Friday, March 13, 2009

Suburban Obsessions #32 -- Light Up the Night

Not too long ago, those nice people at Parent Bloggers Network sent me a SYLVANIA PalPODzzz portable nightlight to use and review.

It's a well-documented fact that The Ambassador is not a great sleeper and hasn't been since he was born. We co-slept for the first couple years, because that made him feel safe and it made a lot more sense to us adults than dragging our sleep-deprived selves up and down the hall 2,334 times a night. Even during those two years, we made copious use of nightlights.

Nightlights suck. It's really that simple. They're either dinky little things that don't provide enough light, or they're as bright as strobes, which isn't really conducive to good sleep. We have rechargeable flashlights in every room of the house, and they have a nightlight function, so we've used them for a long time and just tried to duck and cover all night long to avert our eyes from the white haze. (I've also been known to strategically place throw pillows in front of them to mitigate the glare that threatens to sear my retinas through my closed eyelids.)

When The Ambassador moved to his own bedroom last year, I went on a hunt for good nightlights and found one that generally works for us. It's bright enough to scare away the baddies, but the light is warm enough that it doesn't amp up a toddler whose capacity for sleep is still quite fragile.

As any parent can tell you, changing the slightest thing in a little one's room can throw off their whole world, so I admit that it was with some reluctance that I gave the SYLVANIA PalPODzzz portable nightlight a shot. What made me do it? First off, the thing is CUTE. The base puts out a soft, blue glow that is bright enough to illuminate a bedroom, but not so much that you want to strap duct tape over your eyes to fend off the light. The rocket ship (there's a lady bug version, too) is a rechargeable flashlight that can be removed from the base, and again, those Sylvania people nailed the brightness factor. The flashlight's light is neither too harsh nor too dim, and it's the perfect size for chubby little toddler hands. Given that The Ambassador loves all things space-related, the excitement over this nightlight was palpable from the minute it arrived. And that, my friends, was the only major problem.

That evening, with Hubby out of town, I thought the novelty of a new nightlight might make the bedtime experience easier for The Ambassador. He deduced right away that the rocket was removable, so instead of placing the nightlight on his nightstand next to the bed, I had to put it up on the dresser out of his reach so he wouldn't keep playing with it. He jabbered about it for a bit, and then finally went to sleep. I assumed his excitement would abate with a little time, but when he woke up in the middle of the night, he wanted to play with the flashlight. After a few minutes of bleary-eyed discussion, I had to remove the nightlight altogether to get him back to sleep.

The entire experience made me realize I'm an idiot. Rather than wait for a time when things were at their most normal (i.e., Hubby was home to do the usual bedtime routine) and leave the nightlight unplugged and in The Ambassador's room for a few days so he could get used to it being there, I opted to jump in with both feet and just put the light to the test. Sorry, Sylvania. My bad.

So we've taken a few steps back, and the nightlight is now hanging out on our kitchen counter, which gives The Ambassador ample access to the flashlight that he loves and gives us the ability to desensitize him a bit to its presence. My next move is to put the base in his room and use it as a nightlight, and when he's just a bit older (in a few months) we'll put the flashlight back in its slot for overnights.

Overall, the SYLVANIA PalPODzzz is a really cool product that I'd recommend highly, and I can't wait until it becomes a standard part of The Ambassador's bedroom decor, which is already done up in a space theme. But it's clearly not made for sleep-deprived parents who aren't clearly thinking through their bedtime routine. That's not you, right? That's just me. So pop on over to the Parent Bloggers Network blog and enter to win your own SYLVANIA PalPODzzz.

Sweet dreams!

1 comment:

Mrs Furious said...

I just can't get over the suggestive nature of this night light. Can't look past it.