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Helping Your Child Sleep Through the Night With the Good Nite Lite

Updated on June 20, 2012

Parents of young children will try just about anything to get more sleep. Some lucky few have a child that sleeps in to a reasonable hour. The rest of us dream of sleeping past 6:00 a.m.

Encouraging healthy sleep habits is a big challenge for parents of young children. Even those blessed with relatively good sleepers can face obstacles when young children start to resist bedtime, have sleep setbacks (after being sick, for example), and start rising earlier and earlier in the morning. Children’s nighttime sleep habits can also change when they stop napping or move from a crib to a toddler or children’s bed.

There are many approaches to addressing sleep problems. Having more consistent napping and bedtime routines, altering bedtime or naptime, and installing room darkening shades can often help. But for many these sometimes painstaking changes often yield little results.

A Toddler's Perspective on Daytime and Nighttime (demonstrated by our avian friends)

Introducing the Good Nite Lite

The Good Nite Lite is a product that can offer relief to parents struggling with helping their children adopt healthy sleep habits. This nightlight in the shape of a sun is designed to give young children a visual cue as to whether it is time to sleep or be awake. About 6 inches in diameter, it plugs right into the wall like a normal nightlight and has two colors. Yellow indicates that it’s daytime and time to get up and blue indicates that it’s nighttime and time go back to sleep or stay in bed. Parents program a built-in timer to indicate sleep time and waking time. This product is marketed to 3 to 5 year olds, but can be used for younger children as well.

Parent Reviews

Parents who review this product online rave about it, describing how it has finally allowed them to get a good night’s rest. The product seems to work within a few days, with many parents describing immediate results. While the product was originally designed to help children sleep later in the morning, many parent vouch for its effectiveness in helping children learn when it is time to go to sleep at night and and how to go back to sleep in the middle of the night without parent involvement.

Some parents complain that the Good Nite Lite is a challenge to program (true, but this is surmountable when considering the benefits!), that the light is too bright (again, true for some, but placement can help), and that the light bulbs burn out too quickly (parents also say customer service is excellent and that replacements are made).

How the Good Nite Lite Helped Our Family

We purchased the Good Nite Lite when my son was a little over 2 years old. He had always been an early riser, but moving out of his crib and into a bed meant that he was free to move around the house. It also led to him getting up earlier and earlier.

When we first got the Good Nite Lite, we explained to our son that he was not allowed to get out of bed or call for us until the sun came out. The first morning, he ignored this completely and came bounding out of his room, only to be faced by a very stern father, who repeated the rules. This happened one more morning. By the third morning, he got the picture. At the moment that the clock turned to yellow, he yelled excitedly: “THE SUN IS OUT!” and came bounding out of his room. We gave him big hugs to celebrate.

My son is now five and knows that he may not wake us until the "sun is out" at 6:30. He still often wakes up much earlier than that, but plays in his room until the Good Nite Lite turns yellow.

We bought a second Good Nite Lite when our daughter was born. While we did not expect it to work its magic immediately, we did want to get her used to the idea that blue means sleeptime and yellow means time to wake up. She’s almost three and clearly understands that if the light is blue, she needs to close her eyes and go back to sleep.

Tips for Using the Good Nite Lite

  • Build excitement about the new nightlight your child will be getting.
  • Explain the clock to your child and show them the sun and the moon before using it.
  • Start slowly. If your child is used to getting up at 5:00, don’t set the clock for 7:00 expecting it to work immediately. You’ll need to gradually set the time later and later. Start with 15 minute increments and give your child a few days to get used to the new time.
  • Be firm and consistent. The Good Nite Lite is a great tool, but it doesn’t work on its own. Parents need to be clear about what the rules are (e.g., “You may not come out of your room or call out to us until the clock turns yellow”) and then consistently reinforce the rules. If your child comes into you before the clock turns yellow and you let them snuggle in bed with you, they will never learn to stay in their own room!
  • Provide lots of positive reinforcement. In the beginning, you may need to use positive reinforcement to get your child to understand the concept of the clock. For example, offer your child stickers or some other reward if they are quiet or stay in their room until the clock changes colors. When they finally get the idea, celebrate!

Getting a good night’s rest is the elusive goal of many parents of young children. The Good Nite Lite is a fun sleep aid that helps teach young children to sleep through the night and about when it’s ok to wake up in the morning. For sleep-deprived parents, the Good Nite Lite can feel like a life-saver.


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    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

      Phdast7, thanks for reading! I wish I could claim responsibility for the idea! ;) Yes, the Good Nite Lite is a fabulous invention and has helped many parents get some much needed shuteye.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What a terrific idea! I wish this had been available when my kids were little. Thanks for a great Hub. :)

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

      Lizam1: Thanks for responding. I agree, balance is a good thing for kids, and the parents. It's interesting how technology is starting to impact parenting. Even the most involved parents can find themselves easily distracted by computers, cell phones, etc. It will be interesting to see how this impacts parenting over the long term. Thanks again for taking the time. :)

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      Hi Laura, I think we are on the same page as parents. Sadly in my work with families I do see a lot of neglectful parenting - for example going to the play group with the toddler and then just sitting texting friends. I support 100% a healthy balance between involvement (not helicopter parenting) and independence (not neglect). You are a great writer and I enjoy your hubs.

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

      Hi Lizam1: Thanks for your comments and perspective! I completely agree with you that nothing can or should replace parents. But, if a child can learn by simply looking at the color of a clock that it's the middle of the night and time to go back to sleep without dragging tired parents out of bed, I think that's a great thing! It not only helps them sleep better, but teaches them to do something independently (go to sleep and stay asleep).

      I never thought about the light being "abused" (i.e., parents relying completely on it to do their parenting job). I suppose it's possible, but I think most loving parents would use it as a tool to help their children learn to sleep better on their own (and still spend lots of time with them at bedtime, go into them if they were sick or in distress, etc.)

      For early risers, it also can be a time for them to play independently. Funny, I just wrote a hub about why my kids don't watch TV and how well they play independently. One of my reasons for not having my kids watch TV is that I think parent interaction is so important. I guess I value both - parent involvement and kids' independence!

      Would love to hear more about your concerns!

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      Interesting. I do have concerns though about the lack of availability of parents - mums and dads and good parenting cannot be replaced by devices, even though many people want to do this. In the end relationships suffer. In some cases this may be useful but not one I would recommend.

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

      Thanks Torys Ten. I'm glad you found it useful.

    • Torys Ten profile image

      Torys Ten 5 years ago from Central Utah

      Nicely researched and written. Very informative.