Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Mirari OK to Wake! at Amazon
“Green means go — get out of bed. When it glows softly yellow, it’s time for sleeping or playing quietly in your room until it turns green.”
Best with White Noise: My Tot Clock at Amazon
“Reads bedtime stories, plays lullabies and even has a white noise feature.”
Best Character: It’s About Time Stoplight Sleep Enhancing at Amazon
“Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Elmo are all riding in a car, which is nestled beside a stoplight.”
Best with Pictures: Claessens’ Kids Kid’Sleep Moon SleepTrainer at Amazon
“Great for younger kids who can’t yet identify colors.”
Best Smart: Hatch Baby Rest Night Light at Amazon
“The color, brightness, sound, volume — all of it can be adjusted from anywhere you have your device.”
Best to Teach Time: Teach Me Time! Talking Bedside at Target
“Features to teach your kid how to tell time as well. Three display modes — analog, digital and analog plus digital.”
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Best Overall: Mirari OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Nightlight
With simple to follow instructions, this little alarm clock is great for little ones who don’t know their numbers yet. Green means go — go ahead and get out of bed. When it glows softly yellow, it’s time for sleeping or playing quietly in your room until it turns green. There’s also a nap timer that can be set separately. Once they’re a bit older, kids can use it as a regular alarm clock, complete with a snooze feature.
It comes with a USB cord and has a battery backup (four AA batteries are not included). The parental controls are hidden under a lid in the back, and make it easy to set the times, control brightness and more. Buttons on the toes are for kids to push and result in fun lights and animations. Two interchangeable faceplates add to the fun.
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Best with White Noise: My Tot Clock
This clock does pretty much everything but tuck your kid into bed. It reads bedtime stories, plays lullabies and even has a white noise feature. It turns five different colors that children will come to recognize: Blue for bedtime, yellow to wake up, cyan (a blueish-greenish color) for nap time, green for fun time and red for thinking time. Additional songs and stories, such as Christmas and Bible stories, and faceplates like princess, Dora the Explorer and Dinosaur Train, can be purchased separately to personalize the clock.
This do-it-all clock also boasts an energy-saver, the ability to set a weekend wakeup time and night light with five levels of brightness. It runs on electricity and also has a battery back up (four AA batteries not included). It’s easy enough for kids to use, but the parents are in control of the important stuff (like determining when bedtime is) with hidden controls little fingers can’t reach.
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Best Character: It's About Time Stoplight Sleep Enhancing Alarm Clock
Is it time to get up? Don’t ask mom, ask Big Bird and friends. They’re featured in this cute, sleep-enhancing alarm clock for kids. Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Elmo are all riding in a car, which is nestled beside a stoplight. When the stoplight glows red, it’s time for bed. When it turns green, the coast is clear for them to get up and get on with their day. The yellow light can be used as a nightlight, and parents can also set a beeping alarm to accompany the green light if they wish.
It plugs into the wall, but also has a battery backup in case things don’t go quite as planned. It’s a cute addition to a toddler’s room and so much fun they’ll have no idea it’s really more for mom and dad than it is for them.
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Best with Pictures: Claessens' Kids Kid'Sleep Moon SleepTrainer Nightlight
Sunrise, sunset… that’s how this alarm clock lets kids know when it's time to head to bed and when it’s time to wake up. They just have to look to see which picture is lit up. If it’s the bunny playing outside while the sun is out, that means it’s time to wake up. If it’s the bunny in bed with the moon shining outside the window, that means it’s time to stay in bed. It’s great for younger kids who can’t yet identify colors, which most toddler alarm clocks use to indicate wakeup time.
There are separate settings for nap time and weekends, four alarm sound choices (or you can choose no alarm sound) and four levels of brightness, so you can program it to best suit your kid’s needs.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Best Smart: Hatch Baby Rest Night Light, Sound Machine and Time-to-Rise
This simple looking machine is a night light, sound machine and time-to-rise alert all in one. What sets this one apart from many others on the market, however, is the fact you can control it all from your smartphone or tablet. The color, brightness, sound, volume — all of it can be adjusted from anywhere you have your device. That means no waking sleeping children if you want to make adjustments. (It requires a smartphone or tablet running IOS (9 or higher) or a Android (KitKat or higher)).
From a soft gentle glow and music when your baby is little to a color signal that alerts toddlers when it’s time to get up (and perhaps more importantly when it’s time not to get up), this machine will provide years of sleep assistance.
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Best to Teach Time: Teach Me Time! Talking Bedside Alarm Clock and Night-Light
This little machine packs a big educational punch. It uses a parent-programmable color system like many others do — a green glow for waking time and a yellow one for when it’s time to rest — to help kids and parents sleep better. But as an added bonus, this one includes features to teach your kid how to tell time as well. There are three display modes — analog, digital and analog plus digital — to help toddlers begin to understand the relationship between them. There are also interactive games they can play in a variety of difficulty levels to learn to help them tell time.
Kids need a wake up call? No problem. This one functions as an alarm clock as well and comes complete with a snooze button (just like mom and dad’s!).
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
We bought two top-rated toddler alarm clocks and our reviewers spent more than 200 hours testing them. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these alarm clocks, from their design to the overall effectiveness of the notifications. We've outlined the takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Toddler Alarm Clock
Durability As with anything that toddlers touch, choose an alarm clock made out of a durable plastic that can withstand everyday wear and tear.
Design Your toddler is much more apt to pay attention to their alarm clock if they think it’s cool and exciting. Choose one with a favorite character on it, or opt for an alarm clock with fun features like music or flashing lights.
Notification If your goal is to wake up a sleepy toddler at a certain time each day, get an alarm clock with loud noises. If your goal is to keep your toddler in bed until a reasonable hour, choose an alarm clock that clearly indicates when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to get up.
Test Results: Mirari OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Nightlight (Best Overall)
What We Like
Simple design allows toddlers to use it on their own
Soft green light visually indicates it’s time to get up
Nap timer allows you to set numerous green-light-go alarms
What We Don't Like
Can’t change light color
Could crack or break if thrown hard by an angry toddler
Alarm is a little muted
“The large and simple buttons make this alarm clock easy for both toddlers and adults to use,” said our tester. “Everything about this device proved straightforward and it was as simple to explain to my child how to use it.” Although our tester didn’t have much to say in the way of negatives, she did point out the need to replace batteries and “the fear that the plastic will crack if my toddler throws it too hard.” She also wished that it came in other colors besides green.
Test Results: My Tot Clock (Best with White Noise)
What We Like
Lightweight and durable
Easy to use both for kids and adults
Five different color settings tell your child when to go to bed, wake up, take a nap, play, or sit in timeout
What We Don't Like
Takes some time to program
Your child may not want it to stop singing or telling stories
Our tester reported that this alarm clock was as a crowd-pleaser with her child, including during the day: “Our toddler loves the songs and carried it around with him for the 40-ish minutes it was playing,” she said. She also really liked the nap function, adding that it “helped our preschooler stay in his room during quiet time.” On the other hand, she noted its high price tag and said that the fact it has a lot of buttons “made programing the clock feel overwhelming, though it's not as hard as it seems.”