You’ve decorated your nursery exactly how you want it. The walls are painted, the crib is put together, and you have plenty of places to sit with your new member of the family.
The room is baby-proofed along with the rest of the house. You’ve taken every step to make sure your home is safe when they arrive.
However, the only light you have is a ceiling fan in the middle of the room. Will that really be enough for a new baby? You probably haven’t considered how lighting can affect developing eyes.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when lighting a nursery.
The Best Light Bulbs for Babies
A baby’s eyes can’t handle the same kind of light that an adult’s eyes can. There have been studies about how blue light “boosts alertness, helps memory and cognitive function and elevates mood.” However, blue light can also be harmful.
Too much of it can cause eye strain and retinal damage in adults. The underdeveloped eyes of babies are even more at risk. That’s why it’s best to choose warmer lighting for your baby’s room. You shouldn’t keep them away from blue light completely. They should just get less of it than adults do.
LED lights used to be exclusively on the cooler side of the spectrum. However, many companies are offering warm LED lights due to recent research about blue light.
There are even fixtures available that allow you to change the warmth of the light. ZLED Lighting, an NJ LED distributor, says, “We offer the ability to control bulb temperature with mobile apps. You can even set schedules for them. You can have bright white light during the day to mimic natural light and make it warmer later in the day.”
Choosing smart lighting for your baby’s room is a great idea. That way, you can adjust the lights without disturbing your child’s sleep. Pair this with a traditional baby monitor and optional cameras, and you can have complete peace of mind when you’re not in the room with your child.
5 Tips to Light Your New Baby’s Room
1. Manage Natural Light
When your baby is awake, the best light for them is natural light. Make sure there are plenty of windows in your nursery so that your baby’s eyes can adjust to the light of the sun.
However, babies spend a lot of time sleeping (at least they should). In order to help them sleep, you’ll need to block that natural light from coming in.
Drapes, curtains, and blinds just won’t cut it. If you want to completely block outside light from getting in so your baby will sleep longer, you’ll need window shades. Shades can make the room almost completely dark, even on the brightest of days.
2. Get a Night Light
A room that’s completely dark can be scary, and you will need to be able to make your way to the crib without tripping over something. A night light solves both of those problems.
When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, they will be able to at least see their surroundings and potentially fall back to sleep. This makes it less likely that they will wake you up in the middle of the night.
They will also be less likely to develop a fear of the dark. As they get older, you can let them choose when to make their room completely dark when they go to sleep.
3. Dim the Lights
Letting your baby spend some time in dim light before bed can help them fall asleep. Install a dimmer so you can control how bright the main light source in the room is.
This will help you navigate the room as well. When they finally fall asleep, you can switch them all the way off. If you bought a night light that automatically switches on in the dark, then you can go from dim to mostly dark instantly without leaving your baby in complete darkness for even a second.
Make sure to put the dimmer switch near the door so you can check on them as needed. Keep it on the side the door opens so you can crack the door open and raise the switch without letting in a lot of light. With smart lighting, you can adjust the lights without opening the door!
4. Don’t Put the Crib Directly Under Light
It might be convenient for you, but how would you like to stare directly into a bright light for hours on end? When positioning the crib, make sure it is well lit, but also make sure any bulbs are out of eye-shot from your baby. Long exposure to harsh light like that can cause damage to developing eyes.
Wherever you can, shade light as well. The fewer shiny bulbs there are for your baby to stare at, the better. Instead, give them a mobile or piece of art to look at. This will provide them with something better to look at that won’t damage their eyes.
If you have a ceiling fan with lights and want the baby under the fan, turn off the lights and use another light source. Twinkle lights are easy on the eyes and look interesting. They also produce very little heat.
5. Get Creative
There are all sorts of fun lamps, night lights, and custom fixtures for babies and kids. A baby doesn’t have design preferences. The choices are all yours.
However, your choices could affect them as they get older. Are you dreaming of your child being a sports star, lawyer, artist, or doctor? You can add some subtle design choices to introduce them to these concepts at an early age.
When they are able to make their own choices, they will take their own path. It doesn’t hurt to try though, right?
Here are a few more ideas that are purely for fun:
- Get some lights that spell out their name
- Get a lamp with silly cartoon characters
- Shape some twinkle lights into the shape of a (friendly) dinosaur
- Get a ceiling fixture in the shape of a cloud or the sun
- Stick glow-in-the-dark stars to the ceiling
This is the first room that they will call their own. Unless you plan on moving soon, they could end up spending years of their lives in it. Make sure you give them something great to remember.
Eventually, they will grow out of whatever design you choose and get to make choices about what they want their room to look like. For now, it’s up to you to create their first memories of their first bedroom.
What designs are you considering for your baby’s room? Let us know in the comments below!
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.