Sleep training is a Sisyphean task. Just when you see the promised land (a solid night of sleep for you and your baby), the kid reverts back to waking up at all hours. It’s why every parent needs a sleep trainer clock, also known as an OK to wake clock.
Fun? Not so much. But thankfully, there are products at your disposal that can help you navigate the troubled and turbulent waters of sleep training. No, you cannot tie your kid to the bed. But yes, you can arm him or her with a very cute night light that may incentivize them to stay in bed until a reasonable hour. As a general rule, the National Sleep Foundation says that most babies are ready for sleep training between the ages of four and six months, when they’re capable for sleeping for eight to 12 hours straight.
READ MORE: The Fatherly Guide to Sleep
From sleep-training clocks that let your kids know when they can get out of bed, to soothing night lights, these are our favorite toddler sleep-training products based on aesthetics, budget, and bells and whistles.
This is the best combination sound machine, baby monitor, alarm clock, and sleep trainer.
The Hatch Baby Rest Plus is the best all-in-one sound machine, baby monitor, alarm clock, and sleep training clock on the market. Actually, make that the only one of its kind. The Hatch Plus’ unique trick? Its grows with your kid. Parents with babies can use the baby monitor functionality to listen to their kids, plus the white noise and night light to help infants fall asleep. With toddlers, parents can set up specific times (that the brand calls programs) that kids need to wake up, nap, and go to bed, to minimize any anxiety related to transitions. And they also learn when it’s OK to get out of bed, and when it’s time to hit the sack.
Older kids get a comforting light with customizable colors, plus the ability to always know what time it is and be notified when it’s time to sleep and time to get up. And if you feel the need to check in on your kid, there’s a two-way audio monitor you can access from your phone that lets you talk your kid.
Little Hippo's Mella is an adorable sleep-training alarm clock with a smiling face and a happy disposition. In addition to glowing a pre-set bedtime color, Mella closes its little digital eyelids when it’s time to knock off for the night.
Thirty minutes before the wake-up time, it turns yellow to indicate “play quietly” before an alarm goes off and the clock ⏤ now smiling broadly ⏤ glows green. It has a built-in sound machine with three settings (rain, white noise, and ocean), a nightlight with five colors, a countdown timer for naps and time-outs, and comes in one of four colors. It can also be paired with the company’s other device, a $25 nightlight and room thermometer/hygrometer named Kelvin that changes colors depending on whether the room temperature is too hot or too cold.
Not only is this a sleep training alarm clock, it's also a Bluetooth speaker. Parents can adjust brightness levels and colors.
Kids tap the sleep training clock to change its color, which is a fun add. Because it has Bluetooth functionality, you can use it read books to your kids or play music. The lamp has sunset and wake modes, and during sleep hours, all sound is muted by default. And you can choose the alarm you want for various presets.
This educational sleep training clock has two colors, which change hues depending on what time of day it is, and actually talks to help your kids learn the intricacies of telling time. We especially approve of its parental controls, hidden in the back panel.
This sleep training clock has two colors: Yellow at night when it’s bedtime, and green in the morning when it’s time to get up. Plus, the clock is a learning tool, helping kids learn to actually tell time. For older kids, this is a fully functional alarm clock with its own snooze button. Do note that the face of the clock is, and always remains, back-lit, which might be an issue.
This sleep training clock has a built-in Alexa speaker, so you can use it to play music, read stories, and basically, serve as your sleep-training assistant.
The VOBOT actually looks pretty dope. It has two pre-set scenarios, but you can add your own in addition to the OK to wake and bedtime settings. It has a customizable night-light and sleep-sound machine. Plus, it can tell your kid his or her favorite bedtime stories, if you happen to not feel up to it, and answer esoteric questions about the origins of Peppa Pig. Connect the VOBOT to your phone, and you’re ready to roll.
You get four products in one with this sleep training clock. It works as a sleep trainer, soother, nightlight, or alarm clock. When in sleep training mode, the cloud lights up. Red means it's bedtime. Green means it's fine to get up.
When you use this sleep training clock in soother mode, your baby hears white noise, rain, and a lullaby. And the nightlight has a soft glow with three brightness levels.
This sleep training clock is full of bells and whistles, has a time-out feature, and it plays bedtime stories, lullabies, wake music, and even white noise.
You can change the faceplate on this sleep training clock to suit your kid’s tastes. It has 10 features, including five colors that show when it’s time for bed, time to wake up, time to nap, time to play, and time for, well, a time-out. It also has both an analog and digital display, which is nice to help teach kids how to tell time.
The Bluetooth-enabled Rest is a nightlight, sound machine, and time-to-rise hybrid controlled by your smartphone.
The Hatch sleep training clock skips the clock in favor of a simple light and uses whatever color you choose to let kids know when they can get up. It also offers preset light and sound themes to promote healthy circadian rhythms and melatonin production and can be customized with one of nine decorative covers.
Meet the sleep training clock that one Fatherly editor swears by. It lets parents create their kid's ideal sleeping and waking environment, and customize sunrise and sunset themes using the app.
This lamp has a built-monitor to check room temperature, to make sure it’s optimal. You can customize your sunrise and sunset using a color spectrum, and gradually decrease or increase light intensity as your kid drifts off to sleep.
We're into this color changing night light, room thermometer and room hygrometer, all in one cute package. The night light can be toggled on or off.
The LittleHippo goes one step further than just being a night light by also monitoring the room temperature and humidity levels in the nursery, to make your baby is most comfortable. When the room is too hot, it glows red. When it’s too cold, it turns blow. Meaning, your kid should get an optimal night of sleep.
One of the most popular (and highly reviewed) kid clocks on Amazon, the OK to Wake! is also one of the most affordable.
It’s based on the same premise as the others ⏤ green light and open eyes mean clear for takeoff ⏤ but it also includes a digital clock with snooze alarm, nap timer, fun faceplates to change its appearance, and a panel of parental buttons hidden in the back so kids can’t mess around. The Mirari also features a battery backup and plugs directly into a USB jack.
Popular in the UK, the Gro Clock uses illuminated images of the sun and stars to tell kids what the deal is.
The stars come out at bedtime and slowly, one by one, disappear through the night until it glows orange and the sun rises. (Similarly, rays of sun disappear throughout the day until the stars come back out.) It offers both weekday and weekend programs, an optional digital clock with alarm, and like the Sleep Buddy, also comes with both a fun illustrated bedtime book entitled Sleepy Farm.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.