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The struggle to get a good night’s sleep starts from birth and ends … we’re not sure. Some might not realize that when you have a child, you have to teach it how to do everything: how to eat, how to use the potty, and yes, how to sleep. Many people continue to struggle with healthy sleep habits well into adulthood.
The importance of quality sleep has finally become an important health topic, which means more research into what disrupts our ability to sleep well (banish all smartphones!) and more valuable products to help us fall and stay asleep. That includes sleep aids for kids learning how to put themselves to sleep and understanding when it’s time to wake up. A sleep trainer clock is one of the easiest ways parents can help their little ones develop healthy sleep habits.
Sleep trainer clocks work by using light, sounds, or both to signal when to sleep and wake up. These methods help children and parents develop a consistent routine where expectations (it’s time to go to sleep/wake up) are understandable (the clock is red/the clock is green). While it would be great to say that sleep trainer clocks can help new parents encourage their babies to sleep through the night, they are better geared towards two-year-olds and up who can understand the clock and their parent’s instructions.
No matter what kind of child you happen to have, there are tools you can use to practice a good night’s rest. Having a solid and calming bedtime routine is proven to lead to better sleep habits in toddlers and infants, as is having the same bedtime each night. Children benefit from a structured routine, so the more you can instill one in your household, the more familiar they will be with your expectations.
Sleep training clocks often come with other helpful features, including white noise or different soothing sounds that help block out noises while your little one sleeps. There’s also an array of sleep-training tools, gadgets designed to help kids sleep better and parents worry less. These sleep tools can also act as a nightlight if kids develop a fear of the dark. One of the most important first steps we found when using sleep training clocks is not to expect an instant change in little ones.
It may take a few days or weeks for toddlers and young kids to understand how the new clock works. Setting your child’s wakeup time to an hour after they typically rise is likely not going to work, but slowly moving the time five to ten minutes later every few days could help kids (and parents) get a few more minutes of shut-eye.
Check out our top pick for the best sleep training clocks and help your little one develop healthy sleep habits.
1. Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise
We’ve been using our Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise for about six months and it has, without a doubt, helped our toddler with her bedtime routine (she gets to pick the color and sound) and with staying in bed a few minutes later every day. Sounds and colors can be selected using the buttons on the bottom of the Hatch or the app. Several sleep programs can be set so that your little one has a wake-up time for weekdays, weekends and nap time. The Hatch doubles as a sound machine and nightlight, and being able to control the light using the app makes it easy to turn down the brightness and sound after your little one has fallen asleep, ensuring they can still hear “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” but you can’t in your bedroom down the hall. Unlike many sleep trainer clocks that double as nightlights, the Hatch can remain on all night, which means no abrupt light or sound shut off that can wake little ones.
2. Kids’ Wake up Light Alarm Cloud Clock White by Capello
Another simple yet effective design is the toddler-friendly Kids’ Wake up Light Alarm Cloud Clock White by Capello. The cloud-shaped clock can be used as a soft glowing nightlight to help keep monsters at bay during sleep time, while parents can set it to turn green when it’s time for little ones to rise. The clock also features a digital display to help little ones learn their numbers and let parents know their show is about to start, so it’s time for the baby to go to bed!
3. Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light
This light is on the pricier side, but it’s designed for the entire family, and if you have a spot on a high shelf or dresser that your babe can’t reach, this might be an option for them as they grow. Not only can you personalize the sunset and sunrise options, but it also comes with a light-guided breathing mode to help you and your child learn to breath more deeply and peacefully as you drift off to sleep. That’s something that can only help as the stresses of adulthood seem to be taking effect younger and younger.
4. Big Red Rooster BRRC105 Sleep Training Alarm Clock for Kids
We like the Big Red Rooster BRRC105 Sleep Training Alarm Clock for Kids for a sleep trainer clock that keeps things straightforward. And because kids and dogs are usually a win, this cartoon-like puppy clock is pretty much guaranteed to be a hit with canine-loving children. It comes with a color-changing ball to easily alert tots when they can rise and shine, and parents can set up two alarms (each must be set every night) and a nap timer. When it’s time for kids to sleep, the ball on the clock is red. When it’s time to wake up, the ball turns green. The pup can be plugged into an AC outlet or powered by batteries, making it easy to place anywhere in a bedroom or take with you when you travel. There’s no white noise or soothing sounds with the Big Red Rooster, but we do like that the buttons hide under a parent compartment that is out of reach for children.
5. Skip Hop Toddler Sleep Training Clock
The Skip Hop Toddler Sleep Training Clock is an easy-to-understand sleep training clock for little ones who are just learning how to identify different colors and lights. The fun cloud design is kid-friendly, and the entire device also acts as a nightlight. The cloud will turn red when it’s time to sleep, yellow when it’s almost time to get up, and green when it’s okay to get up. There are two calming sounds and a lullaby that acts as a noise machine at night and will turn off after 20 minutes.
