Baby Night Lights for Better Sleep

Baby Night Lights

A quick Google search for “baby night lights” brings you to many magical and cute animal baby night lights and heart-shaped baby night lights but 99% of these baby night lights you see are proven to actually inhibit sleep.

If you’re using a nightlight in your baby’s/toddler’s/child’s room, or plan to, you need to know which type of lights to avoid so you can create the best possible sleep environment for your Little One.

If you already have a night light in your child’s room, and it’s something that emits a dim glow, it may be causing disruption to your child’s sleep, and here’s why:

The wavelength of different colors such as white, blue, and green-based lights inhibit melatonin at night. Melon-what? Trust me, your honeydew will love you for altering your child’s night light situation and your precious babe will be able to sleep longer and stay asleep at night.

Melatonin Magic and Sleep

The sweet sleep hormone, melatonin, is released by the brain when there is a response to light sensitivity in the eyes. This hormone is essential for children to fall asleep and stay asleep overnight. If the world wasn’t clogged with electric lighting, research has shown children fall into slumber between 7:30pm and 8pm.

It’s common for parents to choose cute nightlights that might emit blue, green, white, pink, or purple hues. Blue is especially calming and used by most manufacturers of baby night lights but it’s a scientifically proven sleep disrupter and mistake to use them if you’re sleep conditioning or sleep training, or trying to get your baby, toddler, or younger child to stay in bed or sleep well throughout the night.

Cell phones, laptops, TVs, and almost all home lighting have blue and white-based lights need to be off and out of the area where your child is sleeping or away from your child at least an hour before they sleep. This is because these lights inhibit the body’s secretion of melatonin by tricking the brain into believing it is still daylight.

What’s the Sleep Solution?

Red light is the only light, shown by research, that does not inhibit melatonin because red-based light has a much higher wavelength than white/blue/green light.

The goal is to use no light in the nursery initially. When parents or caregivers come into the nursery for night feedings and diaper changes, you can then switch on a night light that is a red night light. This solution is perfect as red light does not interfere with the chemical building blocks needed for sleep.

However, you need to plan the environment and timeframe leading up to bedtime. Think about the light your child is exposed to before bedtime if you are giving Baby a bath or brushing your older Baby or younger child’s teeth. Is your bathroom lit by regular white light or energy-saving lightbulbs? These emit much more blue light than old-style incandescent bulbs. If so, you may consider investing in a battery-operated light which is more appropriate for preparing for sleep in terms of helping the brain prepare for sleep.

Lights Used When Prepping for Bedtime

In the bathroom when brushing teeth or giving a bath, or in the nursery when dressing into pajamas, when first putting Baby down, or when reading a nighttime story (or two books) to your child, here are options:

Best Red Lights for My Baby’s Nursery or My Child’s Bedroom Nightlight

These are the top red baby night lights I recommend for parents when breastfeeding or bottle-feeding Baby throughout the night or when needing light to change Baby’s diapers during the night, or for your Big Boy or Big Girl when they get up in the middle of the night during potty-training:

Other solutions for sleep include how cozy your Little One is, and how much humidity is in their room. Dryness can cause a thirsty baby or toddler. Read more on how to fix the humidity in your nursery and child’s room for better sleep.

Resources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12970330
  2. http://www.jneurosci.org/content/21/16/6405.full.pdf
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18838601
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11763987
  5. http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1081/CBI-100107515?journalCode=cbi
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14962066

2 Comments

  • Sophy Kea Posted November 10, 2018 3:52 am

    Great article!

    • admin Posted November 13, 2018 4:21 pm

      Thank you!

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