User Rating: Excellent
Pros:Cute, easy to figure out, helps kids sleep
Cons:Expensive and quirky
The Bottom Line: This product is an asset to families with small kids. Just look out for defects, and use that one-year limited warranty if need be.
I have two My Tot Clocks in my house. I ordered one for my three-year-old daughter who was then two; and ordered the second one accidentally. We decided to keep it because we had a second daughter. A year later they each have one in their rooms. We take them with us everywhere.
Recommend this product?
Overall, I am happy with the clock and have recommended it to several friends who have issues with early risers, confusion with Daylight Savings Time, and other sleep issues with small children. My daughter responded right away to the colors indicating sleep time and wake time. It was easy to set a bedtime, wake time, nap duration, etc. That's all we use it for. You can also use it for time-outs and there is even an "encourage" function for getting ready for things. All I was interested in was blue for sleep and yellow for awake. We call it "Mr. Clock" so that my daughters would learn to see it as a friend who, unlike other friends, has the authority to tell them when they ought to be sleeping and when they ought to be playing.
We keep the clocks well out of their reach, in locations that are easy to see from their beds. It's important to keep them out of reach because even my 16-month-old knows how to change the colors of the clock, given the chance. She's seen me do it.
But there are a number of problems, in the case of my three-year-old's clock. Her "Mr. Clock" gets confused easily. For example, he might sleep in some mornings, while she waits patiently for him to turn yellow and tell her it's OK to leave her room. When I have to go in there and press the wake up button and scold "Mr. Clock" for sleeping in, I'm really annoyed. I feel like it chips away at the legitimacy for the clock for her. It takes away from the magic.
Another thing: the clock has battery backup, so theoretically, one should be able to unplug the clock and plug it back in, without disturbing its functions. But uh-oh. As I find out when we're traveling, "Mr. Clock" finds this confusing too. The analog clock on the face is undisturbed, but the digital one on the back - the one that controls all the functions - is reset to 12:00 a.m. I have to reset her clock often because of all of these quirks. Every single night I have to press the yellow wake-up button on the back to ensure that "Mr. Clock" knows when to wake up in the morning. As long as I'm constantly checking up on him, he works like a dream, and my preschooler stays in her room for quiet times and night time.
The last problem with her clock is that the music and white noise functions don't work. I don't know if they ever did, because I didn't try using them until just a few months ago. So that was disappointing. I do wish that I had a replacement for this My Tot Clock. It took using the second clock for awhile to realize that the problem with the first clock was not just me. By the time I realized that, too much time had elapsed for me to think about asking White Dove Innovations for a replacement. Interestingly enough, I know of no other person this has happened to. It was just my bad luck to get the senile My Tot Clock who forgets what time it is. Everybody I know who has bought one has nothing but good things to say. I continue to recommend it everyone I know.
As far as My Tot Clock number 2 for my 16-month-old, I am overall very pleased. She is younger than the manufacturer's suggested age for usage, but I saw no harm in getting her accustomed to having the clock in her room. From the time she was about six months old, I've been using it for its music and white noise functions. She is now beginning to associate the colors with what they mean. She is fond of her "Mr. Clock", and "clock" was one of her first words. It's always been a pleasant part of her routine. She definitely has the better functioning clock, but every now and then, even hers will inexplicably still be blue when I walk in the room one morning at 7:30 (wake-up time is set for 7).
I believe there's a part of the manual that tells you to reset the clock whenever it starts to malfunction (my words, not theirs -- I can't locate the manual right now). There is a little microprocessor inside the clock that needs to be reset sometimes. This is one of my only gripes with the makers of this clock. They didn't perfect it before putting it on the market. It's a great concept and very much needed by parents. My other complaint would be the price. $49.95 is pretty steep!
Amount Paid (US$): 49.95
Type of Toy: Educational
Age Range of Child: Other