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Monsters, witches, goblins: The dangers of darkness are often unbearable for a child. Older children in particular therefore often ask to leave the light on. Even some toddlers simply sleep more peacefully if they are aware of their surroundings when they wake up. And very few children sleep through the night. This is not a sleep disorder, but part of normal child development.
Are you looking for a night light because your child doesn’t like to sleep in the dark? Read more about what is important in a good night light here. Depending on its use, a night light can have very different tasks.
Night Light: What Is It?
A night light spreads dim light, quite unlike a nursery lamp. This is useful in many ways, and its use is just as varied. For example, there are mothers who do not want to turn on the big ceiling light when breastfeeding.
But a night light is also useful for those children who are easily frightened in the dark. Thus, it fulfills different functions than normal lighting. While the latter is intended to illuminate the room, the night light focuses more on orientation. In addition, the light always stays on overnight, so it must also meet special requirements for power consumption.
What Is A Night Light Good For?
The night light gives your child a feeling of security. When the child wakes up at night, he knows immediately where he is. At least there is no impenetrable darkness around him, which could frighten him.
For older children, it also makes it easier to get up and find their way around the room, for example if someone wants to use the bathroom. A simple night light for the socket is sufficient here.
But a nightlight like this doesn’t just help the child. It also helps the parents when they enter the room at night. This can be the case when breastfeeding or when an unfamiliar noise is heard that you want to follow up on.
It is not always necessary to wake your child, on the contrary. Night light for the socket makes it easier for you to go to the nursery. You remain more inconspicuous than by switching on the nursery lamp. Above all, you do not wake up anyone unnecessarily, if siblings are already there.
These Are The Advantages Of A Night Light
- Calms, gives security.
- Helps to fall asleep.
- Gives orientation in the dark.
- Fights fears.
How Does A Night Light For Children Work?
The night light stays on permanently, unlike a normal children’s room lamp. Therefore, it must have a special texture, otherwise, it would be disturbing. This mainly concerns the light itself, which has a certain color temperature.
Although many night lights have an on and off switch, this is not mandatory. Often, you turn it on by plugging it into the wall socket. There it remains throughout the night. Only in the morning it is removed or turned off.
A key characteristic is its dim light. This is supposed to soothe and help the child fall asleep better. If we take a look at what happens to the human eye at night, the purpose of a special night light becomes even clearer.
Night Light For The Socket: Eyes React Differently At Night
The human eye reacts to light differently at night than during the day. The pupils are more dilated because we adjust to the dark. This makes the eyes more sensitive.
You’re probably familiar with this: If someone unexpectedly switches on the bright nursery lamp at night, we instinctively squint our eyes. If we don’t do this in time, we feel blinded for a few seconds. Even a normal ceiling light can cause this.
This knowledge led to the development of nightlights. Their light is usually sufficient to make out the room and the objects in it. While they are only dim, that’s all children usually need at night, too.
So, if your child doesn’t like to fall asleep in the dark, you should consider a pretty night light for kids. However, not all lights are suitable for this purpose. Therefore, you should pay attention to the color temperature before buying.
Looking For A Night Light For The Socket? Pay Attention To The Colors!
In addition, such a night light can also serve very well as a sleep aid. However, this depends on the choice of color: Bright light, preferably still with blue impact, blocks the sleep.
On the other hand, warm colors, such as yellowish, promote sleep. The reason lies in the sleep hormone melatonin. It is stimulated by darkness, but not by a bright bluish light. For this reason alone, a normal nursery lamp would make your child wide awake when switched on at night!
Night Light For The Socket: Quickly Falling Asleep Again Guaranteed
Because the child can orient itself better with the night light, it feels secure and soon falls asleep again. It is different from the bright nursery lamp, which signals: Wake up, the day begins! This also works at three in the morning, which is why you should avoid using it at night if possible.
A night light, on the other hand, has the following signaling effect: I can go back to sleep, everything is fine. I am at home and safe. For most children, this is enough to allay certain fears and allow them to fall back asleep on their own.
These Types Of Nightlights Are Available
- Night light with motion detector.
- Night light with sound.
- Moving nightlights, such as a starry sky projector.
- Simple plug-in lights.
- Plug-in lights with on/off switch.
Does A Plug-in Nightlight Harm Children’s Eyes?
This long-held view belongs to the realm of myths. However, the origin is known, because in 1999 there was a study about it. It seemed to prove that a nightlight damages sensitive children’s eyes.
When the results became known, experts advised against the use of night lights. The study further seemed to show that night lights can even promote nearsightedness! Fortunately, this was not confirmed.
