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12 best night lights for babies and children

Looking to improve your baby or toddler’s bedtime routine? A night light can be a helpful addition to your child’s nursery or bedroom.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Mar 4, 2022

child sleeping in bed with night light

Whether you’re after a soft glow to help navigate around your baby’s bedroom at night, something to assist with the bedtime routine or a tool to help your child who’s scared of the dark, night lights are a great option for babies, toddlers and older children alike. 

Establishing an effective sleep routine for your child can be challenging. You may find that your baby struggles to sleep in a completely dark room, toddlers may experience separation anxiety and older children may find it hard to switch off and relax. Night lights are a great way to create a gentle and soothing glow, take the edge off the darkness and help calm and settle your child before bed. 

From simple plug-in lights that offer a fixed, dim glow to projector lamps which cast a beautiful visual show across the ceiling, there are lots of night lights to choose from. So which one should you pick for your child? Luckily we’ve taken a look at and investigated the huge range of products available so you don’t have to. Taking into account recommendations from real parents, namely our trusted Mumsnet users and honest customer reviews, we’ve analysed the lights that mums and dads have put through their paces, and shortlisted our favourites that came up tops.

Here are the best night lights to buy in 2022.

1. Best overall night light: Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine and Night Light

Hatch light

Price: £69.99 | Buy now from Amazon

We use a Hatch that was recommended here. Has white noise plus various other noises and different colours/brightness etc too.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user TheGlitterFairy)

This brilliant gadget from Hatch comes highly rated on both the Mumsnet forums and online reviews, so it’s no surprise that it earned the status of ‘best overall night light’. 

With thousands of parents singing its praises across the world, it's set the bar high for other night lights and baby sleep aids, packed full of practical features that help your little one achieve that elusive good night's sleep. 

It is a fully customisable night light which comes with the additional features of white noise sounds and a built-in timer. You can opt for a preset sound and colour combination recommended by sleep experts or play around with the configurations (adjusting the colour, brightness, sound and volume levels) to find the perfect sleep set-up for your baby. Once established, these settings can be locked in and repeated night after night as part of your bedtime routine. 

The Hatch Baby Rest also comes with its own app, allowing you to control the night light remotely. This is a real plus point, meaning there is no need to sneak into your baby’s room and risk waking them with a creaky floorboard, a feature that parents loved. 

Whilst it’s certainly not the cheapest night light available, it can easily adapt to your child’s needs as they grow. Starting as a white noise tool to help your newborn settle to sleep, Hatch also becomes a comforting night light and a ‘time-to-rise’ sleep training aid for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Key specs

  • Power: Mains-powered
  • Timer: Yes
  • Sounds: Yes 
  • Best for: Newborns, toddlers and beyond  

Pros

  • Adapts to your child’s needs as they grow
  • Remote use via the app 
  • Adjustable brightness and sounds

Cons

  • Costly 

2. Best budget night light: Ikea Spiken Night Light

Ikea Spiken night light

Price: £10 | Buy now from IKEA

IKEA does a cheap and cheerful night light that either is a low white light or rotates around the colours." (Vetted by Mumsnetter MuddlingThrough1724)

An incredibly cute and friendly otter character, Spiken is a budget-friendly night light that can provide comfort and reassurance for young children who may be scared of the dark or struggle to get back to sleep when they wake during the night.

This mains-powered mood light can change between seven different colours including white, purple and turquoise, filling the room with a comforting glow and helping children navigate their room during any overnight toilet trips. 

Incredibly easy to use, an older toddler can turn this night light on and off without assistance, alternating through the colours by simply pressing his tail. 

Key specs

  • Power: Mains-powered 
  • Timer: No 
  • Sounds: No 
  • Best for: Toddlers and children 

Pros

  • Child can turn on and off themselves
  • Choice of seven colours 

Cons

  • Limited features – no sounds or timer 

3. Best night light for babies: Ewan the Dream Sheep

Ewan the Dream Sheep

Price: £39.99 | Buy now from Amazon

I love our Ewan! DS is three now and still has 'Sheepy' on at bedtime (even though he's a bit grotty nowadays). I always buy them as a baby gift and rave about them to pregnant friends... I think I should be on the payroll!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user PolkaDotPixie)

Ah, the famous Ewan. If you’re not a parent then you likely haven’t heard of this little fella but, trust us, you’re going to want to take a look. 

