Is your toddler afraid of the dark, and having trouble sleeping because of the monsters hidden under the bed? Are you considering using a night light and wondering if it is okay to do so?
Adding a night light to your child’s room could definitely be an option and may help your toddler sleep better but there are also some instances where using a night light may not be the solution. Here is my favorite one!
Yes, use it if;
1-If you have a newborn. If you have to care for your newborn, it is safer for you to see what you are doing! If you need to change a diaper or offer a night feed, you can use a dim light to help you maneuver around the room. It is important to note that the night light should be soft, dim and focal. We don’t want to turn on the ceiling light and disturb your newborn’s sleepy state. And of course, don’t put it close to your child’s sleeping area!
2- If you choose to use a light, make sure you are using a casts cool light. We definitely don’t want to have a white or blue-toned light in the room as blue light interferes with your circadian rhythm and melatonin. A red or yellow toned light is what I would recommend using. Lastly select a bulb between 4-7 watts and no brighter!
3- If your toddler is potty training at night, I would suggest adding a small night light in the hallway so they can safely make their way to the potty.
4- If your toddler is scared of the dark. Nightmares can start developing as early as 2 years old. Using a night light can definitely help them feel more comfortable and transition out of this scary phase. If you notice that the light helps them sleep better and feel more secure, then the light is a great addition to the room. We want to ensure they are not feeling anxious. The light can also help with separation anxiety, and prevent children from feeling anxious from being alone in the dark. Don’t hesitate to introduce the night light if you think your child needs it, and reassess the situation when and if needed.
Ummm I would think about it if;
1- The night light is disturbing your child’s sleep. Let me ask you…in what kind of environment do you sleep the most foundly? I like to think that you get the best night of sleep when the room is dark, cool, and you have accomplished your bedtime routine properly. The same thing is true for our children. I highly recommend children sleeping in a dark space. The darkness is what cues our brains to release melatonin, which is our natural sleep hormone. Sleeping in a bright environment can interfere with our circadian rhythms.
2- A night light can also be a distraction for the toddlers. Infants can also be easily distracted by their surroundings, especially when they become more aware of their environment. Because of the night light, they have the ability to see in their room, which potentially means more play versus going to bed! This is absolutely at your discretion, and you can assess if your child is distracted by the light or not. If you wish to stop using the night light you can gradually dim the light for a few days until the light is turned off completely.
I hope this helps you figure out if you should use a night light is for you or not. This is a personal decision and as demonstrated, a case by case situation!
Sleeping Babies = Happy Families