Helping Your Child Sleep Through the Night With the Good Nite Lite
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.
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.
Other Parenting Articles
- Should Redshirting Be Allowed: What Age Should Kids ...
Redshirting kindergarteners is becoming increasingly popular, but does this practice of holding younger students back help students? This article explores how this trend got started, why parents hold their children back, and what the research says ab
- Mommy Wars: Do Moms Who Work Part-Time Have It All?
Discussions of the “mommy wars” often focus on two groups: Working Moms and Stay-at-Home-Moms (SAHMs). But, there is an emerging group of moms who fall in between the two: moms who choose to work outside the home part-time. This article explores the
- Why My Kids Don’t Watch TV: We are the 1%
Many parents use TV as a babysitter, giving them a much needed break. This article debunks myths about the benefits of TV watching and describes the advantages of having no TV in the house.
- Barriers to Breastfeeding: Why US Breastfeeding Rate...
Despite its many known benefits, breastfeeding rates in the US are astoundingly low compared to other countries through the world. This article explores the impact of hospital practices, societal attitudes, and unfavorable maternity leave practices o