Almost a million Ewan the Sheep toys have been sold worldwide and it’s easy to see why. Super cute and cuddly, Ewan replicates the comfort of the womb with a selection of soothing sounds, making this an excellent choice for encouraging sleep. But you can choose the sounds if preferred - the options include white noise, rainfall and even a vacuum cleaner

Unlike brighter projector lights, Ewan's soft pink night light glow is subtle, cleverly designed to mimic their experience in mum's tummy. This can help to settle your newborn or toddler into a peaceful slumber, thanks to the comfort and familiarity they will feel.

Be warned though - frequent use of Ewan will gobble up the battery power, so make sure you’re well-stocked with the AAAs. It’s also important to manage your expectations too – while it's a fantastic sleep aid, sadly Ewan is not a miracle cure for sleep deprivation! 

Key specs

  • Power: Battery-powered
  • Timer: Yes 
  • Sounds: Yes 
  • Best for: Newborns and young babies 

Pros

  • Cute and cuddly
  • Replicates sounds from the womb
  • Has a soft, pink glow

Cons

  • Heavy on battery use
  • May not work for every baby

4. Best night light for toddlers: Tommee Tippee Sleep Trainer Clock

Tommee Tippee Sleep Trainer Clock

Price: £34.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Works well in our house. I went to check on DD when I went to bed and accidentally woke her up - she didn't even look at me, she looked at the clock then closed her eyes and went back to sleep. I hadn't realised how much she used it until then. She comes into our room every morning saying: 'the clock is yellow. It's morning time!'"  (Previous model GroClock tried and tested by Mumsnetter seven201)

If you’re trying to establish a good sleep routine or prevent your child from waking up the whole house at 4am, Mumsnetters can’t speak more highly of the GroClock, which comes with a solid reputation as a sleep trainer clock and night light for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Recently taken over by Tommee Tippee, the GroClock has had quite a design overhaul, but still has the benefits of the original GroClock we know and love (with some additional new features too).

Using two different colours to represent sleep and wake times, children can quickly learn when they need to stay in bed and when it’s time to get up. Controllable from an app, parents can also set alarms, play lullabies, adjust the brightness and choose from a range of colours, all from the comfort of their phone. 

Whilst some Mumnet users were concerned that the blue light on the original GroClock would keep their child awake, the new version has colours that are completely adjustable on a scale, meaning you can select the sleep and wake colours that work best for you and your child. 

Key specs

  • Power: USB charged
  • Timer: Yes 
  • Sounds: Yes - white noise and music 
  • Best for: Toddlers and preschoolers 

Pros

  • Controlled remotely via the app
  • Customisable colours and brightness
  • Helps prevent early wake ups 

Cons 

  • More expensive than the original GroClock
  • Some found the app quite tricky to set up

5. Best night light with thermometer: GroEgg2 Digital Changing Thermometer

Groegg themometer

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

I love mine. Can change nappy and see outline of everything in our bedroom and it's the red colour - apparently really good for little one’s rhythm.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user CourtneyCox2021)

If you’ve ever tried to change a nappy in a dark nursery without fully waking your baby, you’ll know just how difficult it can be. The GroEgg2 Digital Changing Thermometer is a great solution, offering an adjustable brightness and warm glow that provides enough light to see your surroundings, whilst being subtle enough to keep them calm and content.

Changing colour depending on the temperature of the room, the GroEgg is also a great visual reminder to ensure your baby is dressed appropriately, turning red if the room is too hot and blue when the room is too cold. 

