With spring time now here and with the evenings and mornings a lot lighter you may find your child’s room a lot lighter and no one wants the sun rise to wake baby at 5am so you may be looking of the perfect black out blind for your child’s bedroom. So what is the best way to ensure the bedroom is kept dark and why do you need this? I am going to tell you why and all about my favourite products that I have tried and tested myself!
Why is it important to have the room dark for your child to sleep in?
As a certified and experienced paediatric sleep consultant (and mum!) I will always advise to have your child’s room dark. And very dark.
Very simply because light will supress the levels of the sleep hormone in the body. It also is part of the equation to wake you up. So if the sun creeps in at 5am and wakes you up, over time this will set the circadian rhythm (internal body clock) and waking at 5 will start to become a natural habit. Keep the room dark and then your body has a chance to sleep onto a more acceptable time of day like 6 or 7am.
Having a dark room will not only be a signal to your child that it is sleep time but also a signal to the brain, it will help the brain switch off, trigger that release of melatonin and be less stimulating for the brain and therefore your child will fall asleep a little easier and faster.
Having blackouts on the windows maybe a little pricy in the beginning but the long term it is certainly worth it. Asides from keeping unwanted light out it will also help keep the room cooler in the warmer months by blocking out the sun.
What kind of light effects the melatonin levels?
Day light, LED light bulbs, fluorescent bulbs and screen light from devices. Day light contains a lot of blue light. Blue light is a big NP NO when it comes to sleep. The light bulbs and screen light has the most blue light and the most profound effect on the body’s circadian rhythm.
How dark should the bedroom be ideally?
Again, very simple, if you can read a book or see your hand in front of your face then it’s too light. You need to get some black out blinds up and pronto!
What if my child is scared of the dark?
There are many ways around this scenario and firstly I will tell you that just because I advise the room to be completely dark does not mean you can’t have any light, you can have a red light! Red is at the far other end of that blue light spectrum I was talking about. It will not supress the melatonin levels so you may like to pop a red light bulb in a side lamp for your child or perhaps invest in “The Hatch”. This great tool is great for your child to also understand when it is time to get up and has in built white noise. You can control it from an app on your phone and can also work with Alexa!
(The links below may be affiliate links, meaning I may earn a few pennies at no extra cost to you if you purchase)
Here are my favourites, some of which I have used myself!
The first one I just love! It is a very simple product from good old Amazon! It is a piece of Velcro material. It comes in 3 different sizes so you are best to measure your window before you purchase. You may need to cut it to size when you get it. All very easy. All you then need to do is stick on the Velcro strips it comes with to your window frame and pop up the material. It is as easy as that.
You will need to pull it down when it is time to wake up your child but the light y blocks out is 100%. I used them myself for Leo’s room and it was like entering a cave. Not a sliver of light was let in. I have recommended this product to many clients who have also used them and had great success.
This is the link. Please remember to check the size of your window before you choose which size you need to purchase.
Velcro black out
The “Gro Anywhere” Blind
This product I sit on the fence with. It is great in a temporary way. It is fairly easy to put up and is a great travel must have because it folds up super easily and fits in the suitcase. It is also very light. But, it can let some light in in-between the plastic suckers so you may find you need to tape the extra bits to the window frame.
Here is the link
Gro Anywhere Blind
I have had parents that when they enter the bedroom light floods the room so we fashioned a black out for the door. I advised to purchase a black sheet and hang it over the door. Then Mum crept into the space of the sheet before opening the door. Genius!
Black Out Film
This option may be preferred if you are not able to put Velcro up on the window frames. It is a film that just sticks to the window. You will need to damp the window first with a window squeedgy, and then lay the film over it. It will not leave any residue behind. You just peel it off, roll it up and re fix when you need it next. Check it out Here
Other temporary solutions can be foil! Yup, foil! Just wet the window a little and the foil will stick to it very nicely and stop any light entering.
I hope this has helped guide you to find solutions for your child’s window and light situation! Please share this blog with a friend who may be looking for a solution also!