Whether or not to darken baby’s room at night is one of those questions every parent has to answer for themselves. While there is not right or wrong answer, there are advantages and disadvantages either way. Parenting is a bit of a process of trial and error and, in the long run, the answer to whether or not you should darken baby’s room at night lies in what is working best for you and for baby.
Some babies, much like some adults, are able to rest and sleep best when their surroundings are completely dark. Go ahead and darken baby’s room for a few nights and see if she sleeps better that way. Of course, at night it is dark outside anyway, so it is not usually difficult to darken baby’s room at night. Simply don’t add any light to the room. If you live in an area, such as in a large city, where there is a lot of artificial light outside at night, you might want to consider investing in dark shades for baby’s room to keep the light out. Many parents find that drawing dark shades during baby’s daytime naps also helps her to rest easier.
On the other hand, some babies feel more secure, and rest more easily, with a little light in the room. A nightlight usually provides enough light for baby during the nigh time. Try leaving the night light on for a day or two. If baby sleeps better with it on, leave it on. If he sleeps better with it off, that’s fine too. One other advantage to having a night light near baby’s crib is that it allows mom and dad to see baby when they need to get him out of bed to change him, feed him, or otherwise soothe him. For this reason alone, it might be a good idea to have a night light. If the light bothers baby’s sleeping, consider a night light with an on/off switch.
The bottom line when it comes to whether or not you should darken your baby’s room, at night or any other time is you should do whatever is working best for you and your baby. Whatever helps baby sleep longer also helps mom and dad get to sleep a little longer which, by and large, is a good thing. Feel free to experiment without worry. Night lights won’t hurt your baby’s development, nor will they help it, so do what works best for you.