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7 Reasons Your Baby Obsessed With Lights

baby obsessed with lights

Although the world is a bright place, babies cannot see much after they are born. A womb is a dull place. Therefore babies take time to learn how to use their eyes. Learning how to use their eyes includes; knowing how to use the two eyes altogether, focusing the eyes perfectly, and even moving the eyes accurately. However, babies gain their vision ability within the first six months. As the baby’s brain develops, he or she starts gaining the ability to see. Gestational age is among the determinants of when your baby will gain his or her ability to see. If your baby takes longer to gain the ability to see, he or she might have a visual maturity delay. Also, smoking during pregnancy can delay the baby’s visual ability. However, once the baby gains the ability to see, he or she might become an extreme lover of light. Here are some of the reasons why your baby might be obsessed with light.

Your baby has an attraction to brightness.

When the baby has not gained full ability to see, the surrounding appears blurry. However, when the baby’s eyes land on a bright illumination, the vision becomes clearer. Therefore, the light wins the baby’s attention. The baby might spend most of his or her time looking at the bright part of the surrounding. It might appear to the parents as an obsession. But the truth of the matter is he or she does so because it is the only clear vision around. Also, it might be an exciting event for the baby to stare at the bright part of the surrounding. He or she might be trying to figure out what it.

Your baby wants to have control.

Light is natural, and you cannot stop your baby from noticing the presence of light. It might be very hard for you to control your baby’s reaction to the natural brightness in the surrounding. Therefore, your baby might let the presence of the light become the center of his or her world. May it be natural or human-made. It constantly becomes a reason for him or her to start crying in case the sun sets or you switch your lights off. The reason being he or she feels she is entitled to live in a bright place. Light is the first thing that your baby got to see. So you as the parent may not be able to comprehend his or her connection with the presence of light. He or she, therefore, demand for the lights to be on always as long as he/she is awake. Let the baby control over the one thing he or she knows.

Your baby is afraid of the dark.

Who is never afraid of the darkness? Just like any other human beings, babies are also afraid of darkness. The light provides some sort of comfort. For instance, the baby can see clearly what is in the surrounding. Some lights project beautiful patterns on the ceiling. Projections such as stars on the ceilings create fun moments in the mind of the baby. How would the baby choose the darkness over such a beautiful moment of his or her life? Also, babies are not capable of differentiating between fantasy and reality. Therefore when in the darkness, they get a reflection of day time events—for example, clowns from TV programs and bedtime stories. Also, babies are usually curious creatures. Since they have a lot to learn yet, they, therefore, need light to keep seeing more and more in the surrounding.

Your baby might be Autistic.

Autism is a disorder that affects babies’ developmental milestones. It is normal for babies to stare at lights. However, as the babies grow, their eyes’ sensitivity to light should also increase. You should, therefore, watch your baby’s reaction to light as he or she grows. You should know whether he or she tries to look at anything else in the surrounding. If not, then it can be considered a sign of Autism. Autism affects the baby’s ability to diverse his or her attention.

Babies display autism signs and symptoms from birth. The signs occur differently in different babies. In some babies, the signs are mild while on others are severe. The autism signs and symptoms appear before the baby turns three.

Light is a temperature monitor.

Human bodies have levels of temperature at which they get comfortable. Just like any other human being, a baby can feel the warmth of the surrounding. In his or her own words, the baby will tell in case of changes in the surrounding. For instance, when you switch off the lights, the baby can feel the impact on the room’s temperature. Therefore, the baby might cry to mention he or she is not comfortable with the current levels of temperatures. Remember, warmth soothes the baby, making it easy for him or her to catch sleep.

This obsession might indicate a developmental issue.

At the age of around six months, the baby gains the ability to form a three-dimensional view of the world. Also, they can see in-depth and differentiate colors. So the baby will focus on different objects and events in the surrounding. Also, when the eyes’ muscles mature, the baby can look around. So do not be afraid when you see your baby strictly focusing on the brightness in the room. It is because the strength to see or to move the eyes around can only reach the source of the light.

Is your baby’s obsession with light related to sleep?

