You learn so much as a new mom! When I first decorated Harper's nursery, I had no idea we needed it to be PITCH BLACK. I bought decorative "blackout" curtains and thought we were set -- little did I know those would not be enough. In this post, I'll share how to make your baby's nursery the ideal sleep environment.
Designing your Nursery for Sleep!
- Blackout curtains- By blackout curtains, I mean that when you turn off the lights in the nursery you cannot see ANYTHING. When baby is sleeping, any ounce of light shining through will signal daytime and suppress melatonin production. Without a completely darkened room, you might face early morning wakings and short naps. We have 3 layers of curtains in Harper's room. We searched for permanent blackout shades, but had such a hard time fitting our windows. We settled on these paper ones and surprisingly they have held up for 1 year now. You can use tacks to make them more secure on top of the sticky tape. We are able to open the window during the day as well! These ones are also really great, they go on the outside of the window. When in doubt, use black trashbags and cover the window until you can find a permanent solution!
- Sound Machine- You'll want to have white noise on whenever your baby is sleeping, The ideal volume is 60-65 decibels. I check this using a free app on my phone, We love this sound machine and use the "fan 2" setting at 61 decibels, which sounds the most natural to me.
- Cover small lights- You'll want to make sure all LED lights are covered on baby monitors, humidifiers, fans, sound machines etc. Any small light can catch your baby's attention upon waking and prevent them from falling back asleep. Another tip: red light is the only light variation that does not signal daytime and decrease melatonin production. We used the Hatch as a red light for night feedings and wakings, especially when Harper was a newborn and we were sleep training.
- Safe Crib- It is super important that your baby's crib is as safe as possible. AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) advises against anything in the crib until they are at least 1 year old. They also advise against bumpers, due to risk of suffocation in young babies. Bumpers can also become an assist for climbing out of the crib in older babies. You want a tight fitting sheet and breathable crib mattress, we use the Newton. Check out this website for more details on safe sleep.
- Humidifier- We originally did not buy a humidifier for Harper's room, but then realized we needed one to keep her stuffy nose under control. I'm a fan of the Frida Baby Cool Mist humidifier. Cool mist is great for year-round and when baby is sick, and this model has a light if you want it, but goes pitch black, which is perfect for sleep time (see above on covering up small LED lights).
- Fan- If you have a ceiling fan in the nursery, I would use it! Fans are proven to reduce the risk of SIDS and circulate the air, a bonus in the winter when it can get stuffy with the heat on. We turn the fan to blow upwards, so it is circulating the air, but not making Harper too cold.
- Sleep Sack or Swaddle- You don't have to use either, but the swaddle is a great tool for soothing baby and controlling their Moro reflex. Once they can roll over to their belly, you'll need to stop using the swaddle and move to a sleep sack. We love the Kyte baby sleep sacks -- they are roomy and last forever! Remember, no loose blankets or pillows in the crib, which is why a wearable blanket/sleep sack is a great option!
I hope that helps you create the perfect sleep environment for your baby! If I had to chose any of the helpful tips from above, I would say the blackout curtains are KEY.
Nichole @ Little Peach Sleep
I only recommend products I have personally used for my family and myself. All opinions expressed here are my own.