Key specs

  • Power: USB charged
  • Timer: No 
  • Sounds: No 
  • Best for: Newborns and babies

Pros

  • Subtle light for night feeds and nappy changes
  • Visual reminder of room temperature 

Cons

  • No sounds or timer

6. Best baby night light with projector: Moredig Galaxy Projector Light

Moredig Galaxy Projector Light

Price: £34.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Some active little minds need more help than others to switch off and relax at bedtime. If your child is best soothed by a moving light show, then this is the best projector night light we’ve found.

The Moredig Galaxy Projector Light comes with 15 colour shows and a choice of nine different solar system patterns to help create a calming mindful light show across your child’s walls and ceiling before bed. 

With a built-in white noise and bluetooth speaker, you can also play music or calming sounds and control all the functions via remote control.  

A great option for sleepovers and parties too, the ocean wave and star light can also be set to change according to the music rhythm, creating a magical disco effect. 

Key specs

  • Power: Mains-powered 
  • Timer: Yes 
  • Sounds: Yes 
  • Best for: Preschoolers and above

Pros

  • Stunning light show in a range of colours
  • Easy to use 

Cons

  • Risk of overstimulating younger children 

7. Best plug-in night light: Lindam by Munchkin Nursery Night Light Set

Lindam by Munchkin Nursery Night Light Set

Price: £9.99 | Buy now from Amazon

I really like the very simple plug-in Lindam ones. They give off a soft blue light. It’s not very much but enough that you can move around the room without banging into stuff and see faces if close-up. Kids have them and we have them on the stairs too”. (Vetted by Mumsnet user PiratePete’sPyjamas)

A great option for creating a subtle light in nurseries and children’s bedrooms, as well as landings and hallways, the Lindam Nursery Night Lights are lightweight and portable and come with a Dawn till Dusk sensor, automatically switching off when the room gets light. 

While some Mumsnet users were concerned about the use of blue light or found them too bright, many reviewers found these to be ideal for travel, being small enough to easily fit in an overnight bag. These plug-in lights are also a practical option for toilet training, helping your child navigate their way to the toilet during the night.

Key specs

  • Power: Plug-in 
  • Timer: Dawn till Dusk sensor
  • Sounds: No
  • Best for: Any 

Pros

  • Plug and go 
  • Dusk till Dawn sensor 
  • Good value

Cons

  • Blue light not everyone’s first choice of colour 
  • Some users found them to be too bright

8. Best multifunctional night light: Tommee Tippee Ollie the Owl Light and Sounds Sleep Aid

Tommee Tippee Ollie the Owl Light and Sounds Sleep Aid

Price: £26.60 | Buy now from Amazon 

If your baby struggles to get back to sleep when they wake during the night, a night light with soothing sounds can be worth its weight in gold. 

The Tommee Tippee Ollie the Owl Light and Sounds Sleep Aid not only has a warm glowing ‘heart’ to comfort and reassure, but comes with an innovative cry sensor that activates the light and sounds if your baby wakes.

With a choice of four soothing sounds including white noise and lullaby options, Ollie also comes with adjustable volume and light levels and a timer that shuts the sounds off automatically after 20 minutes. 

Made from a super soft plush material, Ollie can also be securely fastened to the side of a cot, crib or pushchair, making him a great sleep companion for your travels too. 

Key specs

  • Power: AA battery powered
  • Timer: Automatic 
  • Sounds: Yes - white noise and lullaby 
  • Best for: Babies 

Pros

  • Cry sensor triggers sounds when baby cries 
  • Cute cuddly toy
  • White noise and lullaby functions

Cons

  • Can get through batteries quite quickly (no mains or usb power)

9. Best night light for portability: Shnuggle Moonlight Children’s NIghtlight Thermometer

Shnuggle Moonlight Children’s NIghtlight Thermometer

Price: £29.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Travelling with a baby or toddler can be challenging, particularly when attempting to get them to sleep in an unfamiliar environment. A night light can be helpful to create a more comforting and familiar space at bedtime, which will not only get them to sleep faster but also ensure they get back to sleep quickly if they wake during the night.

The Shunggle Moonlight is a fully portable night light that creates a soft glow with low blue light levels. 

In 'Parent' mode, the Shnuggle is ideal for night feeds and comforting your baby, with a subtle light that is far less likely to stimulate or wake them during nappy changes. 

