When browsing through pictures of baby room decor on sites such as Pinterest, you’ve probably spotted that many nurseries feature floor lamps…
But is a floor lamp in the nursery a good idea?
Are floor lamps safe to have around babies and toddlers? Or are they just an accident waiting to happen?
Should YOU put a floor lamp in the nursery?
The right lighting is important for the nursery – both for practical reasons and also to create a warm, soothing, and relaxing ambiance. In homes that don’t have overhead lighting, floor lamps can produce just the right amount of light when you need just a dim light in the evening.
However, a floor lamp in the nursery becomes a major safety hazard once baby is mobile — it can topple or become an electrocution risk. Alternatives like table top lamps or overhead lighting with a dimmer may be a better option, or you can make some tweaks to make your nursery floor lamp safer.
Let’s take a look at some pros, cons, and alternatives to floor lamps in the nursery.
Pros of a floor lamp in the nursery
First, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of having a floor lamp in your baby’s nursery.
1. Floor lamps won’t shine in your baby’s eyes
The problem with overhead lighting is that when your baby is lying in their crib, they can be looking directly at the light.
The soft, warm lighting of a lamp doesn’t just keep the nursery cozy and inviting, it also prevents over-stimulation and doesn’t put too much pressure on your baby’s still-developing eyes.
Floor lamps are perfect for soft, night-time lighting — tuck the lamp away in the corner and you’ll get plenty of light without blinding everyone and waking up baby.
2. Floor lamps are affordable
A floor lamp is one of the cheapest lighting options, especially compared to something like an elaborate ceiling fan.
You’ll find lots of basic floor lamps on Amazon, or you could pick up a fancy vintage lamp for a cheap price at a local garage sale or thrift store.
If you’re not picky, you can grab a pretty attractive lamp for as little as $20-30.
3. Floor lamps are easy to install
If you don’t have already have ceiling lights, installing them can be very pricey.
Even just putting in a new ceiling fan or overhead lighting fixture, with existing electrical, can be time consuming — not to mention dangerous if you’ve never worked with wiring before.
With a floor lamp, you just plug it in and you’re good to go.
Most floor lamps don’t require any assembly, so if you’re useless with a screwdriver, it doesn’t matter.
4. Floor lamps look pretty
There are some really beautiful nursery floor lamps to buy online.
Whether you want a traditional carved wooden floor lamp, a simple, modern lamp, or even one in the shape of a giraffe, you’ll find one to match any nursery design.
Cons of a floor lamp in the nursery
Next, let’s look at some of the serious drawbacks to having a floor lamp in your baby’s room.
1. Floor lamps can be knocked over
The main thing that parents worry about is that their baby or toddler will knock the floor lamp over or pull it down.
This can be very dangerous, particularly if there’s no adult in the room at the time.
As well as the weight of the lamp injuring a child, the bulb could smash, causing shards of glass to scatter across the room.
If the fall doesn’t break the bulb, it could be hot enough to cause severe burns should your baby grab it.
This won’t be a big issue when baby is a newborn, but once he or she starts crawling around, a floor lamp becomes a major hazard.
2. Floor lamps have power cords
Another issue with floor lamps is that they have to be plugged into power outlets, which are usually at floor level.
Power cords, sockets, and switches can all be very tempting for babies to explore.
Although childhood electrocution deaths are rare, if your baby were to pull out the plug and put their fingers into the power outlet they could get a very nasty shock.
3. Floor lamps don’t fit in every nursery
As nurseries are often the smallest bedroom in the house, many just don’t have the space for a floor lamp.
If your baby’s nursery will be in a converted attic or room with sloping walls, you may find that a floor lamp just doesn’t fit in the corner of the room.
Ways to make floor lamps safer for the nursery
Although floor lamps can be hazardous, there are many things that you can do the minimize any risk of injury to your child.
Position the lamp behind furniture
If your room layout allows, try to position the lamp in a place where your child cannot reach it.
For example, if you can place it in the corner of a room behind an armchair, you may be able to keep the lamp and cord out of reach.
Loop a string around the lamp and tie it to a wall-mounted hook
It’s not the prettiest solution to the floor lamp safety issue, but it’s simple and it works.
All you need is a wall hook (the screw-in or self-adhesive type) and a piece of string. T
his will prevent your child from being able to pull the lamp over.
Glue the lamp to the floor
Yes, parents really do this!
If you have hard flooring, then some super-strength glue such as ‘No More Nails’ could be used to secure the base of the lamp to the floor.
Of course, this won’t work if you have carpet.
You might want to bear in mind that this stuff is almost impossible to remove, so when the time comes to move home, the lamp may have to stay behind!
Choose a floor lamp with a wide, heavy base
Some floor lamps are designed to be safer to use around kids and pets.
These tend to have large, wide, and heavy bases to make them difficult to pull over.
Of course, the heavier a lamp is, the more injury it could cause if it were to be pulled over, so you’ll want to test this out for yourself rather than relying on the manufacturer’s claims.
Price is often a factor here. Cheaper lamps are flimsier and easier to topple, while more expensive lamps often have more heft weighing them down.
Hide the power cord
There are many ways that you can hide power cords to make them baby-proof.
Rubber cord covers aren’t the prettiest but they can prevent curious little fingers from grasping at cords.
You’ll also want to look for a box outlet cover.
This will cover the power outlet while still allowing you to plug in the lamp.
Choose a cordless floor lamp
Battery-powered cordless floor lamps do exist.
While they aren’t as widely available as traditional corded floor lamps, they can be a great solution if you’re worried about trailing power cords or don’t have an electrical outlet in the spot where you wish to place the lamp.
Alternatives to nursery floor lamps
Here are some other lighting options that may be a better choice than a floor lamp for your baby’s nursery.
A tabletop lamp
If you have a dresser or shelf, a tabletop lamp is an ideal alternative to a floor lamp for the nursery.
You can place it high enough that little ones can’t reach it while keeping the cord safely hidden behind furniture.
We have a Hatch touch lamp with sound machine built in, and it’s been a great addition to our nursery (click the link to see the Hatch on Amazon.)
A sensory bubble tube
Babies love sensory bubble tubes and you’ll find them in many daycare centers.
Often filled with plastic fish or glitter as well as bubbly water, these fun-looking tower lamps are designed with children in mind.
They usually come with special brackets to attach the lamp to a wall, or at least a heavy base.
A ceiling light and fan combo
If you already have a ceiling fan, you may wish to convert it into a light and fan combo.
There are some pros and cons to consider when placing a ceiling fan in the nursery, so you’ll want to do your research before choosing this option.
A dimmer switch
If you already have overhead lighting or sconces, then perhaps a dimmer switch could be a simple solution to your nursery lighting conundrum/
Dimmers are easy to install yourself with minimal skills and enable you to adjust the lighting as required.
While many people assume that floor lamps aren’t safe to have in a nursery, there are many ways that you can make them safer.
This is something you’ll want to think about if you already have floor lamps in the other rooms of your home.
If you decide that a floor lamp isn’t for you, there are lots of alternatives such as table lamps, wall lights, or overhead lights with a dimmer.
Whatever you decide, you may not need to worry about it for a while. A floor lamp is absolutely fine to have in the nursery for the first six months or so until your baby becomes mobile enough to cause trouble.
Before you go, don’t miss more nursery guides like:
- Should you put a daybed in the nursery?
- Should you put a mirror in the nursery?
- Should you put a TV in the nursery?
- When to start decorating the nursery
Hope this helps!