Sleep-training a toddler is a Sisyphean task. Just when you start to see dawn break (or thankfully, not break) over the promised land of a good night’s sleep for you and your baby, the kid reverts back to waking up at all hours. It’s why every parent benefits from a kids’ alarm clock — or an OK to wake clock. Most kids’ alarm clocks offer a gently reassuring nightlight that keeps toddlers in bed so they fall asleep faster, and then helps them to stay in bed the next morning until a reasonable hour.
Ideally, you want a child-friendly, cute clock that’s easy to read (translation: the numbers are big and bright) and has colors that signify when it’s time to go to bed and time to wake up. Bonus if you can set specific alarms for specific days depending on your schedule. Some of these clocks are fancier than others; the top-tier ones connect to your phones via corresponding apps, so you can track bedtimes and even tell your kids it’s time to put away the Legos.
The simpler clocks on this list are ideal for toddlers, while the more complex ones are designed to grow with your child.
The Best OK-to-Wake Clocks
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 and glows yellow when it's almost time to get up. 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.
A sweet, simple, kid-friendly clock with a nap timer, and a green light indicator that tells when it's OK to rise and shine. 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.
To make things as obvious as possible, this OK to wake clock has a screen display that shows stars or the sun, depending on the time of day or night. Sun means it's daytime, stars mean it's sleepy-time. The stars go out one at a time as a silent countdown to bedtime. There's an audible alarm, if you want to use one, and the screen brightness is adjustable. You can set weekday and weekend wakeup times.
The Bluetooth-enabled Rest is a nightlight, sound machine, and time-to-rise hybrid controlled by your smartphone. The Hatch 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.
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 funky little dude teaches kids how to tell time, thanks to an analog and digital display. The OK to wake light turns on when it's time for kids to get out of bed.
With the friendly assistance of beloved Sesame Street characters (there are several versions available), this alarm clock helps kids learn when it's time to get up and alert parents to the start of a new day. Red light means it's time to sleep, and green light means it's time to get up (the yellow light is a nightlight). No bells and whistles here, but its simplicity is its strength.
The Best Kids’ Alarm Clocks
This is the best all-in-one sound machine, baby monitor, alarm clock, and sleep training clock on the market, ideal for younger kids but equally suitable for grade schoolers. 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 kids need to wake up, nap, and go to bed. 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. There’s a two-way audio monitor you can access from your phone that lets you talk your child.
We'll be the first to say, this is one cool-looking clock. Using its face, REMI informs kids when it's time to go to bed. And when it's time to wake up. Parents can use the app to create their own bedtime routine and set specific alarms for each day of the week. This thing plays stories designed to get kids to fall asleep. And like the Hatch Baby Rest+, it grows with your kid and becomes an alarm clock for older children; parents can add the music that gets kids out of bed in the morning. And because it's Bluetooth-enabled, you can talk to your kid via its walkie-talkie feature.
Who would dare defy Darth Vader when he says it's time to go to sleep or time to wake? Kids drift off to the dark side (meaning, a good night's sleep) to the reassuring glow of this 9.5-inch tall minifigure digital alarm clock, with moveable wrists, arms and head. There's a snooze button, for the brave.
The Echo Glow is great for older kids; it makes bedtime somewhat fun because it cycles through the colors of the rainbow, and gradually fades to black when it's time to hit the sack. Parents can create lighting cues that help with counting down to dinnertime or setting a reading time, so kids can wind up down when it's time for bed. And there's what's called a rainbow timer, which gives kids a visual reminder that it's time to wake up, or when its bedtime.
Just in time for Easter, this rabbit-shaped alarm clock keeps kids soft glowing company (programmed for a half hour or an hour) so they can stay happily snuggled in bed, and fall asleep faster. Come morning, there are a half-dozen cheerful wake-up tones to choose from, but it may not even come to that, as the clock brightens into 'dawn' gradually for 10 minutes before sounding the alarm.
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