Adults use alarm clocks because it’s more convenient and just does the job better than a smartphone can. But when it comes to waking up a child ages 2-7 (or conversely getting them to stay in bed just a bit longer), it’s the parents who become the alarm clock. A better solution would be an alarm clock that the child finds appealing and whose abilities help the child to understand sleep time versus wake up time. So it’s time to let The Big Red Rooster Sleep Training Alarm Clock take over.
The alarm clock starts by looking more like a toy — it’s a whimsical looking dog with a digital alarm panel on his tummy which shows the time and icons relating to the various functions. The dog is holding a ball and, looking at him, he does seem to be giving off a mischievous air. But the ball he’s holding isn’t just a prop — it changes colors — sometimes red and sometimes green — but it’s not for showing off or being a nightlight. No, the color changes directly tie into the alarms that are designed to teach the child about when it’s time to get up or not. Stay in bed when it’s red — time to get up because the ball is green.
There are two alarms for waking the child: use one for weekdays and the other for weekends when a few more snoozing is recommended. There’s also a nap time for short times or even much longer (going from one minute up to 12 hours). These are all set up from the back of the dog in what was once called the “battery compartment” and is now the “parent compartment.” It’s here that the various settings can be accessed and activated. And how to use the settings is built right into the compartment — no manual or instructions to have to find when bleary eyed or lost amidst the other manuals being kept in a drawer or lost to the ages. Plus the compartment is not obvious, which means well-intentioned but sneaky children are less apt to locate it and play safe cracker.
But the child does get to feel he has some control, because there’s two things that he can do — both are right there at the front, the dog’s two paws. Tapping one paw will turn on the backlight of the digital panel for 10 seconds, letting him see the time if the lights are off. The other paw lets the child turn the alarm off if it’s going, or will turn the ball’s light off if the buzzer has been silenced (that’s because the parent can forego the buzzer and just have the lights change). But no matter how clever the child, the buzzer/alarm or light can’t be turned off by pressing the paw until the alarm has gone off.