In 'Child' mode, children can tap to activate full brightness, which then gradually dims as your child drifts off, becoming a reassuring soft glow. The Shnuggle also comes with a handy strap to take on bathroom visits before slotting back on to its coloured thermometer base.

Key specs

  • Power: Lithium Battery 
  • Timer: No
  • Sounds: No 
  • Best for: Babies and toddlers

Pros

  • Portable carry strap 
  • Soft glow 

Cons

  • No timer or sounds

10. Best musical night light for babies: Chicco First Dreams Lullaby Musical Sheep Nightlight Projector

Chicco First Dreams Lullaby Musical Sheep Nightlight Projector

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Music can be a great comforter for younger babies and a helpful distraction to calm and soothe them before bed.

Not only is Chicco First Dreams Lullaby Musical Sheep an adorable, cuddly friend for your baby, it also comes with a glowing colour changing night light on his tummy, enough to create a familiar warm glow in the nursery or bedroom.

At bedtime, this musical sheep can play 30 minutes of relaxing music and lullabies for your baby before shutting off automatically. You can even record your own voice or music of choice.  Even better, an innovative sound sensor will automatically trigger the music and light activation when your baby cries, helping them drift gently back to sleep without your intervention.

Key specs

  • Power: 3 AA batteries required 
  • Timer: Yes 
  • Sounds: Yes 
  • Best for: Babies 

Pros

  • 30 minutes of music 
  • Automatic reactivation cry sensor 

Cons

  • Battery use
  • Colour rotations are predetermined (can't select colour choice) 

11. Best night light for colds and congestion: Calpol Vapour Plug and Night Light

Calpol Vapour Plug & Nightlight

Price: £7.00 | Buy now from Amazon

Just when you think you’ve got the sleep routine mastered and your child is sleeping like a pro, along come the cough and cold germs; taking you straight back to those early days of restless nights, tears and sleep deprivation. 

When your baby has a blocked nose, cold or congestion, it can be incredibly difficult for them to breathe easily when lying down, making sleep feel like a distant memory.

The Calpol Vapour Plug and Night Light is a really effective way to help your child breathe more easily. 

Simple to use and providing up to eight hours of relief, the refillable vapour tab slots in before plugging into the mains. The night light then creates a subtle but reassuring glow whilst sending lavender and chamomile vapours and aromatic oils around the room.

Key specs

  • Power: Plug-in
  • Timer: No
  • Sounds: No 
  • Best for: Suitable for three months and over 

Pros

  • Helps clear congestion
  • Ideal for travel 

Cons

  • Light is blue

12. Best night light for night feeds and breastfeeding: Phillips Hue Bulbs

Phillips Hue Bulbs

Price: £24.99 for two | Buy now from Amazon

I had a Philips Hue lightbulb in my overhead lamp that I could dim on my phone, which was quite useful too.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter edgeware)

If your baby is waking for feeds in the night, you might find yourself fumbling around in the dark whilst attempting not to overstimulate them or disturb other family members.

A really helpful addition to any nursery setting is a smart light option such as the Philips Hue bulbs. These can be added to either a table lamp or main light fitting to create a fully adjustable, dimmable light, giving you far more control over your surroundings. 

Fully adjustable and controlled from your phones, the Hue bulbs can help create just the right amount of light to breastfeed, prepare a bottle or change nappies during the night. 

Key specs

  • Power: Mains-powered (bulb only)
  • Timer: No 
  • Sounds: No 
  • Best for: Any 

Pros

  • Fully adjustable brightness on the app 
  • Dimmed light won't overstimulate baby 

Cons

  • Expensive 

Are night lights good for babies?

Conventional wisdom would have us believe that children should learn to sleep in a pitch-black, quiet room. Fortunately, times are changing and nowadays parents feel more confident in choosing routines and habits that suit themselves and their children.

In short, if a night light helps your child to sleep well or be less afraid of the dark, then it’s almost certainly a good idea. What’s more, a few strategically placed, gentle night lights can help parents to navigate the dark, assisting with night feeds and nappy changes, as well as check on your sleeping baby without disturbing them. 

