When daylight savings time hit recently (turning the clock back), we suddenly found ourselves waking up at horrifyingly early hours with our 3-year-old.
She’d start yelling on the baby monitor, or worse, charging down the stairs, between 5 and 6am.
It was still dark out.
Desperate for something that might help us keep our toddler from waking up too early, I started looking into sleep trainers, alarm clocks, and wake-up lights.
I was a little skeptical at first, and I didn’t want to spend $50+ on something I wasn’t sure would work. So I wound up getting the budget-friendly and relatively simple OK to Wake clock from Mirari.
After using it for about a month, I’m ready to give you a full report and review of the OK to Wake clock. Does it really work?
The short answer is: Yes! It really does work, and our experience with it has been super positive. But it’s not a magic bullet, and if you don’t enforce wake-up time and teach your toddler to use it properly, it probably won’t work for you.
If you’re already sold, check out all the details and the current price of the OK to Wake clock on Amazon right here.
What is the OK to Wake clock & how does it work?
The OK to Wake clock is, not surprisingly, a simple clock you keep in your child’s room that uses a soft light to tell them when it’s OK to wake up.
The simplest usage of it is to:
- Set a wake-up time
- Put your toddler to bed
- Instruct them to look for the clock when they wake up
- If the clock is glowing green, it means it’s time to call out for mommy or daddy. Yay!
- If the clock is still dark, they either need to go back to sleep, lay quietly in bed, or play quietly in their room
It also has some other cool functions, like a built-in nightlight, an alarm clock, and a nap timer.
The idea here is to give your child a concrete visual cue to look for that tells them whether or not it’s time to wake up and start the day.
(Let’s face it, if they get out of bed and come find you, it’s all over. You’re never getting them back to bed, no matter how early it is.)
There are other sleep trainers and wake up lights out there, and many of them have different features and functions, but at its core, this is exactly what wake up clocks are designed to do.
How does the OK to Wake clock compare to other sleep trainers?
Although the OK to Wake clock works well for what it’s designed to do, and has some cool bonus features, I would say that it’s a very basic and stripped down sleep trainer.
(That’s also why it’s the best sleep trainer to buy on a budget.)
Certain competitors will have other features, like:
Multiple colored lights: Some trainers will glow “yellow” when it’s almost time to wake up, signaling to the child that they can play quietly or read in their room until it’s time to get up.
Child locks: The OK to Wake light doesn’t lock. Anyone can open up the back and fiddle with the settings. Some other clocks will lock or freeze in place, preventing kids from turning them off or changing the time.
Cute faces on the screen: This is a small thing, but the OK to Wake light basically just shows the time. When it’s time to wake up, little digital eyes appear but I wouldn’t call them cute! Some competitors will use friendlier interfaces or faces that kids can see and use as visual cues.
White noise and sleep sounds: You’ll find a white noise option on some of the higher end sleep trainers, too. The OK to Wake light doesn’t offer this.
(Links in the table below will take you to Amazon)
|Multiple Colors||Sleep Sounds||Cute Faces||Price|
|OK to Wake||No||No||No||$|
|MELLA Ready to Rise||Yes||Yes||Yes||$$|
All that being said, you don’t really NEED any of those features for this to work.
If you’re skeptical it will work for you, the OK to Wake clock is actually a great option since it’s significantly cheaper than it’s competitors.
If you find that you like it and it helps your toddler sleep in longer, you can always upgrade to something a little fancier down the road.
Feature I loved: Night light
One thing I really like about the OK to Wake light is the built-in night light.
Once you set the wake up time, get your toddler all tocked in, and turn out the lights, you can hit the left “toe” button and turn on a soft, yellow nightlight on the clock.
It will glow for about 30 minutes before turning itself off and going dark.
I really like automatic shut off nightlights like this, because they’re really soothing for kids when they’re trying to fall asleep, but ideally you don’t need them to stay on all night.
