How Old Were Your Kids When They Stopped Using a Night Light?

Updated on August 09, 2011
C.B. asks from Lomita, CA
30 answers

If your kids used night lights in their bedrooms, how old were they when they stopped? My kids are 8 and 6, and my 8-year-old has been asking to stop using the night light, but her younger brother is still scared of the dark (as he told me the other night). The bulb for their night light ran out last night and I didn't have any extras, so they had to sleep in the dark. They did okay (I think since they share a room it's a little less scary), but my son is still asking to get a new light bulb. I'm thinking that they might fall asleep more easily at night once he gets used to not having it. So what do you think: should I buy a new one or should I insist they sleep without it? How old were your kids when they stopped using night lights in their rooms?

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So What Happened?

Hi everyone, thanks for the answers! In the past my son really panicked and had anxiety at bedtime without the night light (if I didn't have any extra bulbs) so I always bought more as soon as possible. But this time he's not panicked or anxious at all, and going to bed just fine. He did bring his flashlight with him, so I think that helped him a lot. So I think we're going to keep going without the night light and see what happens. So far, so good! :-)

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answers from Appleton on

I don't use night lights per se but I have ambient lighting all over my house. At holiday times I buy lots of extra strings of lights and use them in almost every room. I have lighthouses in my kitchen that you can put a night light bulb in and I do. My house is never dark unless the electricity is off.

I just feel better if something wakes me I can see if it's something I should worry about. Oh and I'm 56 and a 4 time grandma.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

10 & 7 and they still have them. Not a battle worth having IMO. The place we lived in before this I had a nightlight in an upstairs bathroom, because it was too dark for me as an adult. We still have a couple downstairs. I've brought some to use in hotel rooms before. Unless it's keeping anyone from sleeping get a new bulb and leave it be until everyone's ready to get rid of it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi CoffeeMama!! My 15 year old daughter still uses her night light. I truly believe there are certain fears that are not related to age at all. If this is a sleep issue, you may be onto something. My daughter has no trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, hers is simply out of concern..she does not care for the dark room. It's been interesting how over the years the nightlight has changed with the theme of her room and her age. She now has a chandalier style with pink crystals... :)

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I used a blue Christmas light bulb in our night lights all over the house. Just so you CAN see a little if you wake up in the night. Try blue, it might solve both of the problems.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I am a 40 year old woman and still use a night light. I say if they want one use it, if not, don't.

I have 4 kids, 2 like light and 1 doesn't, our baby doesn't show a preference yet. = )

Oops! I should have mentioned the ages of my kids: 11yo - likes light, 5yo doesn't, 3 yo does.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

first off if the older one is used to it there's no reason to stop, if the younger one still wants it. i prefer a night light and i am a grown up! why does the older one want to stop using it? it sounds like he's gotten into his head that it's for "babies" and he's too big for one or something. i don't think that's really something he should get sole control over. better to have it even if one doesn't "need" it, than to not have it. there's no age or time limit where you should quit letting them have one. why should there be a point where they aren't allowed to see at night? like i said i prefer one, i actually prefer to have some throughout the whole house. so i don't think there is an age cut off. you are either a night light using house, or you aren't. it's kind of one of those things that once you start doing it, it's hard to stop. i don't think it is fair to your younger child to take them away at this point.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I am 39 and I still keep one on in the bathroom (of our master bedroom / bath). My husband would prefer total darkness but since he doesn't have to get up and potty 10 times per night (pregnancy) he doesn't get a say.

Maybe a compromise like a nightlight in the hall or on the 6 year old's side?

