I can’t tell you how many different night lights we have tried over the years. From teeny plug-in hallway lights to stars projected on the ceiling to full reading lights.
It’s a hot debate whether night lights are helpful getting kids to sleep or not. The truth is there are pros and cons for both. As babies we don’t actually have a built-in fear of the dark - it’s not until around 2 or 3 when the imagination gets into gear that they MIGHT feel afraid of the dark. Many kids don’t ever have the need for a nightlight. Some may just need a little light to let them find their way to the bathroom.
The biggest con for night lights is they mess with melatonin production. Sleeping in a room that isn’t dark can affect our ability to make that magical sleepy hormone melatonin. This is what makes us tired.
That aside, both my kids like some light in their room at night as they go to sleep. And I’m all for anything that gets them off to the land of nod when they’re supposed to. I’m not ashamed to say that I really NEED that time in the evening to unwind and have a little quiet me-time. OK that may also mean a little wine time also!
So when looking at a night light (not a reading light) for your kids, there are a couple of things to look out for:
- Try and avoid anything with too many bells and whistles - anything with movement can distract them from sleep.
- Anything that might become scary in the middle of the night is also best to avoid. You'll know what might be a trigger for your child - what's comforting for one child might be scary for another!
- If you can, try and go for a relatively dim light - if you have a dimmer even better.
- Put all screens away an hour or two before bedtime. If you have dimmers in your house, use them before your kids go to bed.
My daughter (7) really likes to fall asleep with her light on, she knows I’ll come and turn it off after she’s asleep - this way she’s aware that if she does wake up in the night and it’s dark, it’s because I’ve turned it off, so she doesn’t panic. I leave our hallway light on and her door slightly ajar, just in case a bathroom visit is needed in the night.
If your child still naps in the day time try and keep the room well lit, ie curtains open. This way they’ll make more melatonin for the evening when you really want them to have a solid long sleep, and it won’t confuse their body clock.
At the end of the day it’s your choice whether you want to use a night light for your child or not, and hopefully the above tips and tricks have helped you make a decision for the type of light you want if you do choose to use a night light.
At SPACEY we stock a gorgeous light range that we’ve found to be a lovely level of light. They come in a beautiful swan, elephant, and a friendly stegosauraus for the dino crazy kid. https://spaceyliving.co.nz/collections/nighty-night-lights