Perhaps the one thing all parents obsess about at one time or another is sleep and getting enough of it. It seems like it’s always in short supply when you have a young child in the house.
If you’re struggling with keeping your child in bed, you might benefit from one of the 10 best toddler alarm clocks we found.
- Volume control for sounds
- Button lock feature
- Has naptime function
- Digital & analog displays
- Snooze function
- Good for learning time
- Light & sound alarm
- Simple for young children
- Creates a nighttime routine
- Simple enough for young toddler
- Lights-off timer
- Nursery appropriate design
- Flexible use
- Simple light cues
- Controls multiple units from 1 app
- Appealing, friendly face
- 5 brightness & volume settings
- Power cord or battery option
- Time-out & thinking function
- Flexible set-up options
- Customizable look
- Battery or outlet power
- Adorable, child-friendly design
- Can set two alarm times
- Stream stories & music
- Works for toddlers, tweens, & teens
- Has 6 optional projection films
- Can be used anywhere at home
- Cool light options
- Flexible usage
What Is a Toddler Alarm Clock?
A toddler alarm clock functions both as a regular “it’s time to get up” alarm and an “okay-to-wake” clock.
It usually has a light or other indicator to show a toddler when it’s time to sleep and when it’s okay to get up without the need for your child to tell the time.
Do Okay-to-Wake Clocks Work?
I speak from experience when I say okay-to-wake clocks work. While they will not, alone, make your child sleep any longer, they do let your child know whether it’s time to get up, without the need for them to come bouncing into your room. That means these alarm clocks can help you get more sleep while teaching your child about the importance of following a schedule.
The key is teaching your child to sleep early so that it would be easier for them to follow what the alarm clock is telling them about their schedule. It may take a few days for them to adjust to staying in bed when they wake up until the alarm indicates it’s time to get up. Stick with it, be consistent, and they’ll learn to follow the rules.
At What Age Should a Child Start Using an Alarm Clock?
Your child has to understand the concept of time before an alarm clock is useful. Most kids reach that stage somewhere between 2 and 3 years of age (1). These alarm clocks can remain useful for years afterward — until your child deems them too babyish and wants a more grown-up alarm clock.
How to Choose the Best Toddler Alarm Clock
To choose the best toddler alarm clock for your child, you should consider the following:
You don’t want to waste money on a clock that doesn’t work for you. And since there are so many options out there, it’s something you don’t have to spend a ton of money on. Set a price in your mind that you’ll be comfortable spending and then try to stick to that.
Toddler alarm clocks are available to match the aesthetics of most homes. Whether it’s sleek and stylish simplicity you want to match your whole-home decor or super cute character styles with heaps of kiddie appeal, you can find something that fits.
The best toddler alarm clocks have additional features such as a white noise function, a separate night light, or smart home compatibility.
When you are looking at clocks, think about what you need and whether the clock under consideration will have features to meet your needs and your family’s lifestyle.
The Best Toddler Alarm Clocks of 2021
With these points in mind, here are our recommendations for the 10 best toddler alarm clocks.
1. LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Clock
The Mella Ready To Rise alarm clock for kids uses a combination of colors and facial expressions to show your child when it’s time for bed and time to rise. Plus it has a feature that plays white noise in the background.
The digital face display is both cute and easy to understand.
The two-part circles for eyes and a single mouth line indicate it’s time to sleep. When it’s almost time to get up, the larger eye circular pieces light up and an additional mouth line gives a partial smile. Then, when it’s time to get up, the face has full circle eyes and a smile.
There is also a digital time display. Also on the display is a sun to indicate wake time and a moon to indicate sleep time.
The ring around the clock face is also a night light that can shine in six colors. The baby night light is optional and comes with different brightness levels.
- Volume control for sounds.
- It comes with a button lock feature.
- It has a naptime function.
- The plug-in cable is short.
|Sounds||White noise, lullaby, and ocean|
|Colors||White with either blue, pink, purple, or teal feet|
|Power||Cable with battery back-up|
2. Claessens' Kids My First Alarm Clock
This toddler alarm clock from Claessen’s Kids has a clear, bright analog clock face with an additional round display attached to one side.
This second face is split in two. The upper half displays a picture of a child playing outside with a dog. The lower half displays a child asleep in bed.
When your child should be asleep the bottom picture will glow gently, and when it is time for your little one to get up, the upper picture lights up.
You can set the alarm to go off with either a train sound, a cuckoo, or a gentle bird song. When it’s time for the alarm to go off, the sound starts off quietly and builds in volume until it is turned off.
A large mushroom-shaped button at the top of the clock provides a snooze function and also turns on the night light. This light goes out again after ten minutes, so it works well for middle-of-the-night bathroom trips or other brief wakings.
- It has digital and analog displays.
- The clock has a snooze function.
- Good for learning how to tell the time.