Happy sleeping!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I love sleeping in a totally dark room.
It's restful for my eyes, plus I'm totally comfortable with moving around in a dark room if I wake up.
I was majorly near sighted for most of my life (Thanks, Lasik!) and being legally blind for the most part - I got very use to navigating without depending on my sight.
My husband like to fall asleep with a dim light on, but likes me to turn it off once he's sleeping.
My son (12) like being able to see what's going on when/if he wakes up and still enjoys a night light.
He can sleep in the dark (when we travel and are in a motel room I need dark, but we're all in the same room so he feels safe) but he prefers a little dim lighting when he has a room to himself.
Since your sons share a room, now might be a good time to transition to no night light and see how it goes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My four year old still uses his. I like total darkness but even my husband prefers a little light. My mom sleeps with her bathroom light on with the door cracked. So I think it is a personality thing more than an age thing. I would keep the light for the six year old bc it may be something he never outgrows and I bet his sister is actually able to sleep with the light. I can sleep with light when forced!! Good luck :D

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My daughter will be 15 next month and she still uses hers. But she doesn't really need it because she doesn't complain during sleepovers or when she's away at summer camp etc... I think it's just a comfort thing for her.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I remember being afriad of th dark becauze I had nightmares. I still remember how it feels. Why take something away from him that makes him feel safe in his own bed/home. I would find a smaller light, maybe a flash light or even we have a glow buddy that goes in the bed with the child. We got on amazon ad glows in many colors.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

My son is 15 and still keeps a night light in his room.
I have a small lamp in mine that stays on overnight.
A night light in the hall and the light over the kitchen sink stays on.
I hate waking up in the dark!! LOL

So, some of us never outgrow it.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Providence on

I always had a night light, or had the bathroom light on when I was growing up. I hated sleeping in total darkness. However, my husband never had one, and always turned off the bathroom light when we went to bed( waste of electricity). I got used to it. My son, never has wanted a night light. I think it's individual preference. Is their a way to have the light on the side where the child that likes it to put it?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

You can try moving the light out to the hallway and leaving his door open a bit, or even just tell him to look for the light under the door. As for leaving the door open, if their room is arranged right, the light from the open door can fall only across his bed and your daughter can still have her darkness.You can also look into finding a softer light and trying to have it plugged in on his side of the room, this will allow your older daughter to simply turn her back on the light if she prefers the darkness.

I spent a month sharing a bed with my 5 year old (vacation with my parents) and when we got back she had trouble sleeping alone again. I helped her by getting her to repeat, "This is MY room. These are MY lovies. I am a big girl and I am safe." You can see if like this will help your son. "My sister is here, this is my room, I am safe." I also reminded her that being in the dark was just like closing her eyes, I asked her to close them and asked her if she was scared, she said no, I told her that she couldn't see, that is was dark for her with her eyes closed ( I had also turn the light off while she had her eyes closed). She opened her eyes and it was still dark, I told her it was the same. Nothing scary had suddenly appeared simply because she closed her eyes, so there was nothing scary just because the lights were off.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

My kids are 19, 17, and 14, and they STILL like a night light, and so do I.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

If not a flashlight you can try a Tykelight GloMate. It's shaped like a little person and if I remember correctly it's an LED light inside so it doesn't get warm so it is safe for kids to hold. I have a 4yr old and a 2 yr old who each have one and they share a rm. It has different settings the first is a timer one so it stays on for 15 minutes then turns off. The second is low light but on until turned off with the third being brighter light on until turned off. You can get them at walmart or target.

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answers from Phoenix on

My kids are 15 (spec needs), 11 and 8 and all of them still sleep with a little night light plugged in. But my 8 yo son also sleeps with one of those eye mask things that makes it dark but insists on keeping his night light on...go figure! =)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

HOw about a compromise....move the night light out into the hall or into the bathroom if it is close to the bedroom...that way it isn't "dark" but the older brother isn't being bothered by the 'bright" light.
I am 62 years old and I STILL keep a night light on in the bathroom down the hall....I like being able to see just a bit when I stumble out of bed in the middle of the night.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My husband and I use a nightlight in our room as well as the kid's. It's nice to be able to see if/when we get up at night instead of stumbling around the room. Sleeping in pitch black tends to get you addicted to sleeping in pitch black, I think. You see people who have to wear sleep masks because any source of light whatsoever will keep them awake. So it's nice that my kids actually sleep in during the summer months (when the sun is glaring through their windows at 5 am) because the light simply doesn't bother them.

There are those LED nightlights that are simply a flat disk type thing that puts off a much more subtle glow at night. We use them in our bathrooms and they automatically shut off when the light is switched on. Maybe that would satisfy your oldest?

