The 10 best night lights for baby

Feb. 6, 2020
The 10 best night lights for baby

On the surface, it seems like choosing a baby night light shouldn’t be all that difficult. But with so many options, it can turn out to be more daunting a task than you thought. Lights, noises, colors — there are a million accompanying features to choose from! While personal preference is a big factor in finding the perfect nursery night light, there is one thing to keep in mind when you’re on the hunt: It’s best to stick with night lights that aren’t too bright.

“In the beginning, night lights wind up being more for the parents than for the baby,” says Linda Szmulewitz, a certified gentle sleep coach and owner of Sleep Tight Consultants in Chicago. “It’s definitely a good idea for parents to have one in their baby’s room, so they don’t need to turn on all the lights in the middle of the night. However, it’s best for night lights to be on the dimmer side, so as not to distract to baby.” 

From night lights that play music (or white noise) to ones that will soothe your little one when they’re sick, here are 10 baby night lights that have a little something for everyone. 

1. Most stylish night light

Image via Target

In addition to casting sweet stars on your little one’s wall, this pretty ceramic night light from Target’s Pillowfort line will look stylish on any dresser — day or night. With a 90% recommendation rating, customers have touted everything from the “soft, warm glow” to the fact that it doesn’t get hot to the touch. 

Where to buy: Starry Globe Nightlight ($20, Target.com)

2. Best for sleep

Image via Amazon

According to Szmulewitz, a night light that emits red light is the way to go. 

“If you’re going to use anything, I recommend a red night light, which is a color that doesn’t block melatonin production.” 

(Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle.) 

And don’t worry about getting too fancy when hunting for a red-hued night light. In fact, according to Sleep.org, popping a red Christmas bulb into an existing night light will be just as effective as buying a night light that comes with a red light. 

Where to buy: Sleep Aid Red LED Night Light ($18 for two-pack, Amazon.com)

3. Best for middle-of-the-night feedings

Image via Amazon

Parents of little ones rave about the Vava night light, and with good reason: Its (many) features make it ideal for middle-of-the-night feedings, diaper changes and check-ins. 

“Night lights are great because they allow mom and dad to see what’s going on in the middle of the night, but I personally prefer ones that can be adjusted to have dimmer lighting so they’re less distracting,” says Dr. Amna Husain, F.A.A.P., a pediatrician at Pure Direct Pediatrics in Marlboro, New Jersey. “One of my favorites is the Vava Baby Night Light, which has varying levels of brightness, as well as cool, warm and white light options. It also comes with cute stickers so you can decorate the night light if your child is older, and it runs on charge so you don't need to have it by an outlet.”

Where to buy: Vava Baby Night Light ($20, Amazon.com)

4. Best for sick days

Image via Vicks Humidifiers

One way to make bedtime during sick season a little more tolerable for your little one? A humidifier that projects a pretty star constellation on their ceiling. Sticking with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendation of using cool mist humidifiers when your baby has congestion or a cold, the Vicks Starry Night Cool Moisture Humidifier will help your little one kick the sniffles by safely making air more moist while providing a sweet and calming nighttime scene. 

Where to buy: Vicks Starry Night Cool Moisture Humidifier ($60, VicksHumidifiers.com)

5. Best high-tech night light

Image via Best Buy

“The night light a lot of families I work with use is the Hatch Rest Smart Night Light,” says Szmulewitz. “It’s a night light plus a sound machine that’s controlled by an app on the parents’ phone. It’s also a good transitional product since parents can set the light to change from one color to another to indicate when it’s OK to wake up when kids get a little older.”

Where to buy: Hatch Rest Smart Night Light ($60, BestBuy.com)

6. Best plush night light

Image via Bubzi Co

Lullabies? White noise? A starry scene? Someone to snuggle with throughout the night? The Bubzi Co Soothing Sleep Owl does it all. Whether you’re clipping it onto your little one’s crib when they’re super small or giving them a cuddle buddy when they’re a little bigger, kids will get a kick out of this jack-of-all-night lights. And the best part? The battery pack is removable, making it easy to throw the owl into the wash.

Where to buy: Bubzi Co Soothing Sleep Owl ($31, BubziCo.com)

7. Best timer night light

Image via Uncommon Goods 

In addition to being super cute and available in a variety of colors, the Squishy Gummy Bear Light is great for parents who just want a little light when they’re putting baby down for the night. Giving off a soft, warm glow (or choose the red gummy for the recommended red light), this battery-operated light can either run on a one-hour timer or shine throughout the night. And if you go with the former option and wind up needing to tend to baby in the middle of the night, you just need to squeeze this little guy’s belly and he’ll light right up. 

Where to buy: Squishy Gummy Bear Light ($28, uncommongoods.com)

8. Best personalized night light

Image via Stamp Nouveau/Etsy

Talk about a personalized sleep experience. Not only do the cute name night lights from Stamp Nouveau emit a seriously serene glow, it goes without saying these show-stoppers will be beloved by kids little and big (especially when they’re old enough to recognize their own name!)

Where to buy: Personalized Moon and Stars Night Light ($27, Etchey/Etsy)

9. The classic

Image via Pottery Barn Kids 

If you’re not one for trends or bells and whistles, this simple ceramic moon night light will certainly do the trick — and it’s adorable, to boot. In addition to looking sweet in any baby’s nursery, it provides a nice, soft light that’s almost diffused, which, according to Szmulewitz, is much better for baby than a “glowing beacon,” which may be distracting.

Where to buy: Ceramic Moon Night Light ($28, Pottery Barn Kids)

10. Most affordable

Image via Home Depot

It’s cheap. It changes colors (if you want it to). It does the job. And bonus points for the red light setting, which again, according to Szmulewitz, won’t get in the way of those good melatonin-producing zzzs. For the night light purists, the GE Color-Changing LED Night Light fits the bill and then some.

Where to buy: GE Color-Changing LED Night Light ($6, HomeDepot.com)

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