Babies often try to touch or manifest in the real world whatever they dream about. The internet is full of information to help you figure out if your baby is dreaming about lights. It’s actually quite common for babies to dream about random items, including lights. To understand more about how your baby’s sleep can be related to a light obsession, click that link.

64 thoughts on “7 Reasons Your Baby Obsessed With Lights”

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  3. When I’m carrying my 11 month old around the house he points at clocks, mirrors, lights, fans and grunts and grunts and grunts. He locks in and is fixated on them and gets frustrated if I don’t acknowledge them. Like always, we can’t walk past a light without him doing it. He wants me to take him up closer and tell him the words. I’m just wondering if that’s normal or verging on obsession.

  4. Normal. My daughter is almost two and she still loves lights, fans, and turning on anything with a switch. The first thing we could reliably get her to point to was lights. Now she loves to turn them on and off and point them out wherever we are so I can marvel in their wonder with her.

  5. Mine too! He LOVES the ceiling fan and any lights. I always say those are his “friends” haha. A lot of times, if he is fussy, I will walk in the kitchen and turn the lights on and he chills out. He’s obsessed and 12 weeks tomorrow!

  6. My guy is only five months but he’s the same way. My baby knows where every light in our house is! Some of them, he’s never seen them turned on but he seems to have made the connection regardless

  7. Our 26 month old is obsessed with the concept of on/off: lights especially, but also fans, curtains, doors, etc. He is very bossy about all these things. We decided he couldn’t get his way all the time, and he gets so pissed about it.

    To his credit, he’s pretty good about saying “mad!!” while losing his mind. But lose his mind he does.

    I figure this is par for the course and we just need to stick it out. It’s not helpful that every room has a light fixture of some kind.

    We verbalize/validate his emotions and compliment him on calming down (eventually) and otherwise just keep him safe while he goes through that process. Are we doing this right?

    First kid, if you can’t tell lol

  8. Honestly I would absolutely not make this the hill to die on if this were me. I think this is a trying to control what they can control in their environment thing. Let him turn the lights on and off to his hearts content until he gets bored of it, I wouldn’t think about it as a power struggle.

  9. Honestly I try to say yes to my kid as much as possible, because he is a lot easier to be around when he feels like he’s “winning” and listens better to me when I do have to say “no.” The fastest way to piss of a toddler is to say yes one day to only say no the next, let alone in the same few minute span. My suggestion would be to decide if he can or can’t l, and stick with it. We let kiddo have a stool so he could reach them and then he got bored sooner. There were two switches he wasn’t allowed to turn because they were the Internet, for example, but it’s a lot easier to redirect him to other switches, pairing that “no” with a yes.

    Another strategy is to say “okay, we can flip the switch five times!” Then count, and after that day “all done.” They understand better when they have warning the end is coming and are in control of when it happens.

  10. Going to follow. Our little guy is 21 months old and has been obsessed with these things from the womb. He now has a step stool he walks around with to play with all the lights and switches and such. We let him do it as long as he’s safe and not being destructive. We also got him a busy board from Etsy to redirect him to when it becomes an issue ( like when we’re cooking and he’s making the kitchen lights strobe). Pretty sure it’s par for the course.

  11. When I see things like this I think of a little girl I had in my classroom who was just under two and obsessed with pushing buttons, she also would say and do things to see if her classmates would react (nothing harmful, just running away laughing and then looking to see who was following her. ) she was exploring cause and effect and it sounds like maybe your dude is too. I recommend planning some less frustrating/disruptive or unsafe activities for him to explore cause and effect (think vinegar and baking soda volcanoes), maybe redirect him to toys with buttons, that make sounds and give a reaction. Watch what else he’s doing over and over and over again and see if you can build on that.

  12. As a suggestion with the lights – have you tried a tactile board? We made our own with switches, zips, pulls, knobs, all of the things. This seemed to help at least for a bit! Make it known how special it is that it’s all his, and it’ll last a bit longer.

  13. My son loves turning on and off the light switch and I was going to make him a sensory board with a light switch that wasn’t attached to anything, some locks, etc. things like that. Maybe you can give your LO something like that to redirect to when he wants to play with the actual light switches and what not!