Just make sure the light is kept dim to ensure it doesn’t disrupt your or your child’s internal clock or overstimulate them at bedtime. Most night lights switch off after a short time so, once your child is asleep, the room becomes dark again.

What colour night light is best for babies?

A dim red light has been scientifically proven to be the least disruptive to the body, whereas blue lights can impact melatonin production and actually interfere with sleep patterns. Most night lights tend to offer a subtle gold or white glow, whereas others can alternate between a variety of colour options. 

What should I look for in a night light? 

Here are some features to consider when choosing the right night light for your child:

  • Age - Some night lights are targeted to soothe, comfort and calm a young baby, whereas others are more suitable for toddlers, preschoolers or older children. Look at the key features to consider which are most suitable for your child’s needs. 
  • Power source - Does the night light require batteries? If so, it's worth remembering that you will need a supply of replacements if the nightlight proves to be popular with your child. Alternatively, mains-powered or USB chargeable night lights can be more cost-effective in the long term. If the night light is battery powered, how long can you expect batteries to last? Some night lights with sounds and white noise can drain batteries pretty quickly. 
  • Sounds - Do you want a night light with sound options and if so, what kind? Some night lights have white noise and soothing sounds, whilst others include lullabies and classical music. Some even allow you to record your own voice and sounds. 
  • Motion or cry sensor - Some night lights come with motion or noise sensors that trigger light or comforting sounds when your baby wakes in the night. These can be really useful to help get your baby back to sleep without parental intervention. 
  • Timer - One really useful night light feature is a timer where the night light turns itself off after a defined time period. Others require you to manually turn them off - this can be a risky action if you aren't able to control it remotely. 
  • Portability for travel - If you're planning to travel or visit family, how easy is the night light to take with you? Is it portable and small enough to fit in your case? 
  • Appealing design - Will your child like the night light? Is it a friendly and appealing character design? Can it be cuddled? Will it soothe and calm your baby or is there a risk of it overstimulating and exciting them?
  • Adjustable settings - How bright is the night light and can you change the settings to dim it as required? Are there a choice of colours available or is the colour fixed?
  • Ease of use - Are the instructions easy to follow? Does it require any initial set up or apps to download? If you have creaky floorboards or haven't yet mastered the art of ninja creeping out of a sleeping child’s bedroom, a nightlight that can be controlled from the comfort of your phone is a big plus. 

What age should a child stop using a night light?

There’s no definitive answer to this question, like most parenting conundrums. Your child will likely grow out of any attachment to a night light by the time they are four or five years old, but this largely depends on the child.

Some active imaginations struggle with nightmares or a fear of the dark throughout the primary years, and a night light can be a great help. What’s important is that the light is dim to keep any effect on the body’s natural rhythms to a minimum.

Can I leave a night light on all night?

There are a huge range of different night lights, so this will vary from one brand to the next. It isn’t recommended to keep a bright light or a projection show on all night long as this may affect the quality of your child’s sleep and even upset their entire body clock. But, generally speaking, a small light that gives off a dim glow can be used all night to no ill effect.

What’s the best night light for babies? 

When it came to the best night light on our list, the Hatch Rest Baby Rest Night Light was certainly the most versatile choice. It offers a smart and adjustable night light solution to help families from the newborn days right up to early childhood. Whilst it’s quite a significant initial investment, the fact it isn't targeted simply at a particular age group means you’ll certainly get your money’s worth.  

How we chose our recommendations 

Because we know that there’s nothing like a recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which night lights discerning Mumsnet users had bought and rated themselves. We thoroughly analysed these suggestions, noting the pros and cons of each. 

We then did extensive research across the wider web, looking at which night lights had won accolades or been featured in expert ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers’ reviews said about them, noting the authentic and in-depth consumer feedback on retailer sites. 

Having collated all that information, we picked the night lights we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories, helping solve some of the biggest sleep challenges with newborns and young children. 

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.