When can you introduce a night light?

At what age can you introduce a night light? Our 2.5yr old is having a hard time falling asleep and we didn’t know if this might help. Thanks!

It is perfectly fine to introduce a night light at 2.5 years, particularly if your child has any fear of the dark (which can develop around age 2, that said, never ask your child if he is afraid of the dark, because that’s a leading question). If you do introduce a night light keep it dim and preferably red or amber colored, because these colors are less likely to reset the circadian rhythm. All that said, if your child is having difficulty falling asleep a nightlight might actually cause more of a problem. Light is what resets the circadian rhythm and if you are exposed to light in the evening that will push your circadian rhythm later, meaning it will cause your biological bedtime to drift later. This is a really common problem for toddlers. Without knowing everything about your situation, I would recommend moving your child’s bedtime later, to the time he is falling asleep, but keep it dark from his target bedtime on. Then gradually move his bedtime earlier by 15-20 minutes a day until he’s sleeping at the time you want him to be asleep. I would also keep an eye on the timing of his naps. He needs about 5 hours of awake time before bed in order to be ready to sleep at bedtime. Sometimes naps drift too late at 2.5. Good luck!


1 Comment

  1. This is really good advice regarding night lights. I didn’t know about the different light colours affecting sleep. I would automatically go with a blue light because it is a calming colour. Thank you for teaching me something new.

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