  14. There is nothing wrong with setting boundaries as long as they are consistent. I wouldn’t let him play with the lights one day but not the next. Personally I found the light switch thing passed pretty quick when I showed her how to get a stool to reach and let her go nuts. She got board and mostly leaves them alone.

    I always try to stop and think about why I am saying no. Is it hurting someone? Is it breaking something? Is it so annoying I can’t deal? I think as adults we knee jerk to “no” sometimes because whatever they want to do wasn’t part of our plan, isn’t something we would do, or is just a little weird. I try to avoid saying no for those reasons.

  15. My 2 year old also loves lights and turning things on/off. It doesn’t really bother me too much. He has a plastic slide thing in his bedroom that is actually right next to the lightswitch, so that’s the only one he can reach. I dont care if he turns the light on/off in his bedroom….Or if I want it to stay off, I can just pull the lightswitch on the ceiling fan and then the wall switch does nothing 😛

    Sometimes he’ll ask me to turn on other lights in the house, and I usually just say “no, we don’t need that light on right now. We have plenty of light already” and he’ll get bored and move on. But maybe if you give him ONE light switch he can play with, or as others have suggested maybe a flashlight or lantern…Then maybe that will satisfy his obsession and help him to be less upset about other lightswitches

  16. How about a light he is allowed to switch on and off? There is a portable light switch that is a little light you can get him so its not a whole room. Or a child friendly night light. My 18 month old also really likes a small flash light that is literally a dollar. He cant switch it on himself but likes running around with it.

    I let my 18 month old close (aka slam) the door when its time to and he relishes it.

  17. Flashlight with multiple settings. Sensory lights a really fun and cheap DIY. Now 3yo DD has a disco type of rainbow light/lamp, unicorn coloring changing light ($8 thanks Amazon), string beads on her doorway (my poor dog lol) our DIY was clear flex hose that’s about a 2 inch diameter, lightly painted them then handed her a flashlight so she make a rainbow one color at a time. Edit..you can get small colored balls to match the hoses and secure them to a wall or box for sorting colors too. When DD goes to play with them I get 10-30 minutes of quiet

  18. We got this little portable light switch for him to play with! If we were more clever, we could have made a busy board but the light switch was fun enough.

  19. Is he on the spectrum? My brother (28 now) has always been obsessed with fans and lights. Apparently this was one of the signs that helped with his diagnosis. Hes high functioning and lives a normal life but if he hadnt been diagnosed I wonder if it wouldve been harder. Just throwing the idea out there if you havent considered it.

  20. When this type of interest lasts beyond the normal developmental stage, it can be an indicator of larger issues. Sounds like what your brother’s spectrum assessment was made on.

    The psychologists and behavioral professionals have their work cut out for them with really young folks. A huge majority of kidlets are exhibiting normal behaviors that engaged parents worry about because society at large under-prepares us all for the intensity of young kids’ behavior. These kids will grow past the behaviors. The few who are actually experiencing a neuro or cognitive difference are hard to identify because criteria are hard to differentiate from developmental stages and criteria are usually based in and applied to older folks.

  21. My 3.5 month old (16 weeks, 11 corrected) is absolutely obsessed with ceiling lights and air conditioning vents. If he spots them, he gives them the biggest smiles and coos/gurgles. Every single time without fail. He smiles a lot at us too, but when he’s looking at the lights etc, it’s really hard to get his attention as he’s just so fixated on them. When we are out with other people, he spends most of his time looking at these kind of objects rather than responding to them. Is this normal/common?

    Thanks in advance!

  22. My son was also obsessed with ceiling fans and lights. We had some fun out of it and took his first field trip to the lighting/ceiling fan section of homedept. He was a bit overwhelmed and would hide his face in my arms. But the look of awe on his face when he would peep out was hilarious! 10/10 would recommend a little field trip during a non busy and quiet time at Home Depot!

  23. Absolutely normal. Our pediatrician said its something they look for during the visits, that the baby pays attention to the lights in the office.

    Our baby was so focused on our ceiling fan, and stared at it so intently, we called it his nemesis.

