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How to choose a night light for your baby?

Many parents consider a night light to be a must-have item in the nursery. According to experts, newborns wake up every two to three hours throughout the night during the first couple of weeks, and even after that, most infants and kids need to be changed and/or comforted regularly. As a result, a warm night light is considered to be a useful accessory.

With so many different types of night lights available on the market, it can be difficult to find one that will best suit your needs. Read on to discover all you need to know about night lights, including how to choose one.

What is a night light?

A night light, as you might have guessed from the name, is a light that you leave on at night. They are made to illuminate a space with a soft glow that is not overly bright to the point that it disrupts sleep.

What are the benefits of a night light?

Night lights have a variety of practical uses, including:

For kids
    • It can serve as a cue

    Babies and young kids can use the warm, dim light emitted by a night light as a cue to continue sleeping.

    • Help to locate an object of comfort

    A night light allows your little one to easily locate his/her favorite teddy bear or comforter in the dark.

    • For comfort

    Nightmare can begin as early as two years of age. When nightly fears develop, it might be beneficial to add a night light to your baby’s sleeping space to give them some sense of comfort.

    • For potty training

    Providing your newly night trained child with their night light is an effective way of encouraging some independent potty trips to the bathroom. It might also be a good idea to equip your bathroom and hallway with a small night light so that they can find their way to the potty.

    For parents
      • For nightly visits

      A night light allows you to see what’s going on in the room during those nighttime feeds or when checking diapers. A night light is just bright enough to help you avoid bumping into objects or stepping on toys.

      • Helps you to fall back to sleep more easily

      Unlike bright overhead lights, the right type of night light provides enough illumination for you to check on your little one without jarring you awake.

      What are the different types of night lights?

      Some of the most commonly used types of night light include:

      1. Plug-in

        Plug-in night lights are some of the most popular on the market and with good reason – they stay illuminated all through the night without needing a change of batteries. Most varieties use very little electricity, so you don't have to worry about them making a significant dent in your utility bills.

        That said, depending on where you position your plug-in night light, you may be left without an outlet to charge your tablet or phone overnight. 

        2. Portable

          Most portable varieties are battery-powered night lights that can be placed in almost any location of your home as they do not need a power outlet. As a result, you can mount them easily on hallway and bedroom walls.

          On the downside, regardless of the wattage of the bulbs, you will eventually need to replace the batteries, which can be cost-prohibitive for some individuals. In such cases, choose to go for portable night lights that are rechargeable through the use of a USB cable.

          3. Projection

            This type of night light can project an image onto the wall or ceiling of your nursery. You can have images of planets and stars, a sunset, or even superheroes. 

            On the downside, you need to place a projection night light the perfect distance from the projection surface it uses as the screen – if it’s too far, the images are too blurry, and if it’s too far, the images turn out too small.

            4. Soft

              This is simply a stuffed animal with a light inside. The ambient light that is emitted by the toy is soft to help comfort your baby to sleep.

              Considerations to keep in mind when choosing a night light

              1. Color of the light

              The color of the night light you choose will depend on where they’re located. Night lights that are found in the bedroom or nursery should be red and amber to eliminate negative effects on sleep and melatonin production. Night lights in hallways and bathrooms should be a warm yellow light to provide slightly better illumination.

              Steer clear of blue or white light as they interact with the melanopsin receptors in your eye and subsequently reduce melatonin production, which in turn inhibits sleep. 

              2. Type of bulb

                Ideally, a night light should feature an energy-efficient light source, emit a soft glow, and not produce too much heat. There are three common types of bulbs:

                • Incandescent

                Plug-ins and lamp-style night lights typically use incandescent bulbs. These are similar to the standard bulbs you would find in your home light fixtures but they have a lower wattage. They use 2-7 watts of energy and have an average lifespan f 1,000 hours. However, they generate a lot of heat, which makes them hazardous for use in nurseries and bedrooms.

                • LED

                These are the most efficient and long-lasting types of night bulbs. They use 0.5 watts of energy and last at least 25,000 hours. They produce a slight amount of heat, although most of them are fitted with a heat sink that draws excess heat away from the bulbs, making them safe for bedroom and/or nursery use.

                • Electroluminescent

                These use electroluminescent technology, so you don’t have to worry about replacing burnt-out bulbs. They only use 0.5 watts of energy and last at least 4,000 hours. They come in a variety of colors and don’t produce any heat, making them ideal for kids’ bedrooms.

                Final thoughts

                The right kind of night light can be a valuable addition to your baby’s nursery – night lights help you find your way around a dark nursery during those nighttime feedings, plus they can cue your little one to continue sleeping, among other benefits. When choosing a night light, it’s important to consider the color of light it gives off, its brightness, and the type of bub, to mention a few. All in all, it’s important to do your research before making a purchase.

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