Found them online here:

Not exactly what we got from Walmart but close enough.

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answers from Beaumont on

My kids still have a night light at 9 and 11 years old. Come to think of it, I like a little light in case I need to get up and don't want to trip on the dogs. Don't think it's cause they're scared as much as I think they want to see a little if they need to get up.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My daughter is 9. Still has a night light. And the hallway light. We turn off the hall light after she's asleep, but if she wakes up to find it off she gets mad and turns it back on. My boys share a room, and they have a nightlight. They're 5 & 2. I like them to have it in case they need to get up and use the bathroom.

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answers from Orlando on

my daughter is about to turn 9. probably within the past year she's liked it really dark in her room. her alarm clock is pretty bright so she'll put a towel over it. but i think it makes her feel secure knowing she can always take off the towel if she wants to.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We had trouble finding a night light that didn't keep the kids up or make them wake up at night until we found this:

It might be "cool" enough for your 8yo while still helping 6yo fall asleep. Also this has a timer so it does turn off after 30 minutes, so you could delay the 8 yo's bedtime and it will be dark by the time she's in bed. There's also a remote to it, so 6 yo could have remote to use in case of emergency, instead of having the light on every night. Whatever works for both. This may be a sign that 8 yo is ready for a separate bedroom from her little brother? Just a thought. I'm sure another few years wouldn't hurt, since it's a bad time now for a move.

I have a 5.5 yo and he still asks for the light on every night, in fact more now than he did when he was younger. Now he sees more violence on tv (he's really into superhero shows) and he's aware of more (friends talking about monsters and guns and such). So I agree that 6 yo is too young to stop.

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answers from Honolulu on

Okay, so stop the night light in your 8 year old's room.
Then leave it for your younger child in his room.
I assume, they have their own room?

If not, then maybe they should. Have their own rooms.
Because now, their age differences and development, is markedly different. They each have different needs.
And your 8 year old, will soon be a Tween. She will have different needs and preferences.

Or, use a nightlight in the hallway/bathrooms etc.

Or, give your 4 year old a flashlight to keep IN bed with him.
I have done that with my kids.
They still keep it in their beds, and they are 8 and 4 years (almost 5) years old.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

My son is like me. He LOVES the dark.

He never used a nightlight in fact when I tried one, he got up and turned it OFF. He's such a safety monitor!

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answers from New York on

It was just last week and she is 3 1/2. She told me that it was scarey in her room and she refused to sleep in there. I finally got her to tell me why and its because of the night light. It must throw shadows and it scares her. So the next night we turned off the light and she went in no problem and slept through the night.
Maybe you could try not putting the light on but give him a flashlight. So if he gets scared he can turn it on. Or just tell him that you have to go to the store to get one and see what happens. Maybe he will get used to it. Best of Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My kids never used a night light, but we did leave the door open a crack with the hallway light on. Once they fell asleep I would just close their door.

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answers from Richmond on

I never had this problem, never bought a night light, and when the girls (6 and 7) spent the night at a friends house who used one, they actually turned it off because it was keeping them up, LOL!!

HOWEVER, that friend who's house they stayed at... it's my best friends daughter, and she's 11 and still uses a night light. At that age, I'm calling bullsh!t on the being afraid of the dark thing.

I would use this as a window of opportunity and say no more night light if it bothers you that they use one. You might hear them whine about it for a few days, but they'll get over it, I promise :) No kid has ever been scarred for life because they didn't have a night light ;)

Maybe compromise and keep the hall light on so they can see the light under their door, and turn it off when YOU go to bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

My son is 3, and the last time I remember him having a night light was when he was about 18 months old. And even then, I hid it behind furniture to keep it as dim as possible.

If I were you, I'd insist they live w/o it. Those night lights are SO bright, it might affect their sleep. I will sometimes turn on a night light for my 3 yr old, but then after he falls asleep I turn it off. Perhaps that would work for your boys? Or keep a night-light on in the hallway only so they can see if they need to use the restroom in the middle of the night.

1 mom found this helpful
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