A nightlight is a small light fixture that provides a dim light at night. Night lights for kids have come a long way from the simple zero watt bulbs fitted into a light fixture, to cordless ones that can be operated using an app on your phone.
Night lamps for kids perform have a variety of uses and functions which can be classified into three main categories –
➢ The obvious use is its ability to shed some gentle light to dark areas of the house, which might come in handy during an emergency.
➢ The slight glow of the light gives a general layout of the room so a parent can maneuver across the room if required without bumping or tripping on furniture or toys.
➢ Baby Night lights are also helpful for mothers who need to breastfeed the babies at night, or for changing the baby’s diaper.
➢ Some night lights for kids that come with motion sensors are especially beneficial for the elderly and young toddlers who might need to use the washroom in the middle of the night.
➢ Nightlights placed at strategic locations across the house allows family members to move around the house without having the need to switch on brighter lights.
➢ Newer models of kid’s night lights are portable so a child can carry it with them when traveling to unfamiliar places, some also have a click on and click off function for older children to use without having to actually turn on any bright lights.
➢ Certain plugin night lamps for kids come in various colors and cute shapes which adds to the decor of the room during the day.
➢ At night there are some baby night lights which project different images onto the ceiling and walls of the rooms like the night sky. The images projected could be stationary or may have some slow motion which helps the child feel drowsy.
❖ Security and Relaxation
➢ Having a nightlight on relaxes children who have a fear of the dark.
➢ Some kid’s night light models are safe for the children to cuddle with and provide a sense of comfort and security while the child sleeps.
➢ The nightlights for kids which can be used with aromatherapy oils help remove any odor and purifies the air, some of the fragrances help soothe the mind and help in relaxation. They can also be used with mosquito repellents to keep mosquitoes away.
➢ The slightly more expensive ones also come with sounds of the ocean, white noise and other sounds to help you stay calm and relaxed.
Effects of using a nightlight for kids –
Most of us are guilty of using some form or another of a kid’s night light. Let us understand the benefits and risks of these nightlights to help us make an informed choice because night lights affect children and babies in different ways.
- Children have a very vivid imagination and might develop a fear of the dark so parents install nightlights to help their child sleep better. Babies on the other hand do not have a very active imagination so the night light is used mostly for the comfort of parents, for feeding purposes or for a diaper change.
- Adults have a fully formed circadian rhythm, which with the help of certain hormones, regulates our cycles of alertness and sleepiness based on the intensity of light in our environment. Newborn babies are still developing this rhythm and hence are not much affected by the light around them, as they grow older their bodies become aware of the intensity of the light in their environment and they start to produce the necessary hormones. In order to prevent disrupting this development, babies need a low stimulation environment which can be done by dimming the lights and not exposing them to any screens whose intensity and wavelength is similar to day-light.
- The intensity, color and brightness of your baby’s night lights have an effect on the quality of sleep that your child gets. White, blue and green-based lights have wavelengths similar to daylight which may be preventing them from going into a deep sleep. So if your child is waking up multiple times during the night or seems tired even after sleeping the night, it might be better to switch to a dimmer light or a different colored light. Some studies have shown that a red light has the least effect on the child’s sleep compared to other colored lights.
Let’s now look at the features of some of the night lights for kids that are easily available on common shopping sites-
★ 0.5 watt bulbs – These are cheap and come in a variety of colors. A very basic bulb, not much to look at but serves its purpose. It requires a bulb fixture for use.
★ Plug in night lights – these plug directly into the socket and depending on the price range can illuminate a particular space and can have additional functions like motion sensors, day night sensors, can be used for aromatherapy even as a mosquito repellant.
★ Decorative night lights – these come in a wide array of designs and price ranges, they can be tabletop models, mounted on walls or plug -ins as well. Apart from being a night light they offer a decorative touch during the day as well.
★ Silicone night light – also known as lumi-Pet because of the cute animal shapes it is available in. These come in a wireless option which makes it convenient to move from one place to another. The silicone body is soft and children love to play with it and keep it near them before falling asleep. They are touch activated, have the option of changing colors, the intensity of the light can also be reduced and turned off.
★ Projection night lights – These lights transform your child’s bedroom into a world of its own with a twinkling night sky or a dreamland full of animals and more depending on the manufacturer, some of them also have a slow movement option in them, which helps your child feel drowsy and fall asleep.
★ Projector and sound night light – some of the more expensive nightlights have a light projection as well as soothing sounds to help you and your child relax and fall asleep.
Nightlights for kids come in a variety of shapes, sizes and functionality. While it is tempting to buy the most attractive one, do keep in mind the age and needs of your child. It is better to have lights that offer low intensity and a red light option as these will ensure a good night sleep.
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