You only have to pause at the entry door into a baby shop and glance around to become overwhelmed with what your baby’s nursery should or could look like! Colours, decorations, mobiles, matching laundry hampers my babies needed all of this!! 😉 The thing that did stump me was a night light.
First of all did my baby need one? Would it disturb them, confuse them, overstimulate them?
Secondly how did I feed/change/settle/find my way out of the room in the dark, without doing any of the above?
Thirdly would I create a bad sleep habit by introducing a little light or confuse the day/night thing?
So I recently had a FTD (first time dad) ask me what is a night light?
A night light is a little light you leave on at night to illuminate your or your baby’s room. They should have a soft glow that is not bright and not white.
So why have a night light?
1. So you don’t have to turn on a big light for night feeds and nappy changes.
2. Parents can easily see their child during a peek-a-check in, without turning on a hall way, walk-in-robe, or bathroom light.
3. It allows babies older than 4 months of age to easily find their comforters, without fully wakening up from the REM phase of sleep, or during normal nocturnal arousals through the night. That means they are less likely to call out for parental assistance unless something else is bothering them.
4. They do comfort the older child who is going through separation anxiety and night scaries.
5. Night lights can actually be cheaper than normal household light. Big tick for saving extra $$$ in a new parent household.
6. It actually is beneficial for us as parent’s in the ease of returning to sleep, once we have been up. Our brain is not briefly stimulated by white light, which tells our brain its time to wake up.
There are many different types of night lights all equally gorgeous and room matching.
- Projection Night Lights- very pretty, bright and quite stimulating. ok for the elder child, but maybe not for the younger baby. They can be blurry if you don’t get the distance from the placement to the ceiling correct.
- Plug In Lamps-Popular and original and often come with a light sensor that turns on and off depending on the light availability. I am wary of the motion sensor ones, especially if you have a pet in the house!
- Toys with night lights in them. Be aware of the age recommendation and SIDS requirements.
- Light and temperature lights. Like a Gro-Egg, a personal favorite- kill two parental sleep stresses at once.
- Salt Rock Lamps. Another person favorite, due to the healing benefits of Himalayan Salt. You will need to change the globe wattage though to 4-7 watts. These often come with 15 watt globes which will light up your child’s room like a normal lamp.
- Glow-In the dark stickers/wall decals- older kids love these. Some glow all night, which might be a issue, some fade in the first few hours. Can be a great way of keeping a child in bed!
Which Colour Night Light is best?
White light or blue light (like our TV’s and phones), tells our brain to stop making melatonin or delays melatonin secretion. This is due to a set of receptors in our eyes that responds to the naturally blue-rich light of daytime which keeps us alert. We and our children want to fall asleep naturally, be better rested on wake up and give our circadian rhythms the best chance to function properly.
If you turn your night light on and shut your eyes, if you can see the light through your eyelids then its the wrong choice.
Thus the winning colour is red/orange- just like a sunset! When choosing your night light research shows that these are the best colours for being less disruptive to our brain in switching from alert to snooze. :-). Red and orange lights are soothing for babies (think about their womb environment) and in fact after black, white and grey the first primary colour a baby sees is red!!
Night lights are not toys- they may look cute, but check the product disclosure details. Often they have small parts, cords, and compartments for where batteries go.
Pay attention to recalls, especially toys that are night lights as well. Be aware of what might happen if your child accidentally gets the night light/toy wet.
Happy shopping and happy snoozing 🙂