Thinking about using a night light with your little one? Can’t decide what brightness it should be, or what colour is best? Dreading spending hours trawling through ‘Mummy Blogs’ before making a decision?
Not to worry, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to.
Before you decide on a colour for your bub’s night light, decide whether they need one at all. If your baby is sleeping through the night without a care in the world, a night light might not be entirely necessary.
But if your bub seems like they need reassurance in the dark, a night light could be the way to go. This is especially helpful during times of separation anxiety, like when you first move your baby into their own room.
A night light can also be handy when you have to feed or change your little one in the middle of the night, so you don’t have to turn on an additional light and risk waking the little one up completely.
So if you’ve decided to get a night light, now it’s time for you to decide on the colour.
White and blue lights, no matter how dim, will have an adverse effect on your baby’s sleep. The wavelength of these lights interferes with the production of melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone. Of course, babies don’t start producing melatonin properly until they’re a few months old. But, once they reach the age at which they do, melatonin becomes necessary for children to stay asleep overnight.
A lot of nightlights use these white and blue lights, as they’re commonly considered soothing colours. These lights are also emitted from most screens, like TVs, computer screens, tablets and phones. So, beyond the night light, when it’s time for your bub to go to sleep, limit their exposure to these colours.
Red and yellow lights, on the other hand, don’t inhibit sleep. Red based light has a higher wavelength which doesn’t inhibit melatonin production. That’s not to say that a red night light will improve your baby’s sleep, but it won’t interfere with the chemical building blocks of it.
Here are some tips to make sure you’re using your night light most effectively:
1. Make sure it’s dim enough that you don’t see it through your eyelids when they’re closed
2. Make sure it’s bright enough so you can tend to your baby without needing additional lights
3. Angle it away from your little one so the light doesn’t shine directly in their eyes
4. Make sure to limit blue or white light exposure in the two hours before sleep