OK to Wake! Owl- Detailed Review and Troubleshooting
A few weeks ago I was awoken one morning by a very proud and cheerful 2 ½ year old just inches from my face, “I’M AWAKE MA!!” This would have been really cute, if it wasn’t 3am. Repeat two nights later at 4:30am…another night at 2am…3:45am…you get the picture. When my toddler needed a NAP at 7AM I knew we had problems. So despite a TON of mixed Amazon reviews and confusion as to how exactly it worked, I bought the OK to Wake! owl.
My overall parent opinion? It’s freaking awesome. Even with some frustrating (fixable) flaws, I think it’s worth every penny.
What is it:
A stuffed animal owl about the size of a cantaloupe. Uses light and sound to tell a child when to go back to sleep and when it’s OK to wake up. Parent programs the wake up time. Separate morning and naptime settings.
How it functions:
Runs on 3 AA batteries. Comes with batteries but the directions tell you to replace them with new ones. This is good advice because our “demo” batteries died within a week of receiving the owl. Instruction book says that new batteries will last 3 months but we haven’t had it that long to know.
Programming options are behind a Velcro cover on the owls back. VERY easy for any kid to open BUT you can lock the buttons by holding down two keys for a few seconds.
You can set:
Ok to wake time (AM and PM available).
Naptime duration (15 minute intervals up to 12 hours)
How long the music and light stay on: 1, 5, 15, or 30 minutes.
What it does:
The owl stays off unless you press the OK to Wake! patch on it’s tummy. If its not time to wake up and the button is pressed, the owl lights up a soft yellow and plays calm music. It has multiple songs, none of which I recognize but I don’t find any of them annoying. Occasionally it also says things like “Go back to sleep now”. The music and light stay on for as long as you programmed it to, unless you press the tummy again-then it shuts off. When it gets close to the programmed wake time (I think within 15 minutes) the owl will say “Just a little bit longer!” when pressed.
At the programmed wake up time, the owl will light up a pale green without being pressed BUT does not play any music. In the morning it will stay lit for 30 minutes, and after nap time it stays lit for 1 hour. I have never found the light to be so bright that it wakes my child up. If the child presses its tummy at this time it will happily say “Its OK to wake now!” and plays upbeat (but still not annoying) happy music. If you press the tummy again, it turns off.
Hat is long enough that child can carry it by that.
It only took one day of “stay in your room until owl turns green” temper tantrums for our daughter to get the idea. When the owl turned green we would clap and cheer and dance around. So now she excitedly waits for green and will come running happily into our room to show us that “OWL IS GREEN MOMMY!!!” and we celebrate.
When reading Amazon reviews I came across the following complaints:
1) Button too hard for child to press.
A) The button lines up with the “OK to Wake” patch on the front of the owl. If the light isn’t centered with the owls face then the button will be off-center from the patch and can be hard to press because you’re not pressing in the exact right spot. There are two Velcro tabs inside the owl fabric that the core sticks to. Making sure it’s stuck to these two tabs will help to ensure it’s all lined up and stays that way.
B) The owl is about the size of a cantaloupe, so a child isn’t going to be able to activate the button by squeezing the owl with their hands. Instead they’ll have to press the button with the palm of their hand or hug the owl. My 2 ½ year old lays the owl down and presses its stomach with one or both hands. Sometimes she won’t activate it on the first try, but has never been unable to turn it on.
2) The owl resets and therefore doesn’t turn green in the morning.
We had this complaint too and found two reasons with solutions.
A) I emailed Patch Products asking about this issue and this was their impressively fast (under 2 hours!) reply: “During the winter months, in particular, a dry room with blankets can cause an excessive amount of static electricity build-up which can, in some cases, disrupt your owls settings.”
This made total sense to us with our daughters fleece footed Pjs, fleece blankets, and the heat cranking this winter. So I moved the humidifier to her room for a few hours before bed. The owl didn’t reset that night but….
B) The owl resets when it is dropped, even a little drop from the toddler bed. I simply wedged a few small pieces of cardboard in the springs of all three batteries. Then I threw the owl down the stairs (literally) and it didn’t reset! Success! **Update: Since doing this we have had 2 solid weeks of NO resets-haven’t put the humidifier back in the room-so this may be the main cause and fix for resetting issues.
3) In the dark the owls face lights up leaving two large black eyes that look scary.
In my opinion both lights are soft/faint like a nightlight. Our daughter has yet to find it frightening. If anything she is extremely comforted by having a nightlight and music box at the push of a button and will make it play repeatedly until she falls asleep.
4) Owl stops going off at programmed time, even though all the numbers are still on the screen.
Your battery is low. I know it doesn’t seem logical because the screen isn’t blank and the songs still play, but every time this has happened to us, we simply change the batteries and it works perfectly again.
My daughter is now 4 1/2 and this same owl is still used every day. It’s amazing. I don’t want her to sleep without it (because I want to sleep, haha) and thankfully she also does not like to be without it because she wants to know when she can get up. Some mornings I hear her and her sister playing in their room together, occasionally pressing the owl waiting for the “Just a little bit longer!” cue. While she no longer does nap time, we sometimes have “quiet time” where I’ll set the nap timer. I like that if she does happen to fall asleep, the green light won’t wake her up. Until my daughter learns to tell time, I don’t see us ever getting rid of this owl. It’s been worth every penny and would make a great gift idea for someone.
A note on batteries: If your child, like mine in the beginning, makes the owl play music until she falls asleep every night and nap time, then yes, you will need to replace the batteries every 3 months. This was definitely the case with us in the beginning as she was both excited to have the owl, and genuinely comforted by it. Now we average at least 6 months since the owl mainly gets pressed in the mornings. I’ve never felt annoyed or cheated by replacing the batteries. I’m grateful she can sleep with the owl instead of having another thing with wires plugged in that they can unplug in their mobility and then call for me to “fix it” (baby monitor, night light, etc).