What are your thoughts on a toddler clock? Some of you may say: “All hail the toddler clock!”, some may say “I tried one, but it did not work.” some may say “what is a toddler clock?” I say: get one, use it and introduce it properly and it will be one of your favorite sleep tools for your toddler.

Why a Toddler Clock?:

In a toddler’s mind, there is no real sense of what time it is.  You have expectations about when they should go to sleep and when they should sleep until, but they cannot tell time – just yet.  A toddler clock is a great visual tool to help your children learn when it is time to sleep and when it is ok to get up. Before reading or even telling time comes into play a toddler clock can do the job of giving your child a good sense of what time it is, at least as far as bedtime is concerned.

What to Look for in a Toddler Clock:

First, consider your child.  What would resonate best with him or her? Some have a sun for awake time and moon for sleep time, others show a green light and others have cartoons in bed when it is sleep time and up playing when it is time to get up.  There are so many clocks out there with many options, the first important step is to choose one that will resonate with your child.  Secondly, you will want to select one that has a setting for both nap and night time. Lastly, you might also consider a lock function on the clock.  This is so that once you set it, your child cannot change it to morning time on their own.

When to Introduce the Clock:

The move to a big kid bed is a good time to introduce the clock.  Though, I feel that it is totally ok to introduce it sooner than that, if your child can understand the concept.  This way, once your child is ready for the big kid bed, the clock has already been introduced and they have a good concept of when they should go to sleep and when they should get up.

How to Introduce it:

This is key.  My suggestion is to have a family meeting starting with a great sleep plan.  If your intentions are to help your child stay in bed then talk about some simple sleep rules in a way that they can understand. Then introduce the clock as a gift (even wrap it) to create excitement around it. Open it, turn it on and go through what it means when the clock is one color / shows one picture over the other. Help them set it up in their room.

Keep the Consistency:

Once you introduce the clock and go over the rules, stick to it.  If your child comes out of their room when it is night time or morning, hold them to what the clock reads (the plan you sleep plan you’ve created).

A Clock Alone May Not Fix it All:

A toddler clock is a great tool.  An amazing tool.  However, there are many pieces of the sleep puzzle that need to be put together in order for healthy sleep to come together.  A clock in itself may not fix it all.  Consider your child’s sleep schedule, their environment and if they are falling asleep independently. Put together a great plan to ensure independent and healthy sleep and you will see great strides.  Though, if you continue to struggle, the team at Good Night Sleep Site is always here to help you find the right solutions for your family.


My Best,





Certified Sleep Consultant

Good Night Sleep Site Florida