Collect a group of parents and ask them the top five things they miss since becoming a parent – it is guaranteed that sleep will be on that list. As a parent we deal with night-time terrors, potty-training mishaps, “can’t sleep” syndrome and of course the “the sun is bright in my room”. All of these problems means us parents do not get a restful sleep-like ever. Sometimes I wonder when I will sleep through the night-maybe when I’m dead? (Insert tired mom sobs here.) I started researching alarm clocks for kids and came across Mella. The sleep-training alarm clock that works for the child that can read and the toddler that can tell the difference between facial expressions and different colors.
LittleHippo was founded in 2016 by Stephanie and Dennis when they couldn’t find a reasonably priced and high quality children’s alarm clock for their nieces. They spent the next two years studying, designing and creating a children’s sleep trainer. An alarm clock that is easy to set up, a beautiful design and easy to understand by children of all ages. LittleHippo’s mission is to create products that make parenthood a little bit easier and they done just that with their adorable Mella.
Our Experience with the Mella
I have two boys that share a room, a six year old and a three year old. The six year old gets up before the sun even cracks through the darkened curtains and unfortunately for me- once that son is up, he wakes up his younger brother. Since I am currently dealing with a baby, who also doesn’t like sleeping through the night, mornings are not my friend and each day I’m exhausted. LittleHippo company was kind enough to send our family the Mella and we’ve given the sleep-training alarm clock a shot for the last two months. Below is our unbiased opinions of the Mella.
What We Love About the Mella
1.) Everything a Parent Needs Rolled Into One
- Alarm clock with big numbers.
- Sound machine (white noise or music).
- Night-light- you can set a timer).
- Sleep–trainer with changing colors and facial expressions.
- Easily understood by child and toddler.
2.) Easy set-up
Setting the alarm clock:
- Thirty minutes before the scheduled alarm goes off, Mella turns yellow. The color change tells the toddler that it’s almost time to get up and they can play quietly.
- Small and perfect for little hands, almost too perfect for inquiring little hands.
3.) Three Facial Expression: Sleep, Almost Time and Awake.
Darling Facial Expressions on the Clock Face:
- Sleep: eyes are closed, mouth is a straight line.
- Almost time: one eye is open, the other is closed, half smile.
- Awake: both eyes are open and occasionally blink, wide smile.
The Mella features so many colors: yellow, green, blue, white, pink and a combined blue and green.
- Sleep: Night light- lots of color options (my kids love having a different color every night) and set a time period for how long the night-light is on. Personally I set the night-light for ten minutes so my kids know that once the light turns off, they can no longer talk to each other.
- Almost time: Bright yellow.
- Awake: Green-light. My toddler loves coming out of his room and loudly announcing, “Mom, Mella is awake!”
Cons about the Mella
- I had to rig the color system. My toddler knows that he can leave his bedroom once “Mella is awake!” (the light is green). But, the green and yellow are so close in color to him that he comes out of his room when it’s yellow. To get around my toddler’s thinking- I set the alarm thirty minutes later than when I want him to get up.
Buttons at the Bottom:
- To set-up the Mella, the buttons are on the bottom. I found myself flipping the alarm upside down multiple times. It was only inconvenient during the initial set up process.
- Hitting the “Settings” button every time we wanted to make a change to anything was also annoying. However, due to the extra steps- this makes it impossible for the kids to change the settings once I set them.
LittleHippo created the Mella to make parenting easier and I would like to personally thank them for doing just that. My toddler stays in his bedroom until “Mella wakes up” by turning green. However, if my toddler gets out of bed too early, I place him back in his bed and simply say, “Mella said it isn’t time to get up yet” and there’s no more arguments. Thank you Mella for keeping my toddler in bed longer and helping this tired mom sleep more!