Review – The Gro Company Gro Clock

If you have been with us since the beginning of the baby years, then you may know that we have always had trouble with J & sleep. N seems to be a bit better but we would like to nip it in the bud before he gets to J’s age and is still having sleep and bed time issues which is a nightmare to deal with every night with one child, let alone two.
Both boys tend to usually get up between 6am & 7am though sometimes it is much earlier. We all know that an early day equals grumpy parents and grumpy children, especially if they have given up napping too like mine have. N goes to bed at 6.30pm and J goes at 7pm so he has that extra half an hour with full attention on him, as we did have jealousy issues when N was born (not that they have disappeared any!).
We have tried pretty much everything with J over the last 3 years and barely anything has actually worked, so I was delighted for us to be able to review The Gro Clock from The Gro Company as I have heard good things about them. We already have a Gro Egg bedroom thermometer so we know that they are quality products, but did it work with going to bed and getting up?

The Gro Clock has a few functions; it is a night light, an hourly count down timer, and it can even be used as an alarm. When the child goes to bed the clock turns blue and a star face appears to indicate that it’s night time, and gradually the stars around the edge disappear, indicating the hours and counting down to morning time when the clock turns orange and the sun face appears again, meaning it’s time to get up.

You can set the clock to your own bed times and get up times so it is personal to your child, and then you can also set it to come on automatic or you can do it manually with your child. We chose to do it manually as J likes to say goodnight to the face on the clock – I like this feature as it is friendly for the child and they can relate to it like J does. It did take me a few times to get used to selecting the different functions, but it’s easy to remember now. 
The Gro Clock also comes with a small story book about a pig who slept all day meaning he went to bed late and was grumpy all day, so his friends bought him a special clock. Yes, you guessed it – a Gro Clock! This is a great addition to be able to read at bed time, so again the child can relate to it.
J did quickly learn that it was bed time when the clock turned blue and that orange meant it was day time, though at the beginning he did still come in our room in the middle of the night on occasion. He did get the hang of it eventually though and these instances have become less. Hopefully we can get N used to it too, and we can have a lie in just that little more often…
RRP: £29.99
Age: 2+
Our rating – 4.5/5

Disclosure
I was sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are honest & my own.

Sharing a room – an update!

You may have read last month that we were making preparations to move the boys into the same bedroom. Our main reason for this was – and maybe it was a bit selfish on our part – that we wanted our bedroom back! After having a child in there for nearly three years (in a cot, and then a co-sleeping toddler until N was born) we just wanted ‘our’ bit of space back. It meant us giving up the biggest bedroom but that was a fair sacrifice to make!

When the day came, my brother-in-law came to help with the swapping furniture around and after umm-ing and ahh-ing about where it should all go in its new place, it was all done & dusted after two or three hours. After totally emptying my huge free standing wardrobe in order to move rooms, I couldn’t be bothered with swapping the stuff around from the built in ones so hubby’s stuff was still in the boys’ bedroom for a while, and J’s in ours – in fact, the boys’ hats and gloves are still in what is now hubby’s wardrobe! (You know how it goes, ask a man to do something (hammer a few nails in) and they’ll do it…eventually! I may as well just do it myself, actually…).

The first night of them being in the same room I was absolutely dreading as N goes to bed half an hour earlier than J at the minute (so J gets some time with us just to himself) and J isn’t the quietest at bed time so I was expecting J to wake him up. It actually went quite smoothly. J did make a little bit of noise at first but when I whispered a couple of times that N was asleep, he quietened down. He’s been pretty good about it, other than the occasional time when he’s in one of those moods where he just wants to annoy everyone! It so happens that when N is asleep he’s actually quite a heavy sleeper so he hasn’t managed to wake him up – thank goodness, as he’s an absolute nightmare to get back to sleep.

Another thing I was unsure about was one waking the other up in the middle of the night as they both do still wake up occasionally. I was expecting it to be N waking up in all honesty, but the first few nights he slept through until morning and it was J who woke up! When he was in a room on his own he had a baby gate on his door (which has now moved to the shared room) and when he awoke in the night he would stand there shouting mummy or daddy – I didn’t want that to wake N up so decided to just leave the handle up a little as he could then open it and just come in our room. It wouldn’t be the first time that we had woken up to find him in bed with us – in fact once before he came in our room and was stood by the bed as I woke up, he scared me half to death! Obviously with N still being in his cot he can’t just get out so moans or cries when he wakes up, but that hasn’t managed to wake J up either.

So, after my initial panic about tougher bed times and sleepless nights, it has gone much better than I expected it to, and it’s great to finally have our room free of baby things! Apart from the baby, occasionally…