It’s just a nice little built-in feature that prevents the need to have an extra night light in the room if you don’t want to.
Feature I loved: Nap timer
This is a highly requested feature that I was super glad they included with the OK to Wake clock.
(My toddler is currently boycotting naps, so it doesn’t help me much right now. But it might help some of you!)
If you want to use the light to signal the beginning and end of nap or quiet time without changing the main settings, you can use the nap timer to do just that.
Just put in how long you want the nap to last, hit SET, and you’re ready to go.
The clock will glow green after the timer’s done, signaling to your kid that they’re free to get out of bed.
Feature I loved: Interchangeable faceplate
I mentioned above that the OK to Wake light doesn’t have a cute little character face on the front, which is a bit of a drawback.
But it does come with a second faceplate you can swap in (it’s purple) for a change of scenery.
I don’t really get into gendered colors, but if you want to go with green or purple depending on the room decor, or just change it for fun, this is a nice thing to have.
(Although you do have to figure out a place to keep the spare faceplate.)
Feature I didn’t love: The controls aren’t super intuitive
Now for something I didn’t love.
For having very simple features, I kind of wish the clock was a little easier to use and set.
Granted, once you have it set you shouldn’t have to make any major changes (although sometimes I’ll make wake up time a little later on the weekends).
But take a look at the control panel in the back. There’s a lot going on.
To be fair, the clock’s instructions tell you how to do everything you need to do, but I wish the controls were a tad more intuitive.
(I still can’t tell you what Review Alarm is for.)
This is ultimately a minor complaint, but the usability could definitely be improved.
How it worked for my family
So does the OK to Wake clock really work? Does it help kids sleep in later?
For our family, I would consider it a success.
To call it a game-changer would be a little overboard, but it does work exactly as intended.
After about a month of use, our daughter has come to “respect” the clock and doesn’t wake up before it turns green unless she has to go to the bathroom, is feeling sick, or has some other sort of crisis like a lost blanket.
She really does wait until the light turns green to come out of her room!
It took a little bit of practice to get to this point. I had to:
- Learn how to actually set the clock correctly
- Set expectations with her on how to use it
- Enforce the wake-up time (multiple conversations about waiting for the green light)
But after 30 days or so of practice, I think we’ve all got the hang of it and, so far, our days are starting when they’re supposed to.
How it worked for other parents
Reviews on Amazon and online discussion boards are overwhelmingly positive.
People love this clock!
That it works. That’s the number one people seem to praise, that the system actually works as intended and their kids are sleeping in. Yahoooooo!
The faceplates. Kids love simple things they can control like being able to choose the faceplate color. Parents seem to really appreciate this option.
The nap timer. This is really a great feature to have for parents who struggle to get their kids to nap long enough or stay in their room for quiet time.
Parents didn’t like:
The back control panel doesn’t lock, meaning it’s easy for kids to access. It’s also easy for kids to press the buttons on the front and accidentally (or purposefully!) disable the wake-up light.
The unit runs through batteries too quickly. It can also plug into a wall outlet, but that limits where you can place it in a room.
If batteries run out or it comes unplugged, you’ll have to reset the whole thing. This can become a pain if you’re flying through batteries or your kid is constantly yanking the clock out of the wall.
Look, this clock isn’t a magic bullet. It’s really up to you to set the expectation with your children and enforce the wake up time.
BUT, it does give them a kid-friendly visual cue so they can actually SEE when it’s actually time to get up.
(Without this, there’s really no way for young kids to know what time it is!)
If you’re on the fence about trying sleep trainers, I would definitely recommend giving this one a shot. It’s really easy on the budget, and if it doesn’t work, you won’t have lost much.
You can always upgrade to a higher-end model down the road if you like using it.
Besides, you really can’t put a price on more and better sleep, can you?
Give it a try. It has worked well for us and we’re still using it on a nightly basis. That’s the best endorsement I can give.
Check out the OK to Wake clock on Amazon to read more reviews and get the latest price.