We’ve all seen the Pinterest worthy nurseries with gorgeous natural light. Am I the only one thinking “It’s too bright in there!!!” While natural light makes for a great photo, it usually means poor quality of sleep. The darker the room, the better the sleep! To help you make baby’s room super dark (without aluminum foil), I’ve rounded up my top choices for creating a dark nursery environment for your child. PLUS, I’m giving you options on how to blackout even those odd shaped windows in baby’s room!
Before we jump in, I have to confess that since I was a toddler I’ve slept in what my Dad lovingly calls “Rebecca’s Cave” ha!! I’ve wanted it to be as dark as I can be for sleep since I can remember! In fact, growing up my Dad would fasten plywood wrapped in a blanket (I can only imagine what the neighbors thought!) during the summer so I could fall asleep at 8PM. Even now I sleep with an eye mask every single night!! Sure, you’re eyes are closed while you’re sleeping- but your closed eyelids can actually still register sunlight and artificial light while sleeping! It’s important to keep a room 100% dark to ensure the best quality of sleep.
Even with closed eyelids, our brains can still register the sun. When light enters in, your child will simply be triggered, “Sunlight! Time to wake up!” OR… the reverse would be, “Sunlight! Why go to sleep?!”
The darker the room, the better we ALL sleep. So YES, you’ll want to invest in a quality option that will last for years to come. Elementary children (and teens) need 10-11 hours of sleep each night. The first step to solving your child’s sleep is to ensure their room is nice and dark for optimal sleep length.
Have a child who is scared of the dark! That’s oaky! It doesn’t mean they can’t have a nightlight like the hatch clock or a salt lamp. A soft amber/red glow don’t affect their quality of sleep like a blue or white light…or direct sunlight! Find an option that works best for your child’s room, and keep it up for a long time to come!
Okay, so Blackout EZ covers aren’t curtains or even blinds. However, these window liners are awesome! They come in a variety of colors, and can easily be cut down to fit those awkward sizes windows. I had a client with a half circle window above the traditional rectangular window. She ordered the white EZ covers, cut it down exactly to size, and it’s still up 2 years later! Which does mean that these can either be placed up permanently, or removed. In our last home we used these as permanent solutions in the summer. Our girls room was on the third floor so it was pretty hot May-August. We kept these up day and night in those months to keep it cooler, and also to ensure a 7:30PM bedtime. Since the sun doesn’t set until close to 8:45PM here, we needed the best solution for nights!
BLACKOUT EZ COVER PERSONAL REVIEW-
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ An awesome solution for odd shaped windows, nurseries that get hot in the summer, a semi-permanent solution, true blackout, and quality that lasts!
Not recommended for rentals or taking on-and-off every day.
Three years ago I bought curtains at Target because they were cute. (Like most of us do 😂) To my surprise, they really were blackout!! The Pillowfort Blackout Twill curtains are the real deal. In fact, I’ve suggested to clients who purchased Pottery Barn curtains to go grab these $20/panel curtains instead! You can even choose from the solids OR patterns, just make sure it says ‘blackout’ in the item description. We use these year-round with the girls. During the winter it blocks most everything expect for the top and sides. Since this is always an issue with curtains (unless you have the EZ Covers), I actually suggest grabbing on this 15 foot of velcro! We have attached the velcro to the wall so it’s easy to press flat at bedtime.
PILLOWFORT TWILL CURTAINS PERSONAL REVIEW
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️A great (cute!!!) solution for adding ontop of blackout shades!
Will also need blackout blinds underneath
With over 3,000 5 star reviews these Nicetown Blackout Curtains seem to be beloved by families! These made my list because of the huge size selection!! At our first home we had a 104” window in Big Girl’s room that I struggled to find a solution for. Here’s to wishing I could go back in time and purchase these!! Many of my clients are also into the light-and-airy nursery feel, so having LIGHT colored options are perfect that also blackout! As these curtains come in a variety of colors and sizes, I knew you’d want to know about them!!
We’ve used these Redi Shade Paper Blackout Blinds in our rental when we couldn’t install Blackout EZ Covers and they’re wonderful! Paired with the Pillowfort curtains, we have a perfectly pitch-black room! I believe you can find them in smaller packs at Lowe’s for $7, but since they’re paper- I’d be all up for stocking up incase a rip/tear happens!
As a more permanent solution, the Chicology Cellular Blackout Shades are idea! Make sure you select ‘Blackout’ when selecting the size you’d like They’ve got other options for ‘light filtering’ but for a child’s room you’ll want the blackout shade PLUS a nice curtain. The exact brand we used in our last home is not available on Amazon any longer, so these are going to be the next ones I grab for our new home!
Of course, what’s a blog all about blackout solutions without mentioning the SlumberPod! The number one pushback I get from parents on darkening the child’s room is, “This will just make it hard to travel!”
You’re kind of right! But since your child sleeps BEST in a dark environment (*source*) we can actually re-create that dark room while away from home!
For a quick and easy on-the-go option for babies up to preschool, SlumberPod is your answer! Use code LITTLEZSLEEP to save $20 on your pod, and enjoy a well rested vacation!
Wanna just DIY your way to great vacation sleep? This blog on how we use foil to darken our girls room while away from home is still a hit!
I know there’s a million and one solutions for keeping your child’s room dark, so I’d love to know! What works best for your family? Have you found THE solution that you share with everyone?! Tell us in the comments!
A 100% dark room is the first step to solving early morning wakings! Most of the time, this totally solves early morning wakings. But if you do this and your child is STILL convinced 4-6 am is time to start the day, you’re ready for our Early Morning Wakes Sleep E-Coaching™ Program!
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