These earlier assumptions have long since been disproved by another study. Night lights do not produce myopia. So you can rest easy and put a nightlight in your child’s room if it helps.
At What Point Does A Child Need A Nightlight?
This information is important because many people don’t know: Actually, your child doesn’t need a night light until he or she is about two years old. Before that, it is more for your reassurance and orientation if you don’t want to turn on the nursery lamp! In order to feel fear in the dark, the child lacks basic cognitive skills until then.
There are normal night lights that emit a dim yellow light. They are also suitable for children, but are actually intended for adults who often need to go to the toilet at night.
Of course, you can buy such simple night lights for your child as well. But there are also special night lights for children. They differ mainly in design, color and whether they can emit sounds. Thus, they are often designed more interesting than a normal lamp for the children’s room.
Power Consumption Of Night Lights
It is a maximum of 2 watts. One watt is very common: If you calculate with about 28 cents per kilowatt hour, that’s not even 2.50 euros per year, even if you leave the light on for 24 hours.
Nevertheless, make sure that the night light stays out of reach for the socket. While night lights are generally safe, every now and then a little explorer will simply pull out the light in the night.
When Is A Night Light Helpful?
So a nightlight is helpful almost all the time. Many children like it when it’s not completely dark around them. Darkness not only causes disorientation. We all know that’s where the evil monsters lurk. Lullabies usually don’t help either. Unfortunately, dark corners in the room can not be avoided completely. But a night light for the socket helps to reduce them to a tolerable level.
In addition, the child learns to keep track of things with a night light for the socket. If it has trouble falling asleep, a cuddly toy often helps. But how can you find it when everything around you is dark? These and other problems can easily be solved with a night light, while a lamp in the child’s room would be more of a nuisance.
Did you know that the fear of the dark even has a name when it becomes a disturbance? It’s called achluophobia, and it refers not so much to the dark, but to the dangers you suspect are there. To reassure you: With the child something like that is normal and it passes again!
This Is What Stiftung Ökotest Says: Night Light Children Test 2018
Stiftung Ökotest tested 14 night lights in 2018, including many models for children. The result: eleven night lights were considered recommendable, i.e. the vast majority. Ten could convince with good, one even with the rating very good.
Smartphone Flashlight – Too Bright
Some young parents try to use the flashlight function on their smartphones while breastfeeding. This may be cheaper than a night light for the socket. It can also work, but is too bright for some kids.
This shows how important finely tuned brightness and color temperature are.
Is A Nightlight For Babies Even Necessary?
Not really, it’s more helpful for you. Your baby can’t see enough yet, and he or she is not afraid of the dark. That only comes later, around the age of two.
Tip: If a pretty night light is too expensive for you, just put it on your wish list for grandma or auntie! For example, there are elaborate models that cast projections onto the wall.
That these cost a bit more is obvious. Also consider the additional power consumption. But beware: a starry sky projector is more for older children. It’s not the right thing for a baby, otherwise he won’t sleep after breastfeeding.
Because babies pay a lot of attention to movement in the first months. Then it would be even better to turn on the nursery lamp, because the baby does not mind yet.
Bright shapes, colors, with or without sound, night light for the socket or starry sky projector: the choice seems endless. There is even the version night light with motion detector, which can be useful for older children.
Especially for little explorers, lack of quality in furniture in the children’s room can be fatal. Do you want to protect your child from this? Read more here about what you should look for when buying furniture.
How To Find A Good Night Light For Children
- Color temperature: prefer warm light!
- Safety first: Look for test marks such as “TÜV” or “GS – Geprüfte Sicherheit”.
- On and off switch facilitate handling. Not all nightlights have this!
Make Your Own Night Light
By the way, you can make pretty night lights yourself with little effort. For example, you can use a transparent yogurt pot that you paint or stick on in a child-friendly way. Then put it over an LED tea light – and the night light is ready!
Or simply hang the colorful light chain on the wall, perhaps even in the shape of a little sheep? Here you can let your imagination run wild because you know best what your child likes.
Conclusion: Night Light
Nightlights have become an indispensable part of many children’s rooms. In the beginning, they are used for the mother’s orientation during breastfeeding, but later they are often used to combat a child’s fear of the dark. And successfully: children not only fall asleep more easily, then the night light serves as a sleep aid. They can also find their way around better if they wake up unexpectedly at night.
Whatever its purpose, a night light for the socket should not disturb sleep. It will not do so if it emits pleasant, warm colors. Bright blue is less suitable than warm yellow light.
The nightlight should also hang out of reach of the offspring and be age-appropriate: older children will love a moving starry sky projector. Babies, on the other hand, may not fall asleep after breastfeeding.