Since both of you will spend a considerable amount of time in this room, it is best you design it in the perfect way possible.
So, Should You Put a Nightlight in The Nursery?
Ideally, you shouldn’t have any light in the nursery at night. This will to ensure that your baby sleeps more at night and less during the day. But while a nightlight isn’t a must-have, you may benefit from having it. It will help you deal with baby in the middle of the night, if anything arises.
When Should You Introduce a Nightlight to Your Baby?
Scientists say that babies sleep well in dark rooms. However, some parents worry that their children might be afraid of the dark.
But research says that these fears don’t start until they are at least two years and above.
Your baby doesn’t need a nightlight for sleep.
But, sometimes, having it in the nursery or even in your bedroom, if your baby sleeps with you, can be great. You don’t need to introduce a nightlight into the nursery until they ask for it.
So, that means that the right time might be when they are at least two years or older.
However, if you use it for feeding, diaper change, or other activities, you might introduce a nightlight sooner.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Night Light?
Having a nightlight has its pros and cons.
If you are not sure about purchasing a nightlight, here are some benefits it offers:
1. Sleep Comfortably
Having a baby means taking care of it full time.
So, that means you will have to wake up in the middle of the night for a diaper change or breastfeeding.
But, it can be hard to go back to sleep both for the baby and the mother once they are exposed to bright lights.
A nightlight is preferred as it gives enough brightness without affecting your sleep.
Therefore, you can see what you are doing and put your baby to sleep quickly, and go back to bed.
2. Soothing Ambiance
Babies need to be comforted most of the time.
This is a way of encouraging bonding with their parents/guardians and making them feel relaxed.
But too much light in the middle of the night will make it harder for them to sleep.
On the other hand, a soft night light creates a soothing atmosphere that helps your baby fall back to sleep when they wake up.
Additionally, you can quickly check on your little one with a nightlight without turning on a bright, harsh lamp.
3. Makes Your Child Feel Safe
Babies aren’t afraid of the dark since they have spent a lot of time in the womb, which is believed to be dark.
However, since some do have a fear of the dark you should consider buying a soft night light to illuminate the room and make them feel safer.
Drawbacks of a Nightlight
Like everything else, a nightlight also has its drawbacks.
It can impact your baby’s circadian rhythm and sometimes melatonin production. However, this effect depends on the color of the nightlight you have.
Nightlights producing a blue glow aren’t recommended.
You can use them during the day to keep your child alert.
But they can also keep them awake when used at night. Red and orange nightlights are the most suitable for an infant. But even these can still impact melatonin production.
However, we must mention that this is a bigger problem in adults since babies begin producing melatonin when they’re three months.
So, you shouldn’t worry too much about placing a nightlight in the nursery.
However, many parents are concerned that poor sleep can go past the toddler years.
Remember that poor sleep in the first few months of a child may cause behavioral and emotional problems as they grow. If you think a night light affects your child’s sleep, remove it as soon as possible.
How Should You Use The Nightlight?
1. Camouflage the Nightlight
As we have said, sleeping in the dark helps in melatonin production.
However, sometimes this may not be possible since some babies are uncomfortable staying in a dark area.
Plus, parents need some light when changing or breastfeeding their children. In that case, camouflaging the nightlight is the best solution as it will not affect melatonin production.
You can dim the nightlight by using a sharpie marker, frosted scotch tape, lithographer’s tape, etc.
You can also hide the light behind the furniture or use a decorative covering or top to mask some of its brightness.
This ensures that it offers just enough light to see without affecting the baby’s sleep.
2. Stick to the Basics
Everything has advanced, and it’s not the same as when it was first produced.
Nightlights are not different.
They have come a long way, and nowadays, there are lights that play music, project stars, etc.
But as fantastic as these features are, it’s probably best to pick a simple nightlight.
Don’t use one that plays music at night as it will interfere with the baby’s sleep.
If you can’t play music in your bedroom at night, why would you want to play it in the nursery?
3. Put the Nightlight Far from Your Child
If you place the light too close to where your child sleeps, they may develop sleep problems.
Remember that night lights are designed to offer a dull light in the room while keeping it dark so that sleep patterns aren’t affected.
For this reason, avoid keeping them directly in the crib.
4. Use a Red Light and Avoid Lights with Cool Color Tones
Many babies fall asleep with the red light.
Plus, it doesn’t interfere with melatonin production.
The release of correct levels of melatonin helps promote early and deeper sleep.
Avoid cool tones like light blues and bright white as they make sleep hard for babies.
Cool colors inhibit the production of melatonin which affects their sleep.
5. Create Light Layers
Sure, you want soft lighting.
But you may be unable to see properly with these light types.
It is not advisable to use one extremely bright lamp.
Instead, you can use several dim lamps and fixtures to offer enough brightness for the activities you will be doing.
Consider at least three light points, like
- a reading lamp
- a light for the changing table
- and a ceiling fixture.
When you center the light as per the task, you’ll have enough illumination when you need it.
6. Use a Nightlight Only If It is Necessary
Not all babies need a nightlight. So, parents need to wait to see whether their children genuinely need one before bed.
If your child develops a sudden fear of darkness and appears soothed with a nightlight, consider introducing one in the nursery.
Remember that infants get better sleep in a comfortable room.