A baby night light might be considered an essential item for the new parent's nursery but is it really meant for the baby or the parents?
Most new parents will choose a kiddies night light because it is cool and it often becomes a decorative feature to the new nursery. In our case, for our first baby boy we enjoyed looking through the range of kid’s night lights. I especially looked for a cool night light that gave off interesting glow patterns in the room. Naturally, I choose the giant blue globe because I am an engineer and that’s what I would have wanted as a kid. What made it so much more awesome was the fact that this children’s lamp did not have a switch. The lamp has three dimmable settings which are changed by simply touching the bulb. How cool is that?
So as new parents we proudly turned on our baby's lamp for his first night home from the hospital. Our excitement for his giant glowing bulb soon vanished as after a few nights it dawned on us as new parents that the design of the children’s night light was not exactly designed with kids in mind. The problem is that the bulb is a dimmable LED bulb which is actually very bright if you look directly at the bulb. We realized that our baby boy was not sleeping properly and was restless during all hours of the night. We resorted to placing the baby night light behind a pile of books to block off direct light of the bulb and help to create a softer glow in his bedroom. As parents we quickly become wiser to the needs of our baby and understood what the most important requirements’ of a child's lamp were.
Why a Baby Night Light is Not Necessary for Newborns
Babies have been sleeping soundly without a night light next to their bed for thousands of years but its only since houses have had electricity has the idea that a baby night light become a new age requirement for any children’s bedroom. A baby has a very basic and instinctual thought processes and for first few months is happy to sleep in a dark room where she/he will sleep undisturbed from lights.
Children until they have reached the age of two have some imagination of scary creatures such as a nasty monsters hiding in the dark, but don’t necessarily fear them. It is more of a game where they are looking for interaction with the parents. However once the child’s cognitive development has increased, night time anxiety will become very real and thus a night light may be needed.
What Are the Most Important Requirements of a Baby Night Light?
Your choice of lamp should be selected to provide a soft ambiance that provides enough illumination for the baby to see if she/he wakes. This will reassure the child and make her/him feel safe. Babies will not be able to fall back to sleep if they feel scared or frightened. It should be a dimmable type of lamp and adjusted to the darkest setting which the baby is comfortable with.
The baby's lamp must provide enough light for the parents to see the baby and attend to the baby’s needs. It should be practical in that the baby night light shines enough light over the entire room, especially the floor to prevent parents from falling over baby toys and furniture. And most importantly provide light for changing the baby’s nappy, feeding the baby a milk bottle or just giving the baby some comfort to fall back to sleep. I find it convenient if the baby light can be easily made brighter during the nappy changes!
Parents might be tempted to keep the passage light on and keep the child's door open a jar but there is a drawback to doing that. Ceiling lights burning in the passage way consume far greater amounts of electricity coupled with long running hours equates to a high electricity bill. In the long run it is better for the child and for the wallet to purchase an energy efficient night lamp for the nursery.
What Color Light Works the Best?
You wouldn't think that the color of the light radiating from the lamp would make a difference but scientific research has proven otherwise. The calming blue or white color that is emitted from a fluorescent bulb, can be harmful to your child. The reason being is that this is the type of light the body is exposed to during day hours so in fact you are tricking your body into believing it is day time. Total darkness is the best for sleeping but it's not the most practical answer.
The best color for a night lamp are the soft, rich colors that one sees during a beautiful golden sunset. The reds and oranges that glow during a sunset trigger a natural emotion of tiredness. People have been watching sunsets for millennia which has signaled the end of the day and a call to bed. It is highly recommended that for the above reasons that parents select a kids lamp that produces a soft warm orange glow to the room.