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How to Darken an Infant's Room
Sleep is important for babies' development
Day and Night Sleep
When your baby is tiny, sleeping will be no problem. They will sleep most of the time, no matter what is going on. Or at least they should. Friends still tell stories about my daughter when she was little and would stay awake for a ridiculous amount of time so she wouldn't miss out on anyting when visitors were around. She has always been a light sleeper, especially during daylight hours.
My child sleeps best in a dark room now that she's a toddler. Even when she was a baby, as soon as it was daylight, she was up and ready to go. If you have a light sleeper, you might want to consider darkening their room so that outside influences do not wake them as easily.
The Views on Daytime Naps
Some people do not like to darken an infant's room during daytime naps. They do not want to confuse their child with what time of day it is. Other parents feel that it helps their child get a longer nap when the room is darker. One option that is between the two extremes is to darken the room but not completely black it out. You could compare the room to twilight in the evening where they can see what is around them but not enough to stimulate them.
You can also darken the room for the nap and then slowly lighten it when it is time to wake up. This allows them to come out of a deep sleep slowly without startling them. The method you choose will depend on how well your baby sleeps in different situations.
Room Darkening Options
Methods to Darken an Infant's Room
The obvious choice is to buy darkening curtains if you want complete darkness. However, this is not always the case, and you may actually just want to partially darken the room. You can also buy special curtains that will keep out much of the light.
Another alternative is to buy shades that darken rooms. They are stylish and attractive and can provide the amount of darkness you want. Make sure you choose ones that are safe for use in an infant's room since some of them come with strings that could get wrapped around your child's neck and strangle them. Keep the crib away from windows, but also look at the safety of the window treatments you choose.
If you are on a budget and don't want to spend a lot of money on room darkening shades, you can always put up tint in the windows from a home improvement store. It is easy to install and comes off just as easy. Of course, this will keep the room darker all of the time and not just during naps. You can also sew some fabric to the inside of the curtains you already have to keep more of the sunlight out of the room. It will work just like the room darkening curtains and be a cheaper option.
For a no-cost option, hang a blanket that you already have on hand. You can either choose to leave it up all of the time or take it down when the child is awake. Since the blanket can be baby-themed, it will not look out of place in your infant's nursery.
Choosing to darken an infant's room is a choice that is left up to the parents based on their baby's needs. Once you decide to darken the room, you will have to select your best option based on how permanent it will be and if you want it for night only or naptime, too.