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For many new mothers and fathers, one of the hardest things about adjusting to parenthood is the change in sleep habits. Even when your baby sleeps through the night, you may find that your little one continues to wake up too early. That's why alarm clocks specially designed for children can actually help parents sleep longer! (source).
In this post, you'll discover the benefits of these alarm clocks, how to go about choosing one and conclude with reviews of the best alarm clocks for kids selling today.
My Tot Clock
Hatch Baby Rest Night Light
Mirari OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Night-Light
MomKnows Galaxy Clock
ZHPUAT Alarm Clock for Kids
Alarm clocks designed for kids are often more than a simple alarm clock. Typically, manufacturers dress them up in fun colors or themes to attract children. Many of these also feature additional functions ranging from night lights to sound machines to nap timers.
Many parents use alarm clocks for kids to establish routines, encourage independence, and to get kids to stay in bed longer.
For older kids, the benefit of having a clock displaying time is clear as children can regulate their bedtime and morning routines accordingly. Parents can set the morning alarm so that they wake up and begin to get ready on their own. Often, this helps save a few more minutes of sleep for parents, but kids also appreciate the independence this affords them.
Younger kids, on the other hand, are another matter. What if a child can't yet tell time? What if needing to wake up on time isn't the problem, but that they wake up way too early, thus disrupting mom and dad's sleep? Well, children's alarm clocks can help with that, too...
Many of these alarm clocks come with "okay to wake" lights designed to turn a certain color after a specified time. Parents typically take advantage of these lights by instructing their young children to stay in their rooms until the right color comes on. Thus, instead of having toddlers wake up at 4 AM and insisting on an early breakfast, thrilled parents can stay in bed until the 7 AM light change (source).
Often, these alarm clocks come with other handy features. For example, many devices can play soothing nature sounds, white noise, or music while serving as a night light for children who feel uncomfortable sleeping in the dark.
Choosing the right alarm clock for your child depends on your needs...
Are you a parent desperate for your child to stay in bed in the mornings as described above? If so, you'll definitely want an alarm clock with an "okay to wake" feature. We've reviewed several below that include this feature as it's one of the most important options to look for.
If you have older children who don't need an "okay to wake" signal, it's best to focus on alarm clocks with gentle alarm settings for a nice, happy morning wake up call. The clock should be easy to use, with the snooze and alarm settings within reach.
If you have young children, you may appreciate some of the more cutesy-looking clocks. Some even give you the ability to switch out faceplates, making it easy to change the clock's theme from rockets and stars to something like baby animals.
Night lights – Often, the lights of children alarm clocks glow softly and can even change colors, offering a soothing and comforting atmosphere that everyone in the family, no matter the age, will appreciate.
Sound machine – Many alarm clocks for kids come with white noise, nature sounds, and/or lullabies. Some even come programmed with bedtime stories to encourage little ones to settle in without you.
Parents tend to rely on the sound machine feature to soothe babies and young kids. Many clocks also allow you to program a bedtime routine using the sound machine, which helps signal to children that it's time to settle down and prepare for rest.
When deciding on what you want, have an idea of what you're willing to spend. Alarm clocks aren't among the most expensive items you'll buy for your kids, and most of the clocks below are affordable. Generally, the more features the clock has, the more expensive it will be. And more often than not, having these extra features are worth the higher price.
Lastly, make sure to do your research on brands, looking specifically at general durability, warranties, and customer service reputation.
Also, read reviews from customers to single out potential problems once you've narrowed your search. Our roundup below aims to give you a variety of the best alarm clocks for kids to show you the different features available and what might work best for your family.
My Tot Clock is an all-in-one alarm clock for your little one. It has many different features, including a sound machine, lights, music, bedtime stories, an "okay to wake" setting, digital and analog clock and more. Also, the clock runs on power and backup batteries to make it easy for parents to travel with.
There's so much going on with this device. One thing we really like is the versatility it offers in the different light signals. For example, it has an "encouragement" setting that could be used to time a potty training session. There's also a "thinking" setting that parents can use for a time out, as well as bedtime and wake up settings.
While you can't adjust the light used for each setting (e.g., yellow is designed for wake time, green for encouragement, etc.), the sounds, volume, brightness, and night light are all adjustable. Even the wake-up time can be set with a weekend sleep-in option!
My Tot Clock has changeable faceplates, making it easy to match the clock to your child's preferences or bedroom theme. The device is easy to program, but it also uses the faceplates to hide the controls from little fingers who might override them if they could.
