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Typical toddler sleep – The Gro-Clock diaries

Just in case you’re ever looking for a realistic picture of how a 22 month old sleeps, here’s a week in my life. Optimistically called the Gro-Clock diaries. Although the clock, really, has nothing to do with it, in the end.



Night one – 4.37am – Tibbs wakes up crying. I go in, at which point she yells ‘STARS!’ and starts frantically pointing to the Gro-Clock. She throws the dummy at me, and asks for a cuddle. I comply, attempting to tell her that the stars mean that it’s not time to get up now. She continues to cry. I give in and give her a bottle. She sighs and goes back to sleep. For ten minutes. I go back to the room, explain that the stars are still out and she should try to sleep. She cries out every five minutes, for the next hour. I give in and go and get her, turning the sun feature on as we get out of the cot to show her that the sun means it’s getting up time.

Night two –7.00pm – just before we finish giving Tibbs her night bottle, the Gro-Clock inexplicably glows yellow and the sun comes out. I scurry across the room and unplug the thing. She goes straight to sleep. She doesn’t wake up till 6.30am.

Night three – Convinced the Gro-Clock might not be necessary and the whole last eight weeks of horror might be over, I leave the Gro-Clock off and she goes straight to sleep. 5.00am rolls around and the crying, throwing the dummy back at her dad and requests for a book tell me things haven’t changed. I’m staring at Dora on Nick Jnr and wondering what else I can try.

Night four – It’s Thursday night and the end of her week at nursery, so she’s tired and goes straight to sleep. I don’t bother with the stupid clock. I don’t think I’m using it right. Up we get at 5.18am. By 10.30am she’s passed out on the sofa FOR THREE HOURS. Oh, how I’ll regret letting this happen later.


Night five – A rare night out for us, and straight to sleep as normal, babysitter installed, battling the puppy’s advanced bitey bouncy behaviour. Like a mothering legend I consume 75% of a bottle of prosecco and a large steak. I am rewarded with 5.45am. We have a lovely morning together at Ashton Court and she’s out for the count again by 11am.

Night six – A real treat – with her cousin staying and much excitement, she wakes at 4.00am requesting her cousin by name and is not even mollified by Peppa and several of her hideous morning b*stard mates (I particularly hate you Igam Ogam). Everyone else gets up at 7am. By 9.30am we are in a semi-deserted town centre hunting for fun, and settle on the Bristol Sightseeing Tour, which, although excellent, and we all love it, is not enough to keep her eyes open. We are all, including a befuddled puppy, in bed by 8pm.


Night seven – My sister, who is a bonafide genius, programs the Gro-Clock and we put it back in play. We’ve also started on a beaker of milk and two stories before bed, which means she’s drinking far less milk, but goes into her cot babbling but tired. She wakes at 6.00am, which to me is the equivalent of a week at Babington House and a massage from the Angel Gabriel and his cherubs.

My search for the holy grail continues. I’ll let you know how it goes this week. What do you think typical toddler sleep is?

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  1. Ah yes, 4.37am, such a wonderful time to be woken up. It makes me so grateful my children are now 12 and 19 and I only have cyberbullying, drinking, drugs and pregnancy to worry about.

    Oh hang on…

  2. ha this made me laugh (sorry!) we found the Gro Clock really good but we probably only got it when Wilf was two? He was the worst sleeper and woke every 45 minutes for about 18m so we never got a full hour sleep until then, it was hellish! I can’t really remember how long it took him to get it but it works quite well now (although he literally will not sleep passed 6am as he’s just too full of beans by then!) x

  3. Rachel Rachel

    Heh heh! Good luck. Your posts made me smile. I don’t know why though because I was up last night three times with Edward and once with Annabelle!

  4. Charlie Bear Charlie Bear

    We feel your pain! Been thinking of installing a grow clock in my boys room for a while now, if for no other reason than having something pretty to look at while we sit waiting for it to be “time” to get up!

  5. J J

    We are trying one of these as well but all my daughter does is jab at the buttons! She seems to get it though but at nearly 2 1/2 it seems to make more sense to her, she waves night night to it.

  6. I’ve been quite lucky as both of mine slept / sleep well as toddlers but it took a year of NO SLEEP at all to get to that point!! x

  7. We have a gro clock too and I cannot tell whether it works or not and she is definitely old enough to understand it!

  8. Luckily we never had to have anything like a grow clock, and on the odd occasion he does wake up super early we usually either snuggle in bed or send in back to his room to play!

  9. Oh bless you! Battling the whole seep thing was a nightmare for me but eventually the gro clock and gradual retreat mathod kicked in and now we have 7.30 through to 6.30/7am most morning. Hang in there xx

  10. Ha ha! I love this, so funny and I am glad you go there in the end. We have an early riser too, such hell sometimes. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

  11. Oh my goodness, it’s exhausting isn’t it! My two youngest keep coming into our bed at various unsociable hours but atleast they go back to sleep sort of. One day we will have proper sleep again I promise xx

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