A simple way to quickly eliminate those “monsters under the bed ” and the fears of a child from falling asleep are the night lights. A little bit of light can make your child calmer or less anxious. Here we will show you what should you look for when buying a night light for children.
Here are the best night lights with a soothing hue.
Checklist for night lights
- Tone and Brightness: A night light with “warm” colors (such as red / brownish / amber) gives the ideal light for falling asleep. Please avoid “cold” light. The blue and white light are the wrong choice
- Safety: Night lights must not get hot. The right choice are the night lights with LED technology. They stay cold even after hours of use
- Easy to use: night lights should be intuitive to use and also easy to find and turn on in the dark – the fewer buttons and switches, the better.
Why can night lights help children and babies fall asleep?
Many kids are scared of the darkness. In the dark, kids cannot see and have to “imagine.” This forced imagination creates uncertainty or a fear of the unknown or possible danger.
The good news is that these fears are absolutely “normal” up to a certain age – from the age of about 7, these fears dissolve more and more or are pushed into the background more and more.
Sleep and nightlight: how does it fit together?
Keep in mind that not all babies are instinctively afraid of the dark, and you should use the night lights only if this is necessary. You can often hear or read the argument that light delays are falling asleep. That is only partially true in our experience. Light can indeed affect the natural melatonin production.
Although our eyelids are closed, we can detect the light, and our brain gets confused about what time it is. The consequence is- ou body doesn’t produce as much melatonin as needed to promote the sleep.
White or blue light are not suitable to promote falling asleep.
But, night lights for kids who have a problem falling asleep, will benefit from the calming, anxiety-relieving effect of “warm” (reddish/brownish) light. The production of sleep-inhibiting hormones will then play no significant role.
Helping a child who is afraid of the dark
Kids to be afraid of strange and unfamiliar things that they don’t understand or can’t control. Their busy imaginations where they cannot see, make them believe that monsters are under the bed or in the wardrobe, waiting to spring up when the light goes out.
The child’s fear of darkness can disrupt its bedtime routine and sleeping habits. There are many ways how parents can support their children in overcoming a fear of the dark.
Show your child that you understand its fear
As with other fears, it’s essential to handle a child’s fear of the dark with understanding and awareness. Do not make jokes or dismiss your child’s emotions. Also, don’t become angry and frustrated, cause your child should already close its eyes and sleep! The first step in assisting your child to overcome their irrational fear is accepting its feelings and react to them sensitively.
Show your child that you understand that it is afraid of the dark, but you don’t have necessarily share that fear.
Show the child that its is safe; explain to them that there are no such things as monsters and other scary creatures.
However, don’t look under the bed or in the closet, as this may indicate that you believe monsters could be there.
General advice for fear of the dark
- Establish a bedtime routine your child finds relaxing and pleasurable. Predictable bedtime routines help to lessen anxiety.
- Place some of the nightlights into your child’s room.
- A child’s fear tends to decrease if they believe they have some control over a situation. Put the night light close to their bed, so they can turn it on themselves.
- Make sure your child doesn’t watch tv directly before going to sleep. Also, media consumption must be suitable for their age.
- Look around and try to see things from their perspective. Is there a toy or picture which could throw a shadow or seem creepy at the half-light?
- Regular exercise helps to decrease stress levels. Make sure your child has plenty of physical activity during the day.
- Do not make a big deal about your kid’s fear, as this could make them feel more worried about it.
- There are many books on handling childhood fears, both for the parents and the child. Read them.
- Whenever your kid achieves a step towards overcoming its fear, reward them. Toddlers respond well to simple reward systems, like stamps or stickers on a wall chart.