grade school years. It offers the same white noise functions as our favorite portable baby sound machine, only built into a glowing alarm clock tower that does just about everything they could dream of. The Time-to-Rise and Time-for-Bed programs let you choose a color and sound to let early risers know when to stay in bed. It's ideal for winding down, waking up and even naptime rountines.
This kid-friendlier take on the traditional Echo Glow boasts a struggle-free, stress-free alarm clock system that's easy for all ages and stages to grasp. It can actually be used throughout the day when paired with an existing household Alexa device to signal all sorts of cues. Use one color to suggest waking up, another to signal that it's time to eat breakfast, an afternoon light that says "it's time to clean up your toys" and so on. It improves child sleep and prolongs night sleep in a matter of days.
The clock lights are the real win for toddlers thanks to all the light color options, though. This sleep training clock is great for nap time, post-trip jet lag adjustments and overall soothing.
The clever owl-shaped design of the Sharp Night Owl Clock makes it an endearing choice for little ones. But don't be fooled by how cute it is—it's brimming with brilliant functions. It's simple to use, boasts adjustable lights and is an affordable alarm clock for kids pick. Better yet, on top of the typical glowing wake-up light offering, the top has a fun astronomy-themed projection capability that kids can't stop raving about. You'll love that it saves counter space, too.
It depends on the age and stage, but experts agree that if a child is ready to move to a toddler or big kid bed, it's fair game to try a toddler alarm clock.
There's no harm in continuing to use your OK to Wake clock as kids continue to mature, though they're designed with younger children in mind. But hey, lights and sounds are fun for everyone.
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