They might be the light of your life, but kids can be a nightmare when they simply won’t sleep. You’ve tried everything – lavender-filled baths, soothing massages and tales of magic circles keeping them safe in their beds – but as soon as you turn out the light you’re instantly met with the scrabble of tiny feet and cries of ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’. It’s enough to make a grown parent turn to wine.
But what is the answer? There are only so many hours you can spend lying on a bedroom floor. The answer might actually be quite simple: don’t experience the after-dark trauma by avoiding that trigger moment and not turning out the light. Instead of investing in those recovery bottles of Pinot, spend some cash on a night light instead. There’s plenty of choice, from the basic Clippasafe varieties that just plug into the wall to the more extravagant pieces of night ‘art’, such as the Fairy Toadstool Lamp, £55, or the Hanging Acorn Lamp, £125, both available from White Rabbit England.
Half of the battle is getting the light right, for you and them. You’ll want something that doesn’t make their room seem as if they’ve moved in next to the sun, and they will want a shadow-proof shine that, most importantly, looks really good. You’ll also want to know that little fingers won’t get burned if they’ve already forgotten your ‘look with your eyes not your hands’ lecture and that fuelling the fire of their imaginations won’t end up with your smoke alarms going off. The Child-Safe Comfort Light, £30 from the Great Little Trading Co, will let you rest easy in your bed (which you might not have to share – for once). Ikea also does a great range of low-heat lamps that look hot even when they’re not. There are even versions, such as the SMILA STJÄRNA and the SMILA HJÄRTA, which go on the wall to prevent the pillow-fight crashes and ‘exploration’ injuries that can befall children’s bedroom lamps. You’ll love the price tags too. Even if a plastic Power Ranger or flying Barbie did achieve impact, they’re only £6 each to replace. One of the coolest lamp options, however, has to be the Boon Multi-Coloured Nightlight, £51.99 from John Lewis. Not only does it look like something that wouldn’t be out of place on the Millennium Falcon, but your little one can even take the glowing, colour-changing orbs to bed. The lights then fade as your little ones do too.
If your youngster is too small to be taking light balls to bed, it doesn’t mean that they can’t still enjoy the snug feeling of having a comfort light nearby. There are plenty of cot lights out there, but you’ll struggle to find one cuter than the Loved So Much Moonlight Night Light, just £7.99 from Mothercare. Soft moonlight and teddy bears – now that’s what baby dreams are made of. Night light projectors are another great idea if you want Mr Sleep to stay for the night. They’re particularly good for wriggle-tails who find it hard to relax after a busy day of finding muddy puddles when it hasn’t rained for weeks or getting flour in every cranny of your kitchen. Just make sure you don’t spend too long watching the mesmerising projections of the Chicco Goodnight Star, £19.99 from Argos, accompanied by the melodies of Rossini and Bach. You want them to spend all night sleeping in that bedroom – not you.