When could you introduce it, and what kind of light do I recommend? Keep reading:)
A night light can be a useful tool to help your child not feel so scared of the dark, and see their surroundings if they wake up at night. It also helps you not trip on a toy in the night if you're assistance is needed.
When to consider using a night light isn't a one size fits all, but here's how I approach this subject:
Is your child out of a crib?
You don't have to introduce a night light the moment your child is out of a crib, but I do find that the age of kids when they switch out of a crib is when they are most likely wanting a small light.
I usually recommend keeping your child in their crib until they are as close to age 3 as possible.
Containment plays a big role in sleep for young children and if they are sleeping well in their crib, you can keep them there for a long while!
But when you're ready to make the switch to a regular bed, keep in mind that you may also need to get a small light.
Is your child expressing fears around the darkness of their room?
A small night light + parental coaching can help your child cope with a dark room.
What does 'parental coaching' look like in this situation?
Play with darkness and light at other times throughout the day!
Do shadow puppets and pretend to be gazing at the stars.
Play hide 'n' go seek in different areas of the house that are darker so that your child can get comfortable with darkness and still feel safe.
Things to keep in mind when buying a night light:
Will your child play with it?
If so, you can always place it behind a dresser or some furniture to make it inaccessible to your child.
Some night lights are really, really bright.
A night light should be dim and a warm color.
Blue lights, as much as they seem like a good idea around bedtime, are actually very stimulating to our brains. (You can read about that here)
Blue light is also found in electronics such as phones, tablets and T.V., which is why it's recommended to not look at screens 1-2 hours before going to bed.
So pick a warm coloured light: amber, orange, red, etc.
Here are a few options:
Dimmable features Finding a light that can be dimmed, I would say is #2 on the priority list. You'd be surprised how often parents hear "It's too bright!" and then the light doesn't dim... So do yourself a favor and make sure it has a dimming feature! Features to avoid: Anything that projects light, and is blue! Want to know more about how to get your child to sleep well? Click below to get in touch, let's chat!
Here for you, Melody Patton