Maintaining Baby’s Sleep on the Go: The Best 3 Night Lights for Travel

Maintaining Baby’s Sleep on the Go: The Best 3 Night Lights for Travel

With the right tools, you can learn effective ways to help your baby sleep—and build your parenting confidence while traveling. 
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If anyone deserves an award, it’s parents traveling with a baby or toddler. Keeping your little one’s sleep routine on a travel schedule takes a good deal of planning and effort, to say the least. With the right tools, you can learn effective ways to help your baby sleep—and build your parenting confidence while traveling. 

Here, you’ll find tips for getting babies to sleep on vacation, along with recommendations for the best night light to create a soothing sleep environment. 

The importance of sleep consistency during travel

Traveling for the first time can be a lot to process for your baby. Sure, it can be exciting to see new places, but they’re also experiencing a drastic shift in their normal routine. If they don’t stay well rested, it’s easy for them to get overtired and cranky. 

One of the best tips for traveling with baby is to try to replicate their home sleep environment and bedtime routine as closely as possible. The more familiar a setting feels to your baby, the more comfortable they may feel snoozing in a new place. Of course, there’s only so much you can control while traveling—but the more consistency you can maintain, the more likely the whole family can enjoy the trip. 

The role of night lights in maintaining sleep consistency

Your journey has probably been full of excitement, whether it’s riding an airplane for the first time or meeting new family members. After all that fun, calming down can be a challenge for your baby. Bringing along all the tools that help comfort them at home can help, especially with their nighttime routine. 

Pack objects that make bedtime feel more familiar, whether your baby slumbers in a sleep sack or uses a white noise machine. And if your baby usually dozes off to the gentle glow of a night light, bringing that along can make any room feel like home. Soft dim light can be a great relaxation aid that transforms your baby’s surroundings. If you use a night light at home, your baby probably already takes it as a cue that it’s time to rest. Finding the best night light for on the go can make travel sleeping much easier for your baby, which also means better sleep for you. 

How to choose  the best night light for baby sleep during travel

Sleeping in a brand new location can make snoozing challenging — even for adults. When it comes to baby and toddler sleep patterns, the change in routine is even more pronounced. A night light can make a big difference in easing the transition to a new setting. A new room feels much less strange and scary with the familiar gentle shimmer of a night light. The right travel night light can make all the difference in making your child feel safe and comforted. 

5 key night light features

So what exactly makes a night light the best choice for your travel plans? Here’s what to look out for when shopping for a vacation-friendly night light. 

  • Safety. With anything for your bundle of joy, safety is always top priority. 
  • Portability. You want something that you can easily pack and place anywhere in baby’s sleeping space. It’s important to place the night light at least 3 feet from your baby’s bed, so cordless options will give you more flexibility. 
  • Battery life. If you’ll be using the night light unplugged, it’s important to make sure it can last through the night. Aim for at least eight hours of battery power, so your baby’s routine doesn’t get disrupted. 
  • Brightness control. Just like at home, a low-watt, dim light is best. Your accommodations may have different levels of brightness than your home, so adjustable controls are ideal to ensure baby’s sleep environment is just right. 
  • In-app controls. Many night lights can be adjusted and automated with an app. And since you can do it all from your phone, you don’t have to worry about walking into the room and accidentally waking baby to make adjustments. 

The best 3 night lights for travel

Here are a few of the top night lights for traveling on the market, so your baby can sleep soundly. 

Nanit Sound and Light

The Nanit Sound and Light goes above and beyond a typical night light. This combination noise machine and night light has all that you need to create a serene atmosphere. In addition to soothing white noise, it also plays calming lullabies and nature sounds, which can be helpful for blocking out excess noise. As for the night light, you’ll have endless color choices, so you can find exactly the right setting that lulls your baby to sleep. 

All features of the Sound and Light can be controlled right from your phone, and you can set up your family’s favorite routines and save them for easy access on the go (e.g. bath/wind-down, book time, bedtime). And with automatic Cry Detection alerts, you can truly enjoy peace of mind during your downtime after baby goes to bed. 

Vava Night Light

The Vava Night Light includes both plugin and battery powered options for portability. There isn’t a companion app with this one, which is operated by simple, toddler-friendly touch controls. This includes the ability to dim brightness and set an automatic timer that runs the nightlight for up to 90 minutes. The Vava includes eight colors to choose from, with both warm and cool light choices. The battery can be recharged with USB power and lasts up to 100 hours on a single charge. 

LumiPets Kids Night Light

These night lights are available in multiple animal forms, including bear, dog, lion, koala, unicorn, penguin, hippo, and fox. LumiPets include battery powered options, with up to 72 hours of battery life on a single charge, depending on your color setting selection. This night light is made from soft silicone and includes a remote control to adjust between nine color settings. You can also set a sleep timer, so the light turns off automatically, either by using your remote or the tap controls on the device. 

Using night lights effectively during travel

Using a night light to help baby wind down from the whirlwind of traveling takes more than just turning it on. Here are some tips for effectively using your night light away from home to pacify your baby. 

Using your night light to transition to new time zones

Trying to adjust to a different time zone is one of the quickest ways to throw your baby off their internal rhythms. To counteract the jet lag, it’s important to transition your regularly followed schedule to local time. Even if it’s a couple of hours ahead or behind, a baby with a noon nap time should still take their nap at noon. A night light can help give your baby the internal cues they need to know it is indeed time to rest. 

Using your night light in shared spaces

Ideally, your travel accommodations would allow your baby to have their own space, especially if this is how they’re used to sleeping at home. But realistically, you don’t always have control over your sleeping options when traveling. Sometimes you have no choice but for baby to sleep in a hotel crib or next to you in their travel crib or playpen.

The little creature comforts can go a long way in soothing your baby enough to settle down and sleep. And there are some additional bonuses of using night lights if you’re sharing a hotel room. If an adult needs to get up and find something, they won’t have to wake the baby by turning on any bright lights. 

The best night lights help families travel smoothly

Traveling as a new family can be simultaneously wonderful and a bit nerve wracking. Be gentle with yourself as you and your baby make the transition to a travel schedule. Taking a trip can be unpredictable even if you’re not a parent, so it’s OK if some things don’t go as planned. With tools like a quality night light, though, you can get as close to your baby’s normal sleeping routine as possible. And the more your baby is able to rest up while traveling, the more likely you are to return home with great memories that you’ll always cherish. 

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Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.