Diming the lights 1 HR before bedtime can signal to your baby/toddler that it's time for sleep. Not only does this lower your body temperature, but it allows your body to start producing melatonin (signalling the body it's time for SLEEP). **Up until 3 months of age your infant will not produce any melatonin. This is why it's important to provide your infant with the best sleep environment possible. A VERY dark space for sleep is essential. Cover all of those little blue and green lights that you might find on your humidifier, sound machine, alarm clock with a little piece of black hockey tape. This also means no fancy night lights for you or baby.
As your baby gets a little bit older (we are talking 2 or 3 yrs) some fears might develop around the dark. If possible, try to leave the door open with a gate + night light in hallway vs. having a the light in their bedroom. The lighter the room the more potential there is to disrupt your child's sleep. There are a few alternative methods you can try before introducing the night light.
My fav?: Monster Spray.
"Monster spray" (a.k.a. "bad dream" spray) is fancy water in a spray bottle. Get our your stickers, markers + glitter out and decorate the bottle. Pinterest is your friend.
My (almost 4 yr old) daughter asked for a night light a few months ago. If the night light isn't on....she turns on her bedroom lights. Do I regret introducing it? yes.
It is so much easier to recreate a sleep environment while travelling, if your child is used to sleeping in a pitch dark space. Our most recent vacay away included a night light request. Luckly she wasn't room sharing.
Sleep Consultant's verdict on the night light debate? Avoid, avoid, avoid. If possible!