The 8 Best Toddler Alarm Clocks to Buy in 2018

Let the whole family get a good night's rest with these handy gadgets

Standing toddler boy crying in the crib
Carolyn Brandt / Getty Images

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Toddlers are so cute, so cuddly, so absolutely delightful… but not at 4 a.m. when they come barging into your room ready to start their day. For whatever reason, little kids just don’t get it when it comes to sleep (the more, the better), instead, they pop out of bed at all sorts of crazy hours, leaving mom and dad exhausted.

Fortunately, time to wake clocks were invented to help signal to kids when they can get up and go into their parent's room and when they need to stay an hopefully drift back off to sleep. These sleep clocks help get the job done by using lights, sounds and any other fun technique (or magic!) to help them stay in their room and out of your bed. And don't worry your kid does not need to know how to tell time or understand numbers for these clocks to work. If you are in the process of sleep training, coming up on daylight savings or just are ready for a decent wake time in the morning these are the best toddler alarm clocks to help you all stay sane. 

  • 01 of 07

    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.

  • 02 of 07

    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.

  • 03 of 07

    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.

  • 04 of 07

    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 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    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.

  • 06 of 07

    Best to Teach Time: Teach Me Time! Talking Bedside Alarm Clock and Night-Light

    Teach Me Time! Talking Bedside Alarm Clock and Night-Light
    Courtesy of Target

    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!).

  • 07 of 07

    Best for Travel: Baby Cute Night Light

    This is one clucking great find for parents of early risers. The cute chicken lets kids know when it’s time to rise and shine with a soft, gradual glow that gradually increases in brightness just like the rising sun. A fun noise also sounds when the time is right.

    Small (just under six inches high) and portable, you can charge it with the enclosed USB cord for up to 15 hours of use. Kids will love its clucky disposition and try to be “good eggs” when it comes to following its light commands. It also can serve as a night light or an alarm clock and also features the adult favorite  — a snooze button.