Did you know a dark room leads to longer stretches of sleep for your baby? Here’s how to make your baby’s nursery dark so you can all get the sleep you need!

baby in dark nursery

When you’re facing sleep challenges or setbacks with your baby, there are plenty of factors that could be at play. 

When it comes to your baby’s sleep, one of the easiest things to control is the environment around them. You can optimize their sleep environment from the beginning to ensure they are on the path to better sleep.

Lots of new parents agonize over creating a safe sleep space in the nursery, choosing the right bassinet or crib, dressing baby for sleep at the ideal temperature, and perfecting the ideal baby sleep schedule and sleep routine.

But allow me to shed light on something that parents often overlook when it comes to how your child sleeps: how dark your baby’s room is!

Here are four ideas on how to make your baby’s nursery dark and signal to your baby that it’s time for sleep.

curtains in baby's nursery

Four Solutions to Make Baby’s Nursery Dark

1. Nursery Blackout Curtains

One of my nursery must haves is a pair of blackout curtains

We used them with my daughter and they were a game-changer when it came to longer naps and longer sleep-ins!

There are many benefits of blackout curtains including helping avoid overstimulation when it’s time to sleep. The darkness allows their little brains and bodies to rest!

It’s important to remember that not all blackout curtains are created equal in terms of light-blocking capabilities. For example, room darkening curtains won’t provide as much darkness as blackout curtains.

It might take some trial and error, especially if you have a specific aesthetic in mind.

We went through several different kinds of blackout curtains. After extensive research, here are a few of my favorites.

  • Sleepout Home Curtains: These are true 100% blackout curtains. Their unique design wraps around the rod, blocking out light from the top and sides as well. Use the code POSTPARTUM10 to save 10% off your purchase.
  • Nicetown Full Shading Curtains: These are the curtains we currently have in my daughter’s room and we love them. There are tons of lengths and colors to choose from, and they have an awesome black lining on the back that keeps the sun out.
  • Tee Pee Joy Curtains: Let’s be honest, one of the most enjoyable things about designing a nursery is making it as cute as it is functional. Tee Pee Joy has blackout curtains with tons of adorable prints to choose from, and the lengths are customizable to fit a variety of nursery styles.
SlumberPod to make nursery dark

2. Use A SlumberPod

If you’re looking for a way to make your nursery dark without curtains, let me introduce you to the SlumberPod.

If window treatments can’t block out all the natural light in the room, or if you still share a room with your baby, the SlumberPod is a great light-blocking option.

The SlumberPod fits over your baby’s bassinet, play yard, or crib, and creates a privacy pod, blocking out the light for your baby while allowing you to keep the lights on in the room.

It’s also a great item if you plan to travel a lot and share a room with your little one. Not only does it block out light, it also keeps you out of sight from baby so you’re not a distraction at bed time.

Families love the SlumberPod because it’s 100% blackout, made from breathable fabric, and has a flap you can open and close, making it easy to check on your baby or change them in the middle of the night.

Use the code THEPOSTPARTUMPARTY to save. Shop here

Mom and child rolling up portable curtains

3. Sleepout Portable Curtain

Once your baby gets used to sleeping in a dark room, you might wonder how to travel. That’s what makes the Sleepout Curtain a favorite for so many families!

The Sleepout Curtain is one of the best portable blackout curtains, because you can hang it in your baby’s nursery and easily take it with you when you travel.

What I love about the Sleepout Curtain is that you can install it horizontally or vertically, and it’s modular so it can adjust to fit smaller windows. 

As a bonus, the curtain adheres using suction cups, so it’s easy to put on and take off without leaving any sticky residue behind.

The Sleepout Curtain is also a great choice if you’re in a rental or an apartment and need a non-permanent curtain option.

The ease and functionality of it make the Sleepout Curtain one my baby travel essentials for sleep.

blinds to make a nursery dark

4. DIY Solution

When people say having a baby is expensive, they’re not joking! All the baby gadgets and products certainly add up.

But if you’re handy and determined, there are some low-cost hacks to make your baby’s nursery dark.

Here are a few different ways you can DIY your own blackout solution in your baby’s room:

  • Black garbage bags: Listen, I know this sounds very un-glamorous and won’t be on a list of design tips anytime soon. But if you’re in a pinch and need to use something on-hand to block out the light, chances are pretty good you’ve got some black garbage bags around the house.
  • Aluminum foil: Another material that you’re likely to have on-hand is aluminum foil. We actually used this in our daughter’s room in a rental once. We may have gotten some strange looks from the neighbors, but it totally did the trick and it was 100% blackout. Just keep in mind that the foil tends to get hot in direct sunlight, so don’t use it when temps are hot!
  • Black poster board: If you need to blackout windows temporary, perhaps the most aesthetically elegant DIY solution is to cover the window with black poster board. You might have to double up (depending on the poster board thickness), but luckily the material is easy to cut and fit to the window.
baby's nursery

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Make Nursery Dark?

Does the Nursery Need to be Dark?

Darkness is scientifically proven to help sleep in both babies and adults. 

Given the right conditions, our bodies produce a sleep hormone called melatonin. Darkness signals to our pineal gland that it’s time to produce melatonin.

Melatonin sends signals to our brains that it’s time to sleep. On the flip side, exposure to light can inhibit melatonin production.

That’s why it’s important to limit light in the room when it’s time for sleep!

How Dark Should My Baby’s Room Be for Sleep?

In my opinion, the darker you can get your baby’s room, the better!

To check if your baby’s nursery is dark enough, do the hand test.

Close the curtains/blinds and turn off the lights and put your hand out in front of you. If you can still see your hand, the room isn’t dark enough!

How Do I Make My Nursery Completely Dark?

You can make your baby’s nursery completely dark with the suggestions on this list. Blackout curtains, the SlumberPod, or a DIY Solution.

Should My Baby Nap in a Dark Room?

Some parents wonder if they should have their babies nap in the dark, too. It’s been my experience that although babies don’t need it to be super dark during nap times, it really can’t hurt!

In most cases, a dark room during nap time actually helps your baby get all of the rest that they need during the day.

I hope this has given you some ideas on how to make your baby’s nursery dark to optimize their sleep.

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