- It’s a fun-looking design for kids.
- No dimmer on the clock.
- You can set the wake-up time more than 12 hours in advance because the clock doesn’t note the difference between a.m. and p.m.
|Clock Face||Analog & digital|
|Sounds||Birds, cuckoo, train|
|Colors||Blue 7 white|
3. Tommee Tippee Groclock
Made for the youngest of children, the face of the Groclock either glows blue and displays a central star surrounded by smaller stars or glows yellow and displays a large central sun surrounded by little solar flares.
In the early morning, the smaller stars begin to go out giving your child a visual countdown to wake up time. The brightness levels are adjustable.
Two alarms allow you to set either weekday and weekend wake-up times or main sleep and nap time. However, there is no nap time timer function.
The clock comes with the Gro Sleepy Farm board book that introduces the concept of the stars showing it’s time to sleep and the sun showing it’s time to wake. It also establishes a “set the clock” routine each evening where you and your child press the set button at bedtime and the star face comes on.
- You can use the light alarm, sound alarm, or both.
- It’s simple for young children to comprehend.
- It creates a nighttime routine.
- The dimmest setting is still pretty bright.
- It can take some time to understand how to set the clock, even with the directions.
|Clock Face||Digital – night time only|
4. Skip Hop Sleep Dream & Shine Cloud
For the youngest of early risers, the Dream and Shine Cloud provides simple colored light cues to tell your child when it’s time to go to sleep, almost time to get up, and time to rise and shine.
If the cloud is glowing red, it means it’s time to sleep. In the morning, the cloud turns on and glows yellow to indicate it’s almost time for everyone to be awake. Finally, the cloud glows green to let your little one know it’s okay to get up.
The light in the cloud glows at one of three brightness levels and after 20 minutes the light turns off, allowing your child to sleep in their darkened room.
There is a “soothing mode” in which you can set the cloud to play a lullaby or some gentle white noise or rain sounds. This works well as a wind-down period before sleep.
- Simple enough for the youngest toddler.
- It has a lights-off timer.
- Nursery appropriate design.
- No night light since the light won’t stay on longer than 20 minutes.
|Sounds||White noise, lullaby, gentle rain|
|Colors||Blue and white|
5. Hatch Baby Rest Time-to-Rise
Establishing the same time-for-bed and time-to-wake routine is important not just for kids but for adults too. However, the reality of modern family life means that we may have to get up and go to bed when it fits in with our ever-changing routines.
If this is true for your family, the Hatch Baby Rest has your back.
You can set the alarm to work automatically or by using either your kid’s tablet or your smartphone and setting it remotely. There is also the capability to turn it on manually by tapping the top of the light. That means the Hatch works as a night light as well as an okay-to-wake alarm.
The app has a Toddler Lock option that prevents your child from turning the alarm on or off, or from changing the settings manually. There is also the ability to control multiple units from one app so each child can have a personalized alarm in their room.
- It’s flexible.
- Simple to understand light cues.
- It can be controlled from wherever you are.
- The plug can be loose.
|Sounds||11 pre-set sounds|
|Colors||White with multiple light colors|
6. Windflyer Little Teddi Toddler Clock
The Little Teddi from Windflyer has both a digital clock display and a separate face display. This clock works well for toddlers who can’t tell the time, as well as older kids who can.
When it’s time to sleep, the face on the digital display closes its eyes and the mouth shrinks to a short line. In the morning, the eyes open up and the smile grows broader so your child knows it’s time to get up.
Between sleep and wake, there is a buffer zone. You can set this to last for between five and 90 minutes. You can choose to allow your child to stay awake but stay in bed, get up and play quietly, or anything else you like during this period.
There are also four background sounds from this device, a separate nap timer, and a child lock to prevent your little one from changing the clock’s settings.
- It has an appealing, friendly face.
- It comes with five brightness and volume settings.
- It has a power cord and a battery option.
- Instructions could be clearer.
- The battery compartment is difficult to open.
|Sounds||Music box, lullaby, ocean wave, white noise|
|Colors||Blue and white|
|Power Source||Cable, backup battery|
7. My Tot Clock Toddler Clock
The My Tot Clock has all the basic features you find on the majority of toddler alarm clocks and some unique ones. As well as the usual bed-time and wake-time light-up functions, it also has cyan for nap time, green for playtime, and red for time-outs or thinking times.
The clock can play lullabies, white noise, and fun wake-up music as well as bedtime stories that are stored on separate cartridges. However, this is one area where the clock could be improved. Instead of having to buy and insert extra cartridges to expand your library, it would be nice to have internal storage to which you could download any audiobook you like.
There are digital and analog clock displays, and the parental controls are hidden behind a fun faceplate. Extra faceplates featuring cartoon dinosaurs, farmyard, ocean, sports, and other scenes can be purchased separately. There are even plates with characters like Dora The Explorer.