  24. Yes. Totally normal. My boys got so distracted by the lights at that age that feeding time took ages.

  25. Our 14 wo likes staring at different light sources, but his one true obsession is the pillowcase on one of our sofa pillows – it has a black and white print of monkeys swinging from palm trees. He looks at it so intently that he sometimes goes cross-eyed, and smiles and coos, he never gets bored of it. Recently he’s figured out that he can reach out and touch it, so now he keeps stroking it, too.

    I guess we’re only number two on his list of favourites 🙄

  26. My 15 week old is obsessed with ceiling fans. Obsessed. Smiles and talks to them so much that we have named the couple we have in our house. Our pediatrician laughed and said her kid was the same way.

  27. Haha I like that you have named them! It’s reassuring that your pediatrician wasn’t worried about it – I’ve just been obsessing over him obsessing over lights. It’s exhausting haha.

  28. Completely normal. Our baby was obsessed with every natural and man made light source, staring and smiling at light seeping around the curtains or lights on the ceiling.

    Also vents but not to the same degree, I wonder if it is the striped colour contrast between the vent material and the air gaps.

    At that age their eyesight is still not great with colour so contrast and brightness are fascinating.

  29. Thank you! This is really reassuring. Parenting seems to just be about endlessly finding new things to worry about.

    I think the obsession with vents is definitely related to the striped colour contrast. But like yours, he much prefers any and all kinds of lights haha.

  30. Having a baby that’s obsessed with lights is super normal. My 8 week old son likes looking at lights too. My niece did as well, she wouldn’t stop looking at the Christmas tree when it was up.

  31. My second baby was like that as a newborn! Loved lights so much! She eventually switched to liking to look at people and animals more, but a new or multicolored light is still quite fascinating! My first baby would stare at a particular corner frequently. We joked that she was looking at a ghost.

  32. Our newborn (9 days) is starting to be more alert, but it seems like all she wants to do is stare at the lights, like, dead center on them. Is this abnormal? Should we try to advert her gaze to protect her eyesight?

  33. Normal. here is a little heart touching story. My BIL’s son with his first wife was sent home basically to die after a traumatic birth. They told them he didn’t have brain function, he wasn’t “there” etc. This was about 18 years ago. His dad hung some Christmas lights in his room and the nurse told him for some reason to take them down, that it didn’t matter anyways. The mom ended up taking them down, and the son became really fussy after that. For several days. His dad said you could see him looking around. Eventually he got mad and put the Christmas lights back up and his son was more relaxed after that. He said he knew then that he would be okay. And now…18 years later, his son has graduated, is in college, and doing great!

  34. My special little… guy loves lamp. At 16 weeks he’ll still find the lamp in the room and stare at it, even if it’s not switched on. Should have called him Brick.

  35. My baby was like a moth to the flame. Still is. LOVES the Christmas lights. I got a free app called “Baby View”. He loves it. I also got the Munchkin night light/projector for his room.

  36. Totally normal, babies love lights. They can’t see very much other than light vs dark and very high contrast things up close.

  37. This is normal and healthy. Newborns have very poor eyesight and so they focus on the things they can see, like lights and faces.

  38. My 7-week-old baby will stare at the lights on the ceiling or lamps alllll the time. Even when they’re off she stares like she’s waiting for them to turn back on. This can’t be good for her eyes?

  39. My husband sent me a pic of our 10 week old in the lighting section at Home Depot with the caption “heaven”

  40. Our did that too. He’d stare at the dome-shaped light, with the bump in the center and we’d joke about his interest in the “ceiling boob.”

  41. Totally normal. My baby was at a Christmas party in a church hall last year (7 weeks) for mother and toddler group and Santa came in through the door at the back of the hall. I was so impressed that she was looking at him, but it turns out it was just an especially nice fluorescent light she was looking at. Santa walked on by with his jingle bells and she stared at the back of the hall all through the carols and presents.

    Oh well, there’s always next year!

  42. My 3 month old has been doing this since about that age. We joke his first words will be, “I love lamp.”

  43. Yeah, my 9 week old baby does this. He’s more interested in the lights than people. I was beginning to get really concerned about it but it turns out that it’s normal. Look up wonder weeks – week 8.