Preparing for sharing a bedroom

So we’ve finally made the decision to move the boys into the same bedroom. We knew it would have to happen at some point but have been holding off. We only live in a small 2 bed flat and currently we have the bigger bedroom. If we were to move N into J’s room it just wouldn’t work so we’re going to be swapping our rooms around too (though we won’t be decorating – maybe just a lick of paint – as we hope to move this year anyway! Not that our bedroom has been decorated since we moved in two and a half years ago anyway, it’s still a state…but I digress!). J’s bed and N’s cot, plus all of their toys, will fit better in what is currently our room anyway.
The worry we have is how to go about it. We’ve decided to do it later this week as hubby has the day off so we can move furniture around, so I have a few days to prepare myself for possibly longer sleepless nights! Bed times at the moment consist of N (nearly one) going to bed with his bottle at 6.30pm so we have half an hour alone with J (nearly three) before he goes at 7pm. The thing is, J still has us in with him until he goes to sleep, and sometimes he is a noisy soul before giving in so I’m worried about him waking N up at bed time!
The other thing is that they both still occasionally wake up in the night. If N wakes up then we can get to him quick before he wakes J up as his cot is right next to our bed, and half the time he then ends up in our bed. If J wakes up then one of us goes into him and usually ends up falling asleep in his bed. On the very odd occasion he will also come in our bed. But when J does wake up, he stands at his gate shouting for us, sometimes he will be crying. I’m worried that when they’re in the same room if he does this, it will definitely wake N up. But on the other hand I’m hoping that they will maybe sleep better being in the same bedroom.
Then again, it might all just go to pot!
Have you been in a similar situation? How did you go about it and deal with it?

Little man J at 2 years old

Well I can’t believe the original little man is now 2 years old. I haven’t updated about his progress as regularly as I should have, but it is my mission for the year for now, for both of them! Since my last update nearly 6 months ago, he has come on so much in lots of areas. 

He has so many new words (lots of them with thanks to Peppa Pig!). I’m not going to list them this time as there are way too many to keep up with nowadays; he’s saying at least one new word every 2 or 3 days. There are lots of animal names and noises; food words; greetings and goodbyes; toilet activities; and he’s starting to recognise body parts. He can also now count to 3! Although sometimes he says 1, 2, 8!…


Although he knows the words for wee & poo, potty training is still a no-go at the minute. He usually uses it as a hat – luckily he has done nothing in it at these times! He has sat on it a couple of times though, but he doesn’t stay there long enough. He doesn’t even tell me when he’s done a wee or a poo so I don’t think he’s quite ready anyway. (After I’d written this I had to come back to edit it as he brought me his potty saying ‘wee wee’ – he sat on it with his nappy off but just played with himself instead! Typical man hey!).


He still doesn’t have all of his teeth! He was a late starter and at 2 years old he still only has 12 – his molars started coming through at 20 months. He does have another two coming through right now though. 

We recently took both of the sides off J’s cot bed after removing one of them a few months ago. He had stopped falling out of the side that had been removed so we thought we would remove the other too, and make it even more like a proper big boys bed. He now falls out of the other side sometimes, but I can’t imagine he hurts himself as I find him laid on the floor asleep! We still have his routine though so this has worked well for us. 


He has started young and has a girlfriend – the next door neighbour! Her grandad asked her one day do you have a boyfriend, and she said “Yes, J” – cute! They have loved playing together ever since we moved in but this was just lovely. They are quite close, whenever they go and call for each other and the other isn’t in, or they have to come in for their tea etc., they always run away crying & upset. Young love, hey?!


He is gradually getting use to being a big brother. He wasn’t so sure at first and would poke N – like he was testing that he was real or something! Although when he first met him he gave him a kiss and kisses him all the time now, as well as tickling his feet. He also helps me with nappy changes and puts nappies in the bin. I think he will be much better when N starts moving and he can play with him! 


Transition from the cot bed

A few weeks ago we made the decision to convert little man’s cot bed into a bed (though we have only taken one side off as he will be getting a full size single when baby needs this). He hadn’t started climbing out, but we were having issues with him going to bed and his bedtime and wanted to get him into some kind of routine before baby arrives. Although if he has nap, especially late in the afternoon falling asleep in the car or something, he just will not go to sleep early no matter what! He doesn’t usually nap though, he hasn’t done since just after he turned 1.

Our usual routine went like this – there was none! 


He was such a nightmare to get to bed on his own and would usually go to bed when we went and then co-sleep with us all night. Anyone who knows me knows I love co-sleeping but it was just getting too uncomfortable for me and I couldn’t actually sleep at all. 


If he did go in his own bed, it would be after falling asleep on either of us with his bottle. And sometimes that didn’t even work because as soon as you put him down (having to lower him down) he would most likely wake straight up and then not go back to sleep, so he would just end up in with us anyway. 


So the reason we converted his cot bed into a bed, was so that it might feel a bit more like ours and he would go to sleep in it and stay in it a bit longer – if not all night. To add to the big bed ‘feel’ we also bought him a proper duvet and a pillow. 


For the first 3 nights, he still had his bottle with us, and then we would put him in his bed, but it was easier because we could just slide him in. He slept in there ALL night! And then he got ill. So he started coming in with us again as it was just easier. 


Fail.


When he was better, we decided that giving him his bottle in bed might be easier – if he fell asleep with it, that is. One of us sat with him though as I think he prefers someone to be there. 


Success!


He fell asleep. Miracle.


Ever since then he has gone to sleep in his own bed. At a reasonable time too – between 7pm & 8pm. I cannot actually remember the last time this happened. Sometimes though, he does still wake in the night and I wake up to find him in our bed – I must get a gate on his door! 


But I am just so glad now that he has a proper bedtime routine, as this is what was stressing me out and upsetting me the most. As well as him being incredibly grumpy because he was so obviously tired, I would often be in tears as we never got any downtime to relax or time to ourselves in the evening, but now we do, almost every night.


Thanks, little man. (Please keep it up!).


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