Some parents have noted that determined kids can access the hidden parental controls, but it's not the norm.
We love that the Hatch Baby Rest is a night light, sound machine, and alarm clock all rolled into one. This allows the device to grow with your baby's needs, from a soft light and soothing white noise for your infant's middle of the night wakings to a special time-for-bed program that will help prepare your toddler for bedtime.
A proprietary app allows you to program four features in this alarm clock: light colors, brightness, volume, and sounds. You can even program the clock to turn on automatically at a set time.
The Hatch Baby Rest plugs into the wall, so it isn't portable unlike some others on this list. It's intended to stay in your child's room while you manage it from the Hatch Baby app. Shaped like a cone while glowing with soft, colored light, the Hatch Baby Rest also has buttons that allow you to control the device in the room.
Like My Tot Clock, the Hatch Baby Rest includes a toddler lock to prevent your child from overriding the selected programs and it seems pretty secure. Similarly, it also includes an "okay to wake" option, which, for example, you can set to be red before switching to another color like green at a chosen time. This serves as a signal to toddlers and young children that they're allowed to get up.
The Mirari OK to Wake! Alarm Clock is a relatively inexpensive device that primarily functions as a night light and alarm clock. The clock has a USB cord for charging, but it also runs on batteries as backup power. This flexibility makes the clock portable, allowing you to move with it easily from room to room or for travel.
The night light part of the Mirari glows different colors at night if you'd like. If you've set a wake-up time for the morning, the clock will glow green for a duration of up to two hours depending on how you've programmed it. This is great for toddlers or young children who haven't yet learned to read time as the green glow serves as your agreed-upon signal that it's okay to get out of bed.
Another feature we like is the nap timer, which counts down the amount of time you've set and then glows green when time's up. This serves as another great way to ensure your child knows when it's okay to get up from napping.
The Mirari Ok to Wake! has a few extra features that make it a good fit for young children. First, it comes with different faceplates to change the front of the clock, like My Tot Clock. Second, the Mirari comes with foot buttons that allow children to easily press off the clock or change the settings.
The MomKnows Galaxy Clock does quite a bit in one little egg-shaped device. Apart from being a sound machine and alarm clock, this device also includes a starlight projector — a fun feature that projects onto the ceiling. This is something kids really enjoy, and it can also serve as a night light for little ones afraid of the dark. You can also set the lights and sound to stay on for 30 minutes or an hour.
One function absent from this clock found in some others on this list is the "okay to wake" feature, which lets your little one know it's time to get up. In terms of morning wakeups, this is an alarm-only device.
We have one big issue with this clock. The alarm settings are tied to the sound settings, which means that if you want to keep the sound machine on all night, you can't set an alarm. Similarly, if at night you set the sounds to play soothingly for an hour while setting the alarm for the morning, the morning alarm will be whatever sound and volume you had playing for your child to fall asleep to.
One of the most inexpensive alarm clocks on this list, the ZHPUAT Alarm Clock for Kids has a large digital time display with adjustable backlit options. The adjustable backlight is great for parents who don't want the brightness to bother sleeping children at night. The ZHPUAT is powered solely by batteries and is also manufactured to be very light for easy packing.
The ZHPUAT is designed to be simple, without many extra features. It has a kid-friendly alarm that begins gently and gradually gets louder. For all of us who grew up waking to a loud and insistent alarm, this gentle setting is very much appreciated.
The digital display shows the time in large numbers as well as the date and temperature. Time can be set to military time or to display in 12-hour increments. The ZHPUAT also comes with a snooze option that sounds the alarm again after eight minutes.
In terms of the backlit adjustability, the display can be set to automatically dim as the lights do. But you can also manually change the brightness settings to off, low or high. Unlike some of the other clocks on this list, the ZHPUAT doesn't offer an "okay to wake" signal, which is in keeping with the device's streamlined utility.
While all the alarm clocks reviewed above would make a great addition to your child's bedroom, our top pick for the best alarm clock for kids goes to My Tot Clock for its customizability, versatility, features, and playfulness.
Moreover, both parents and children can use this clock for functions other than sleep, as it operates as a storyteller, sound machine, night light, and encourager all in one. These extra features alone make the higher price tag worthwhile.
In addition, the novelty, motivation, and routine that My Tot Clock offers make children eager to use it. For parents desperate for a few extra minutes of sleep each morning, this clock just may be the answer you're looking for.
What are your thoughts about our choices for the best alarm clocks for kids? Do you have any questions that we haven't addressed? Leave your comments below!
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