- It has a time-out and thinking function.
- Flexible set-up options.
- You can change the look of it by buying a new faceplate, which is good if you’re handing it down to a younger sibling.
- Needs extra cartridges for new stories.
|Clock Face||Digital and analog|
|Sounds||White noise, lullabies, music|
|Power Source||Cable with battery back-up|
8. Big Red Rooster Alarm Clock
Despite what the name suggests, this clock doesn’t take the form of a big red rooster. Instead, it is a cute cartoon-style dog sitting on its back legs and holding a ball between its front paws.
The ball lights up green when it is time to wake and red when it is time to sleep. This makes it simple for kids to understand, even before they can tell the time on the digital clock face.
You can set two different alarm times and change the amount of time the green light stays on.
If it’s not critical that your child gets up at a specific time, there is also a function to use the alarm with just the light rather than the light and buzzer together. This way the alarm won’t necessarily wake up your sleeping child if, by some luck, they are sleeping a little later than usual.
- Battery or outlet power.
- Adorable, child-friendly design.
- You can set two alarm times, so it’s good for naps too.
- Only has a buzzer sound.
- No volume or brightness control.
|Power Source||Cable or battery|
9. Star Projector Night Light
Although not designed specifically for toddlers, this star projector night light can do everything a toddler alarm clock does. It has the additional advantage of being a clock that will appeal to older children too.
Set the light to glow in one of ten colors for sleep time and another of the ten for the wake-up alarm. There is a digital clock display so your child can use the standard clock when they are older.
You can also remove the standard lamp cover and replace it with one of the six projector shades included with the lamp. These shades project a soothing 360-degree scene across the walls and ceiling.
Finally, you can use the lamp without a shade for a single color projection, as well as streaming music or bedtime stories of your choosing via the built-in Bluetooth speaker.
- Stream stories and music.
- Will work for toddlers, tweens, and teens.
- It has six optional projection films, including a starry sky, underwater scene, universe, love, happy birthday, and deer.
- Not specifically made for toddlers.
- No “cute” factor.
|Power Source||Cable and rechargeable internal battery|
10. WiFi Smart Table Lamp for Bedrooms
This is another item that isn’t made specifically as a toddler alarm clock, but it does have the features you will need. There’s also the added advantage of it being an item that, if your child doesn’t get on well with a toddler alarm, you can still use it elsewhere in the house.
You begin by pairing the lamp with your smart home device. You can then set the lamp to come on and go off at any time with the colors of your choice. And with 16 million colors and shades, you are going to find something that works for you and your toddler.
After set-up, you can use your smart device to override your alarms at any time, change the color of the lamp, or set the brightness. This works either via the app or through voice control. If you have a child who will instruct Google or Alexa, you’ll have to lock them out of the lamp.
- Flexible usage.
- Can be used elsewhere in the home, not just a child’s bedroom.
- The light options are cool with an amazing number of choices.
- No clock display.
- 2.4 GHz WiFi only.
|Colors||Silver and white|
|Product||Best||Clock Face||Sounds||Night Light||Power|
|LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Clock||White Noise||Digital||White noise, lullax, & ocean||Yes||Cable/Battery|
|Claessens’ Kids My First Alarm Clock||Analog||Analog/Digital||Birds, cuckoo, train||Yes||Battery|
|Tommee Tippee Groclock||Visual Countdown||Digital||Buzzer||Yes||Cable|
|Skip Hop Sleep Dream & Shine Cloud||Clock Face||None||White noise, lullax, gentle rain||No||Cable|
|Hatch Baby Rest Time-to-Rise||Mobile App||None||11 pre-set sounds||Yes||Cable|
|Windflyer Little Teddi Toddler Clock||Naps||Digital||Music box, lullax, ocean wave, white noise||Yes||Cable/Battery|
|My Tot Clock Toddler Clock||Multipurpose||Digital/Analog||White noise, lullabies, music||Yes||Cable/Battery|
|Big Red Rooster Alarm Clock||Budget Pick||Digital||Buzzer||No||Cable/Battery|
|Star Projector Night Light||Bluetooth Speaker||Digital||Multiple||Yes||Cable/Battery|
|WiFi Smart Table Lamp for Bedrooms||Smart Home Compatibility||None||None||Yes||Cable|
It’s Not Forever
If your toddler likes to rise and shine before the sun makes an appearance, you’ll know the pain of being woken up by a bouncy bundle of energy in the dark. That’s horrible if you’re an early bird, but if you’re a night owl, it’s positively torturous.
Toddler alarm clocks provide your child with a simple way of knowing when it’s time to sleep, when it’s okay to play quietly, and when they can wake the rest of the household.
But don’t worry, before you know it they’ll be teenagers and you won’t be able to get them out of bed at all.