Is a Night Light in the Nursery a Good Idea?
For many adults, a night light was a staple of their childhood home. Parents would often place a night light in the nursery to comfort their little ones. But is using one a smart idea? That depends on you and your unique parenting preference.
Night Light in the Nursery: Yes or No?
First and foremost, the decision of whether or not to place a night light in your child’s nursery is a personal one. There are compelling reasons on both sides of the debate. On one hand, you want a young child to become used to the dark and not rely on artificial light fixtures. On the other hand, you want them to feel safe and comforted.
The Case Against Using a Night Light
One of the most common reasons to avoid using a night light is that it might interrupt your child’s slumber. A night light, beyond a cranky child, can also lead to an excited child who can still see her toys past her bedtime. This may make it hard for her to settle down. It can lead to a difficult night for the child, and therefore for the weary parents as well.
On a more scientific note, here another reason to skip the night light: our brains crave the absolute dark. Studies have shown that human beings will be much better rested when they sleep in total darkness. Even if we believe that we’re getting adequate sleep, appearances can be deceiving. Sleeping in pitch black triggers our brain to release melatonin, a natural sleep hormone. This helps us to reach a deeper sleep level, where the real benefits of a restful night begin. Unfortunately, in our modern world, we frequently run into “light pollution” from our phones and other various devices. These pockets of light can prevent us from getting the healthy sleep we require. As you can likely assume, a night light in the nursery can be another form of light pollution.
On the Other Hand: A Night Light Can Be Very Comforting and Handy
So now that we’ve spelled out some of the cons, let’s look at the pros of putting a night light in the nursery. First, your child might not be used to the dark yet. You may know what your house “settling” sounds like, but it could easily be terrifying to a confused little one. Adding a little bit of light into their room can diffuse some of that fear. They’ll be able to see that there is nothing lurking about, and therefore relax and drift back to sleep. Sometimes the best child safety tool is being able to gently convince kids that all is calm and well.
Usually, parents of newborns make multiple “check-in” trips during each night. Obviously, flicking on the light in the dead of night isn’t a great idea. All of that sudden light can startle the baby awake… and that’s not going to help anyone! Instead, it’s far better to have a subtle night light that can gently illuminate the room and allow parents to peak into the room without disrupting their baby’s sleep.
Beyond the Nursery: Potty Training Help!
Night lights can help adults see their way in dark hallways. This helps kids, too! When potty training a toddler, well-positioned night lights can make a trip to the bathroom easier and more inviting. Kids won’t be as scared to wander out of their rooms and down the hall in the middle of the night if they can see where they are going. Just be sure to baby proof your bathroom first. You wouldn’t want a child to get into any chemicals or other dangerous items on the way to the potty.
Our Recommendation: Safety 1st LED Auto Sensor Nightlight 2pk
As you can see, the decision to use a night light is really a personal call. There’s nothing inherently dangerous about either choice. It’s a matter of comfort.
That said, we do have one recommendation for those who decide to use one. To take the hassle out of turning the night light on and off, consider the Auto Sensor Nightlight by Safety 1st.
This LED nightlight works just like any other outlet night light. Simply plug it in and it’s ready to go. However, the powerful LED light lasts 25 times longer than the standard light bulb, which will help to lower your energy bills. The best feature though, is the Auto Sensor. The light will automatically turn on in the dark and will turn off when ample light reappears. To learn more, take a look at the product page.