When I talk to families about a positive sleep environment, I always talk about blackout curtains, shades and room darkening blinds. Darkness cues melatonin, our sleep hormone, so we want to make the room as dark as possible. A lot of people ask if they should keep the room light during the day so that their baby learns the difference between day sleep and night sleep… My answer is “no”. Babies understand asleep and awake; so make it dark and help them get the rest they need!
I know not everyone wants to make their room pitch black – and you can start with it how you want it… but if you are seeing early rising during the summer or short naps during the day, darkening up the room a little can help.
A client of mine reached out to me last month to ask me where she should shop for the best blackout curtains. I have my favourites, but I reached out to my Facebook page to find out what others are using. Here are a few of the responses…
“Bouclair has great black out blinds! I have these in my daughters room and you cannot see through them at all. I would suggest they hang the curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible because some light does come through the top. Also get them longer so that less light comes through at the bottom.”
TIP! Attach tiny dots of velcro to the side of the curtain and your window frame to secure the sides and minimize the light coming in
“The Gro Company, Gro Anywhere…” There were a few comments on this recommendation including someone who posted that she has been using this for four years.
“We have blackout blinds from Ikea. They were $74 I think and 100% worth it.”
“We got cellular shades from Lowe’s. They come with a black out feature which is an extra layer of fabric. They work great in all our bedrooms as they fit inside the windows.”
There were a few Pottery Barn recommendations too!
“We bought black out paper blinds at Home Depot for somewhere around $15 and taped it to the window using thick black tape. Then we also put black out blinds on top of it (which came with the house). We used thick black tape on the outer rim of the door; this helped to block light coming in through the cracks of the door. We placed a towel along the bottom of the door and then we hung a bed sheet outside his door pinned up with thumb tacks. Another bed sheet was tacked up at the top of the stair case to keep light from the front of the house from coming in. Excessive yes, but that was the only way we were able to get our sons room to be pitch black”
There were a few comments about using garbage bags and a lot of people who use it as an extra layer.
“Another vote of garbage bags 🤣 I had blackout drapes made for both my children’s rooms but they are not fully black out. I do garbage bags and then the drapes. My son’s room gets full evening sun and it’s like midnight in there!”
TIP! If you are going to use garbage bags, put them up before your child sleeps in the room. Go in throughout the day to make sure that there is not a smell coming off the bags. For some rooms that have direct sun in the morning/midday, it can smell. If this happens, skip the bags and try a temporary shade.
Whatever you decide to use, make it dark for sleep time. When it is awake time, brighten up the room to stop melatonin production. You can make it bright by opening your curtains or turning on the light.
If you have any other ideas, let me know!
This post is not sponsored in any way. These are opinions of clients and families who have offered suggestions on Facebook!