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Does Your Baby Need a Nightlight?

For the first year of your baby’s life, middle-of-the-night wake-ups are expected. While a nightlight might seem like a necessity, little ones don’t necessarily need one. There are benefits as well as drawbacks to nightlights, but most infants sleep better in the dark. Adding a gentle glow can certainly make it easier to see better for feedings and diaper changes. However, it is best to create a dark space when it’s time for bed. This helps to properly set an infant’s circadian rhythm or body clock. Letting in natural light during the day works to determine wake time as opposed to the sleep cycle. Consider placing the nightlight behind a piece of furniture. Diffused light is less likely to distract the child. If you’ve noticed your baby staring at the monitor, they are probably interested in the light. Nightlight options that play music or create light patterns on the ceiling can prevent the brain from settling into a good sleep pattern. If you want a continuous sound to play through the night, white noise can work to block out disturbing household sounds. As opposed to white light, red light has less of an effect on circadian rhythms. There are all different styles of red night lights available. As with most everything else, your baby is unique. Your little one might sleep just fine with a nightlight or prefer complete darkness. There is no need to worry over your little one being afraid of the dark. Those fears normally don’t arise until age two or older. If your toddler expresses a fear of the dark, introduce a nightlight at the dimmest setting.