Welcoming a new baby into your family is an incredibly exciting and joyous occasion. Creating the perfect nursery—a sanctuary where your little one will grow, play, and slumber– is a fun and important part of preparing for your bundle of joy’s arrival! Once you’ve picked a theme you’ll need to decide on paint colors, shop for furniture, and choose accessories.
The lighting choices you make in your nursery might seem less important than other decisions you’ll have to make. However, choosing the right combination of lighting is an important part of nesting and makes a bigger impact than you might think. Crafting the right ambiance not only ups the adorable factor of your baby’s nursery but also plays an important role in your baby’s comfort and well-being through better sleep patterns, visual stimulation, and overall safety. Happy baby, happy parents, right?!
Let’s go over types of nursery lighting, their benefits, and tips on how to navigate lighting in your baby’s space so you – and baby – can rest easy.
The Beauty and Benefits of Natural Light
Sleep. It’s generally the number one thing on a parent’s mind, especially in the early days with a newborn. Natural light exposure during the day helps regulate the baby’s circadian rhythms, promoting better sleep patterns. Natural, bright like is also just beautiful to look at!
Tips: Position the crib and rocker/glider close enough to a window to benefit from the light but be mindful of direct sunlight to avoid overheating. Use sheer curtains to diffuse harsh sunlight and protect your baby’s delicate skin. Use black-out curtains to darken the room and keep it cool during daytime naps. This combination of window treatments allows you to use natural light to your advantage.
Picking the Right Ceiling Light
Whether you choose a hanging pendant, a flush mount, or a chandelier – the lighting foundation for every nursery is the ceiling light fixture. Your daily baby care routines, play time, and impromptu photo shoots for baby’s monthly milestones all demand a good amount of light. Ceiling/overhead light fixtures come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, and styles. So this is a great spot to choose something unique or eye-catching to stand out amongst your nursery decor.
You could also consider installing a ceiling fan/light combo if you want to help regulate the temperature in the room. As an added bonus, the motion of the fan can be soothing for many babies.
Tips: Try to avoid exposed bulbs as they can be too harsh and overstimulating on baby’s eyes, especially at night. Instead, choose fixtures with diffused or shaded light. “Soft white” and “warm white” bulbs (in the 2700K-3000K color temperature range) are easier on the eyes, and if installed on a dimmer they offer the ultimate versatility for all times of day and night.
Add Lighting Where You Need It
Focused, task-specific lighting is crucial in a well-appointed and functional nursery. It provides illumination specifically for all those essential nighttime tasks like feeding, changing diapers, or reading bedtime stories. Being able to keep ceiling lights off and instead switch on a dimly lit lamp helps both you and your baby get back to sleep quickly.
Tips: Opt for adjustable fixtures, such as wall-mounted lamps or clip-on lights to direct light where it’s most needed. Many table lamps offer a touch feature that allows you to adjust the brightness – a lifesaver when you only need the most minimal amount of light in the middle of the night. For the ultimate flexibility, look into using battery-operated puck lights. They’re perfect for tucking into small spaces that need a bit more light, like the nooks and crannies of your nursery closet.
Don’t Forget Decorative Lighting
Add a touch of whimsy and personality to your baby’s room with decorative accent lighting. While decorative light adds to the aesthetic of your nursery, they are also a great way to illuminate small areas of your nursery for quick diaper changes or for navigating the room at night.
There are so many ways you can use lighting as a decorative element to make your nursery shine (pun intended): a cute decorative table lamp, a cloud-shaped wall light, a line of color-changing LED lights, an unexpected wall sconce (freeing up table space for supplies), or even a string of soft, sparkly fairy lights!
Tips: As fun as decorative lighting can be, always remember to prioritize function over design. A recent study shows that bright night lights can have negative effects on children’s sleep, especially for toddlers. If you want to leave a small light on for your little one over night, dim, red-toned night lights are shown to not be detrimental. Otherwise, opt for a night light that’s on a timer, or use an app-connected option that can be turned on/off remotely.
Important Safety Reminders:
- Floor lamps, while a popular lighting option throughout the home, can pose a fall risk. If you choose to use a floor lamp in your nursery make sure it is out of reach for mobile infants and children, and secure to the wall if possible.
- Electrical cords always pose a potential hazard, especially as your baby becomes more mobile. Secure your lamps and ensure cords are well out of reach.
- Be cautious of light bulbs that generate heat. If using fixtures with these bulbs, ensure they are placed where children can’t touch them. LED bulbs or Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs are a cooler alternative and are much more energy-friendly.
- Have a flashlight or battery-operated light source on hand in case of power outages.
- Periodically inspect light fixtures, cords, and outlets for any signs of wear or damage. Replace or repair them as needed.
- Be cautious with light fixtures that have small parts or removable pieces, as they can pose a choking hazard if dislodged.
Putting together the perfect nursery involves thoughtful consideration to create a safe and nurturing space for your little one to thrive. Whether you’re going for a low-key minimal space or an over-the-top luxury dreamland, getting your lighting choices right should be at the top of your nursery to-do list, and Ellen Lighting is here to guide you every step of the way.
When you get it right, you’ll create a comfortable, safe, and visually engaging environment for your baby. Remember to tailor your lighting choices to the unique challenges of your nursery space and always prioritize safety and comfort. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your nursery, so make it a place where you can baby both will feel comfortable and at ease.