  44. Very normal. New babies have poor eyesight so the lights are super interesting to them cuz it’s something they can see!

  45. Totally normal. My 4 month old has been staring at lights since she was born. Only reason I know it’s normal is because my 5 year old nephew stared at lights for the first 6 months of his life. Vision is just fine.

  46. Hi- my son is 19 months in a week ish. For about a month or two, he’s been obsessed with lights, fans, and switches. So much so, my very handy husband made him his own light switch with a little light bulb.

    It’s to the point that when people come over, he immediately takes them to point out the lights. He asks them to hold him up and let him turn it on and off. If we didn’t stop it, he could do it for an hour for sure I’ll bet.

    He used to love fans, but that’s less so now. It’s specifically lights and when he sees a light on, he knows a switch must be nearby and must find it.

    It’s kinda weird, right? Should I be worried?

  47. I cannot get my little baby girl to stop looking at our lights, and they are SO BRIGHT! When she plays on the living room floor, she stares at our track lights, and there is really no way to cover them up! I don’t want her to hurt her eyes. Fortunately, she does not like when the sun is in her face, but I am starting to worry about her staring at open bulbs. Anyone else?

  48. I have noticed that during evening when we have the lights on in the house, my 2 month old daughter will keep on staring into the lights. Most of the light bulbs in the house is exposed (ie. no covers around them), making them very bright.

    Is this harmful to her eyes, or can I find peace in the fact that she perhaps can’t focus very far and thus only sees a blurry light that fascinates her?

  49. The kid is totally obsessed with the light switches around the house. It started when one day he was going up the stairs with our nanny, he pointed to the switch so she picked him and let him switch it on and off. I guess she never imaged it would turn into an obsession. So the biggest issue now is when I get home at night. He throws these endless tantrums if I don’t pick him up to reach the switches. Too make it worst he only wants the lights off at night. I can’t get anything done in the dark. I’m walking around with a flashlight – which he could care less about. I’m at my wits end over this….seriously after a long day at work I have to come home and deal with this. Someone please tell me they’ve been there and it just another phase that will end soon. Do you let your LO touch the switch?

  50. How old is your baby? Both my kids went through light switch phases, but not to the point of getting angry when they had to stop. They were interested in it for about 5 minutes at a time. I don’t want to scare you, but thought it would be important to mention that light switch obsession can be, but isn’t always, an early sign of autism. Again, it could be nothing and just his interest, but maybe something to monitor and mention to your pediatrician. Here’s some reading I had done earlier this year when my ODS was being evaluate for autism because he had a speech delay. It’s a long read, so if you want, you can skip down to the section on repetitive behaviors.

  51. My daughter went through a phase of being obsessed with lights! Still does love them. Her first baby sign was actually for “lights.” So she’d walk around all day signing lights. It was so cute!

  52. Hi, my baby is obsessed about light, ceiling fans and keys. I am also a bit worried about autism, but he also points, shows and give us things, which are good indicators, so I dont know what to think… people told me these obssessions can be normal with their age, that it is only a worry in older kids.

  53. My baby likes lights he can control. We have a lamp with a pull chain that he pulls down off of the table and plays with all the time (it’s a paper lamp shade and our bulbs are LED so it’s plastic and he doesn’t hurt himself or the lamp). He also knows how to twist the lamps that have the little knob (can’t think of the right word) so he climbs on the couch to reach that one. I didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about before reading this thread!

  54. You are not alone. All 3 of my boys have been obsessed with lights as babies. My youngest is currently fixated on lights, fans and hats.

  55. Hmm. Autism is a multi symptom condition. Just being interested in lights and light switches is not a sign of autism by itself. At one they’re probably just truly making the connection that the switch controls the light and that’s a very exciting realization. I mean just think about what people thought in the late 1800s when light bulbs were invented! I mean a switch that controls a light? Incredible!

    In the case of autism, there would be many more signs than just being fascinated by lights. And it’s totally normal at this age to get frustrated when something fun gets taken away.

    Mine also likes lights. Every morning he points at the light switch and starts jabbering. If I turn on the light he bursts into laughter. If I ignore him his jabbering gets angrier and angrier. lol.

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