6. The Gro Company Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer
BEST FOR YOUNGER KIDS
This sleep-training clock uses stars and the sun to communicate when it’s time to sleep and when to wake up, taking any guesswork out of the entire process. It’s designed for use as early as two years old, but as kids age, you can set the display also to show the time. Otherwise, all children can watch the stars go out one by one to gauge just how much time they have left until that morning “sun” comes out, and they can run into their parent’s bedroom.
7. Windflyer Children Sleep Trainer Clock
MOST DURABLE DESIGN
Set this clock once and watch it work its magic every single night. The cute interface features facial expressions to let little ones know it’s okay to get out of bed, as well as a digital time display so that they can learn to tell time as they age. Meanwhile, the silicone design isn’t just easy to clean — it also ensures that if (okay when) kids get their hands on it, they’ll have a heck of a hard time breaking it.
8. Hatch Rest+ Baby Sound Machine
HAS TWO-WAY MONITOR
The Hatch Rest+ has all the features of the original Hatch we love, plus some upgrades that make it appropriate for older kids. Parents can still select colors and sounds and program different sleep and wake times, but the Hatch Rest+ also features a digital clock display along the bottom of the unit. In addition, parents can also hear their child through the app and respond to them using the two-way audio monitor function. The Alexa-enabled Hatch allows users to adjust the light and volume through voice controls, which can be beneficial when parents have their hands full, which is … well, always.
9. LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Children’s Trainer
EASY TO SET
The LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Children’s Trainer is an affordable and multi-function sleep trainer clock that doubles as a white noise machine and nightlight. The kid-friendly design features changing facial expressions on the clock face and an outer rim that changes colors to let little ones know when to keep sleeping and time to wake up. Parents can also opt for a silent or audible alarm and choose from five colors for a nightlight. There is also three soothing sleep sounds to help block out noise, and the clock displays the time, which is helpful for kids learning their numbers.
10. My Tot Clock Toddler Clock
This uniquely shaped clock is a fun alternative to the digital interfaces out there, helping kids tell time the good old-fashioned, analog way. Like many other models out there, this one changes colors to help alert kids when it’s time to sleep, hang out and wake up. However, it goes one step further by telling bedtime stories, playing fun wake-up music, and configuring your own unique family nighttime routine.
11. Wake Up Light Alarm Clock with Bluetooth Speaker by Uplayteck
BEST FOR PLAYING MUSIC
Whether you have a little one who likes to have dance parties in their room or an older child who wants to play their own music, the Wake Up Light Alarm Clock with Bluetooth Speaker by Uplayteck is an excellent addition to a bedroom. The Bluetooth-enabled speaker can play music or audiobooks. The clock also has four brightness settings and five colors to choose from, acting as a nightlight and a wakeup indicator. A digital LED clock display is great for older kids, and for younger kids, there are three natural sounds (bird, didi, waterfall) that can act as a noise machine.
12. Learning Resources Tock The Learning Clock, Educational Talking & Teaching Clock
BEST FOR LEARNING
This fun robotic model doubles as a valuable learning tool thanks to the dual clock displays that help teach kids how to tell the time. It features an “Okay to wake light” so toddlers and preschoolers know when they can crawl out of bed, but it also comes with a built-in dance and question game mode to up that learning potential.
Learning Resources Tock The Learning Clock, Educational Talking & Teaching Clock
13. Fisher-Price Lumalou Better Bedtime Routine System
HELPS VISUALIZE ROUTINES
Getting kids to bed on time isn’t just about letting them know it’s time to sleep. Routine is critical, and that can mean taking a bath, brushing teeth, reading a story, using the potty, using the potty again when they’re trying to stall, etc. The Fisher-Price Lumalou Better Bedtime Routine System has an intelligent app that lets parents pick which symbols they want to show up on the cloud-shaped clock, like a book or toilet. Kids can use a remote to ‘check off’ pre-bedtime items. When it’s time to sleep, the star on the clock lights up red and will turn yellow in the morning when it’s time to get up. Parents can pick from a list of soothing soundscapes, lights and set sleep and awake times all from the app. The clock can easily be wall-mounted to make it simple for little ones to ‘see’ their schedule.
14. Mirari OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Night-Light
Cute, simple, child-friendly and easy to operate, this basic sleep-training alarm clock for kids is an inexpensive pick for parents who aren’t sure if this whole process will work for them. The “snail” design has a universal kid appeal (who didn’t love their GlowWorm?), and you can customize it with a light-only function for kids who share a room with younger siblings that still need a bit of a later wake-up time.