Should babies sleep with a night light?
Babies wake up during the night for reasons such as to breastfeed, for a diaper change, illness and to administer medicine or even nightmares.
This is why a night light may deem important to facilitate such activities at night.
But after the diaper changes and night feedings, should you leave the lights on through the night?
In this article, we shall talk more about whether or not babies should sleep with a nightlight on and the potential benefits.
In case you opt to leave the lights on, we shall also look at some of the best baby-friendly nightlights and the qualities you should consider when buying a suitable one.
5 Reasons why babies should sleep with a night light
1. To reassure them in the dark (nightmares)
During development, babies go through both positive and negative experiences during the day.
The negatives can be traumatic and may lead to stress and anxiety and cause nightmares at night.
It may not be possible to completely prevent nightmares, but sleeping with a nightlight can help to reassure them in the dark. Thereby, minimize the frequency of the nightmares.
2. Minimize night awakenings
Night wakings are very normal among the little ones. However, if they happen too often, they can affect the quality of sleep your baby gets at night and yours too.
One way to, therefore, minimize the wakings is by using a nightlight.
A dimly illuminated room can make a child feel safe should they wake up at night and minimize anxiety. This will, in turn, enable them to fall back to sleep immediately.
3. Prevent separation anxiety in toddlers when transitioning from co-sleeping to crib
As the baby grows, they get to an age where they are no longer welcome in the parent’s bed.
Usually, they do not accept this move easily since it comes with the fear that leads to separation anxiety. As a result, the transition from co-sleeping to crib may not occur smoothly.
This is why good lighting may be deemed necessary. The light gives them assurance in the dark and helps to reduce separation anxiety as they get used to sleeping alone.
4. Boosts visual development
According to American Optometric Association, a bit of light at night helps to boost visual development in babies. Thus, parents are encouraged to leave a dim light or a nightlight on in the baby’s nursery from birth to about 4 months to help develop the baby’s vision skills.
However, care should be taken to ensure the quality of lighting is suitable for the baby.
5. Enable parent to check on the baby
When the baby is still a newborn, a nightlight is more for you than the baby. A dim nightlight helps you check on the baby, change diapers, and nurse and you can both fall asleep immediately you go back to bed.
What qualities should you consider when buying a night light?
Avoid blue and white light
There is a common misconception that blue and white lights are soothing. Hence, most nightlights tend to have these hues.
However, the truth is they are not appropriate since they inhibit the ability of the brain to secrete melatonin hormone, which is meant to promote better sleep at night.
Without melatonin, it hard for children to have better sleep since brain coordination gives body daytime settings leading to sleeplessness.
Experts recommend the traditional orange lighting since its not too stimulating.
See also: Best blackout curtains for nursery
It should provide adequate illumination for baby with minimal arousal
A good night light should be able to light up the room without arousing the baby and waking them up. This is so as to help them get back to sleep immediately with ease.
In short, the light should not be too bright to cause arousal nor too dull or blurred that you cannot see in the dark.
Should be bright enough for night time feeding and diaper changing
Changing a diaper requires keenness. So the light should be enough to let you go through the process without difficulties of sight.
In addition, the light should allow you to see clearly when breastfeeding for safety reasons. You don’t want the milk to get into the baby’s nose or eyes because it’s too dark for you to see.
Night light should be easy to operate whether chargeable or the battery replaceable.
It should have a stable base to allow you to place it on surfaces like tabletops without toppling over or falling.
Moreover, the nightlight you choose should come with an instruction manual from the manufacturer explaining in detail how to use, store and maintain it safely.
FAQ about should babies sleep with a night light?
1. What age should a child stop using a night light?
Many adults prefer to use night light and their children may use it as long as they are comfortable. It does not have a specific age limit.
However, you can stop your child from using a nightlight if you notice the light is affecting their sleep and making them wake up more often.
Also, they can stop when they start being comfortable in the dark.
3. Do babies sleep better with a night light?
It depends on babies. Some may sleep more with a nightlight since they feel safe while for others, the light may be distracting.
Nonetheless, as earlier mentioned, good lighting at night promotes visual development. This is because the light makes the eye nerves active which is also part of their development. The most important thing is to ensure quality lighting.
3. Should babies sleep in the dark?
Once again, it depends on the baby. Some babies may feel insecure in the dark while others may be absolutely fine and even sleep better.
4. Which is the best night light for feeding baby and nighttime diaper changes?
These nightlights come in very beautiful shapes and illuminate a friendly light which is very comfortable during sleep.
They are not complicated to operate since they have touch sensors. This makes them very convenient for the mother and the baby during breastfeeding.
In addition, the lighting can be adjusted according to one’s need and the needs of the baby.
This nightlight has numerous specifications alongside good lighting. For instance, it is multifunctional in that it functions as a sound machine, nightlight and time to rise alert.
You can control it remotely through your phone, which makes it very convenient.
Most importantly, it is for long term use since it grows with your child. As baby gets older, the harmonious tunes can be set as an alarm to wake them up.
So should babies sleep with a night light, the answer is yes. Good and comfortable lighting during the night is safe for the baby and toddlers.
With enough lighting, they are likely to feel reassured at night, reduce night awakenings and prevent separation anxiety. This, in turn, will promote better sleep and boost development.
However, it is wise to get the correct lighting since not all lighting is safe for night vision. For instance, as aforementioned, blue and white lighting is not appropriate at night. It is therefore advisable to consult well before doing purchase since all nightlights come with different specifications.