When you turn off the light to go to sleep at night and the entire room goes dark, do you still get goosebumps? Admit it: Even adults fear the pitch blackness of nighttime, so imagine how your toddler or young child might feel when you wish them sweet dreams then switch off their lamp. Little ones don’t understand what happens when the lights go out — they just know they can’t see through the shadows. That’s where night lights come in.
Remember when night lights were literally just miniature-sized lamps you could plug into the wall for a sliver of brightness to calm your fears or guide you through the dark on your way to the bathroom? Nowadays, night lights aren’t designed to put a bandaid over your child’s fear of the dark. No, the best night lights on Amazon are so high-tech, they automatically turn on and off according to the shift in daylight. Hatch Baby’s night light even operates at your command via smartphone controls.
Of course, if you’re a firm believer that you shouldn’t fix what isn’t broken, there are some night lights, like LOFTer’s plug-in, that are your basic night lights (but better). There are also projector–night light hybrids that transform your child’s bedroom walls and ceiling into the night sky, while some night lights even include alarm clock features that teach your child the rhythms of a sleep schedule.
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1. Hatch Baby Rest Night Light & Sound Machine
Here’s the thing about babies and toddlers: Typically you adapt to their schedule, and not the other way around. But if you’re a working mom that needs to be up and at ‘em at a certain time, the Hatch Baby’s three-in-one night light can help your little one adjust.
The smart technology system caters to you and your child from the time they get home from the hospital with features like color, brightness, sound, volume, and alarms are all customizable from your smartphone (iOs and Android) and tablets running iOS. The Rest is a soft light for late night feedings, a nightlight for preschoolers, and features a time-to-rise program that gently signals your toddler or big kid when it’s time to wake up. And because the night light can be controlled from your device, you can adjust the settings without having to enter your little one’s room and dare disturb their slumber.
2. Elmchee Universe Night Light Projection Lamp
For kids whose imaginations are out of this world, Elmchee’s Star Night Light will have them dreaming up intergalactic adventures in no time. By enveloping their space with constellations and planets, your little one can count the stars instead of sheep, but if galaxies far, far away won’t capture your kid’s attention, the night light also features magical universe and birthday-themed projections. The machine is battery-operated, running on either AA batteries or a USB connection, and unlike other projection nightlights that only display images on the ceiling, Elmchee’s version projects onto the wall as well.
3. VAVA VA-HP008 Night Light
VAVA’s night light isn’t on the “don’t touch” list. In fact, kids are encouraged to interact with the lamp as they grow. The light comes with adhesive stickers for creating up to 20 adorable facial expressions so the product doesn’t feel like just another addition to their bedroom decor, but a nighttime companion instead.
It was also made from top-grade ABC and PC plastic, and designed with mishandling in mind, so don’t panic if it should roll off the bed or drop out of your child’s hand. The lamp is meant to be touched so your little one can play with it and learn how to use its brightening and dimming controls. The light itself is also LED, meaning it’s safe on your child’s eyes.
4. LOFTer Plug-In Night Light
They don’t make plug-in night lights like they used to — they’ve upgraded them. Exhibit A: This LOFTer Plug-In Night Light can either illuminate in eight different colors on rotation, or freeze on your child’s favorite hue (that is, until they change what said favorite is, of course).
The lamp also runs on a smart dusk-to-dawn sensor that automatically adjusts the lamp’s brightness to mirror the time of night or day, meaning you don’t have to manually switch it on and you end up saving energy. But the best part about a more traditional-style night light like LOFTer’s is that it can be re-used once your child has grown as a night light in the hallway, bathroom or kitchen.
5. LittleHippo MELLA Ready to Rise Alarm Clock & Night Light
There will come a time where your little one isn’t so little anymore, and they might view night lights as childish. On that day, swap their kiddie light for LittleHippo’s MELLA Ready to Rise Alarm Clock that sneakily doubles as a night light (because you know they know they still need one).
The night light/alarm clock hybrid features three alarm sounds, includes a silent countdown feature for timed activities and also uses colors and facial features to sleep train your child. In other words, the night light gives your little one the OK to rise, but also lets them know when it’s still bedtime so you can sleep in a little longer.