If you’re a parent, you have probably had nights when you stayed up with your baby. You were tired and exhausted, but the baby wouldn’t sleep.
Many parents swear that night lights fixed this problem for them.
Whether patterned displays or simple glow lamps, night light projectors seem to work magic.
They create a relaxing feeling in your baby, and the dim lights do not interrupt their sleeping pattern.
What kind of lights are healthy for your baby at night? How do night light projectors have any impact on babies’ sleep?
Let’s take a look at the answers to these questions. Read on and learn the art of soothing your baby to sleep.
- All You Need to Know About Night Light Projectors
- Does Light Affect Babies’ Sleep?
- Why are Night Light Projectors Good For Babies?
- Do Some Babies Sleep Better With Light?
- What Colors Help Babies Sleep?
All You Need to Know About Night Light Projectors
Night light projectors are devices that project dim light across a room. They are designed for nighttime use.
As night projectors, they do not put out a lot of brightness. These night lights are intended to encourage sleep.
Night light projectors often project light in fun patterns. This diffuses the beam from the main source and reduces brightness.
Parents of toddlers are more familiar with night light projectors. There are also the homemade star projectors that kids love.
Some toddlers require lighting to combat a possible fear of the dark. At the same time, their room needs to be dark enough to keep their sleep uninterrupted.
Babies who do not sleep enough at night may be fussy during the day. They may also cry a lot because they feel cranky.
The best night light projectors come with the following features:
- Very dim light settings or medium brightness.
- Audio functions for playing lullabies
- Low volume to mute settings for audio
- Sensors: They are sensitive to a baby’s cries and may turn on the low music or lights to soothe a toddler.
Does Light Affect Babies’ Sleep?
Sleep is an essential part of a baby’s development. Lots of it is required by the baby’s body during the early stages of growth.
How dim or bright is the light in your baby’s room? This can greatly affect a baby’s sleep.
Even the light you turn on when they wake at night can determine how easily they will go back to sleep.
Here’s how people behave:
We go to sleep when dusk falls and everywhere becomes dark. We rise when day breaks and everywhere becomes bright.
In some ways, we establish this pattern in our subconscious. It is due to the presence of or lack of light.
What happens when we use artificial lights at night? It tricks the body into believing that daytime has been extended and we find it harder to fall asleep.
For a baby, light is even more stimulating. This is because the baby’s time in the womb was spent in darkness.
Too much light can be distracting and keep a baby awake. On the other hand, the right amount of lighting can encourage sleep.
What happens when your baby wakes and you have to feed the baby?
Do you have to stumble around in the dark while trying to get the baby fed?
In the next section, we will consider some reasons why a night light may be important for your baby.
Why are Night Light Projectors Good For Babies?
Here are four reasons you should consider a night light projector:
1. To Establish a Circadian Sleep Pattern
Many people are uncomfortable with keeping their babies in the dark. However, a baby needs the absence of light to settle into sleep.
During the first 12 hours of the day (daytime), babies sleep less. This is because of the bright light of daytime.
Using dim night lights will help them make up their much-needed sleep at night. If the light is not bright and disruptive, your baby should sleep just fine.
2. For Comfort
You may find that your baby has nighttime anxiety. For some reason, a toddler may become afraid of the dark.
Keeping a nightlight on helps to reassure them and comfort them to sleep.
3. To Make Night Feeding Less Disruptive
If you choose to put your baby to sleep in the dark, that’s alright. However, what happens when you have to check on the baby?
You most probably have to turn on the overhead lights.
If you feed your baby under the glare of bright lights, it’s likely you’ll find it hard to put the baby back to sleep.
It’s best to have a night light on in the baby’s room. You may also turn on the night light only when you come in to feed.
A baby’s room probably has one or two toys scattered around. Walking around in the dark can cause you to step on or trip over something.
Night lights cast a glow that helps you see your environment. They prevent unnecessary accidents.
Do Some Babies Sleep Better With Light?
Typically, babies shouldn’t need any form of lighting at night.
They are too young to harbor any fear of the dark. The womb, where they spent their formative months, is a dark environment.
However, babies are different. Some babies develop a liking for certain colors of light and sleep better with such dim lights.
Toddlers may develop a dislike for darkness. In this case, the presence of light may be comforting and reassuring.
There’s one fact, however: babies do not do well with BRIGHT lights.
Bright lights stop their bodies from producing melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that induces sleep in humans.
What Colors Help Babies Sleep?
Most night light projectors come with colored LED bulbs. LEDs generate the least heat among lamp-free projectors.
They last long and they have low brightness output. The bonus is that LEDs come in a range of different colors.
The best color for your baby’s night light is red. Red light has been proven to have the least effect on melatonin production.
In fact, studies (in 2012) showed that red light may be capable of getting the body to produce melatonin.
Pink light may also be a viable option. The pink color is a mix of red and purple.
Here’s a color you should NOT use: Blue.
Blue light has the ability to negatively affect sleep patterns. Many electronic devices emit blue light.
Babies are exposed to blue light many times during the day. It hinders them from producing melatonin and sleeping during the day.
1. Are LED lights bad for babies?
Artificial lights and babies are generally a touchy subject. However, not all LED lights are bad for babies.
‘Blue light’ is the harmful component of LED lights. Prolonged exposure to high levels of blue light can disturb sleep patterns or cause blurry vision.
Blue light is emitted by our electronic screens; TVs, mobile phones, monitors. The levels are very low and may only cause some discomfort if screen time is prolonged.
Babies’ eyes are more sensitive to light, however. This means they should not be exposed to the level of blue light that adults can tolerate.
LEDs still remain the best lighting option for babies. This is because:
- They do not generate heat
- They are very mild with low lumen outputs
- They run on very low voltage to protect your toddlers against shock hazards.
- They come in different colors and some contain very little blue light.
Colors farther down on the spectrum are visible and safe. Red is the furthest from the invisible lights and the least harmful.
LED means Light Emitting Diode. These diodes can vary their intensity. This is why LEDs can come in a wide range of colors.
Red LED lights and other warm colors contain little or no blue light. Red lights may even have soothing effects on your baby.
2. Should babies sleep with a light on?
While it may not always be necessary, it has proven to have certain soothing and practical benefits.
Just make sure that the light is not unnecessarily bright. You may even turn off the light when your baby falls asleep.
We have made a list of a few things to do or not to do while using a night light projector.
- Don’t place it close to the baby’s bed. Keep it close to the door or any other area where you may need it most.
- Use only low wattage lights/bulbs in the projector (6 to 7 watts).
- Keep the light at its dimmest; keep it shaded. If possible, place it behind an object.
- Don’t use blue colored light bulbs.
- Some night light projectors come with audio players, but it is best to keep it silent.
- If you must use audio features, use white noise. It is similar to the sounds babies hear in the womb.
- If your baby shows signs of separation anxiety or night scares, keep the night light on all night.
“Do night light projectors help babies sleep?”
The answer is YES. Not every baby needs them, but they are quite beneficial.
Many of them come with beautiful displays and audio features. They play soothing sounds and lull babies to sleep.
Sleep deprivation can be very harmful to adults and even worse for babies. If you have a baby who is a restless sleeper, you should definitely try a night light.
Check out the SleepyMe Smart Sleep Soother . It is a good place to start if you’re working on a low budget.