Light the night!
July 31, 2012 6:58 AM   Subscribe

Please give me your night light recommendations.

I have a two year-old who keeps coming into our bed because he's scared of the dark. He has a plug-in/hallway-type nightlight in his room, which is apparently not cutting it.

(Or, you know, making his toys seem particularly homicidal or otherwise ill-intentioned in the night time.)

I'm looking for a night light we can put on his bookcase across the room that we can switch on and leave on all night. What has worked best for your kids?
posted by po822000 to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How about a Dreamlight Pillow Pet?

Not quite the same thing, but might fit the bill
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:10 AM on July 31, 2012

I don't have kiddos, but I do have seizures that leave me disoriented when I come to.
I use this as an awesome just-bright-enough-to-chase-the-shadows-away solar jobbie from Ikea.
It charges just fine in a sunny window in Ontario, Canada.
The other option is any of the solar garden lights from a dollar store, placed upside down so the base points to the ceiling.
posted by whowearsthepants at 7:10 AM on July 31, 2012

Yeah, he has a Dreamlight Pillow Pet, but it operates on a timer - we need to be able to leave it on all night so that it's still on when he wakes up at 2 or 3 a.m.
posted by po822000 at 7:34 AM on July 31, 2012

Probably on the wishlist end of a budget, but these are gorgeous (heck, I want one for myself!).

Oxo has more reasonably priced possibilities.
posted by kitkatcathy at 7:38 AM on July 31, 2012

How about a very small lamp with a low watt bulb?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:39 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oxo Candeli Tooli is what we use with our 3 month old for diaper changes, bedtime, but I have and you can leave it on all night.
posted by ejaned8 at 7:39 AM on July 31, 2012

My son loves his IKEA night light. (So do I.) the light is gently pervasive but not penetrating. More options here.
posted by firstdrop at 7:44 AM on July 31, 2012

Just add bottle.
posted by tilde at 8:07 AM on July 31, 2012

Maybe using the search term "nightlight lamp" will give you the results you're looking for. I have several stained glass style ones around the house - they stay on all night and use a nightlight bulb. Using the lamp along with the standard plug-in nightlight should give your little one enough light.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 9:07 AM on July 31, 2012

Wow, checking all those out I feel really old-school. I used these for my kids -- they seem faint when things are lit up but they provide a nice glow when the eyes have become acclimated to the dark. I always tried to avoid doing anything that would stimulate the kids in the pre-sleep period. I have also seen them available in blue, I still use them to light the hallway and bathroom so people don't need to turn on any lights in the middle of the night. (Kids are now all teenagers.)
posted by cgk at 9:07 AM on July 31, 2012

Hmmm - our Dreamlite Pillow Pet can switch from a timer to stay on all night (and can both be plugged in and run off batteries).
posted by stefnet at 10:52 AM on July 31, 2012

Eschew blue:
“We’ve done a number of studies to show that light levels that you would be normally exposed to in the home in the evening, for example from a bedside lamp, are very easily capable of shifting the body clock,” Dr. Lockley said.

Lockley said blue wavelengths, in particular, the kind emitted by energy efficient light bulbs and various electronics, can be the most disruptive.

“And yet now-a-days it seems that blue is the color du jour,” said Dr. Nathaniel Watson of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

In addition, studies have linked blue light to depression, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular problems. ...
And this doesn't merely mean light that appears blue, but applies to any light that has blue wavelenghts, which would include almost all CFLs and white LEDs.

I found a site devoted to products which reduce exposure to blue light, and they do have a nightlight which uses an amber LED bulb. I'm thinking of giving one of their CFLs a try, myself.
posted by jamjam at 10:52 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Our four-year-old has one of these 'Go Glow' lights (ignore the crazy Amazon price, it was about a tenner I think) which doubles up as a torch, so handy if he needs to go to the loo in the night.
posted by ComfySofa at 11:41 AM on July 31, 2012

I have an LED one in one kid's bedroom (the other one doesn't need a nightlight). It swivels, so you can point it away from the bed, and it has a sensor so it turns off when it's not dark in the room. It's not this exact one, but it's something like it.

In the bathroom we have one with a motion sensor, so you can stumble in, do your business, and stumble out without having to turn on an overhead light. It's great, but you have to warn houseguests so they don't think they're being ambushed by the paparazzi.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:27 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

we love our bunny light

it lets the kid know when it's okay to be up and playing versus when to stay in bed, and it's not too bright
posted by colin_l at 1:38 PM on July 31, 2012

I can't find the one I have that I like, but you might consider a combo nightlight emergency rechargable flashlight, such as this.

Very nice to have if you need slightly more light than the nightlight gives, but don't want to turn on the light.

And if the power goes off, you're not stuck somewhere looking for a flashlight** before you can go to your two year-old.

**(that turns out to have dead batteries)
posted by BlueHorse at 3:34 PM on July 31, 2012

I had something like these, also from BB&B but they looked a bit more plain: nightlight

Someone in the reviews says it's blue, not green -- mine were green, very soft light which didn't disturb sleep, but illuminated the room enough to keep the heebie jeebies away, so if you go there you may want to check the color. They also don't turn off during the day but mine lasted a couple years and moves without unplugging just fine.
posted by sm1tten at 4:05 PM on July 31, 2012

Toddler night waking is a thing.

Are you sure it's really "scared of the dark"?
Toddler sleep is not so much about parenting, or tiredness even, it's development. Their sleep cycles change. If they're busier and more active during the day, and maybe nap less, and what was once a perfect bedtime routine that would get them through the night doesn't work anymore. Because they're limited verbally, it often comes out as "afraid of the dark."

At two our daughter started this - lots of kids do, if you look up the phrase - and it wasn't really about the amount of light in the room. We tried many and various nightlights - her chandelier is on a dimmer, she has some fairy lights, we tried nightlights and leaving the hall light on. Then it was "I'm thirsty." Then it was "I had a bad dream" or "I heard a noise." That's about all she had the verbal capacity for, but it was so much more than that. It was about wanting to be reassured, to reconnect with us, to make sure that we were there because there was a little separation anxiety. Routines were changing, she was potty-training and teething and eating differently and she stopped napping and her brain was growing and she had a harder time resettling on her own. I also suspect she was curious about what she could get away with after a while, and, well, she's always preferred to sleep with us. As she later said when she became more verbal, it was also about "wanting to sleep with something alive, because, well, you and Daddy have each other." We tried a fish for a while, that she could watch as she drifted off. Sometimes still if she's having a rough patch, the dog's bed gets moved in there and that helps.

So, I'll disclaim that I have worked as a technical reviewer on a parenting book about children and sleep, and will suggest that by all means, do try a different nightlight - but don't be surprised if it's not about the nightlight and if a new one doesn't work on its own.

There's a lot of information out there about what you can do when this happens, and various strategies be it walking him back to bed and going through a re-settling routine; setting hard and fast rules; or understanding that it's a stage and it will pass and enjoy the snuggles. Whatever works for your family. What worked for ours was a combination of things. But for nightlights, we have these Ikea star lights, and she loves them. Best of luck to you all.
posted by peagood at 4:51 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

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