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Does newborn need a dark room to sleep in at night? (Curtains question?)

(21 Posts)
Plateofcrumbs Mon 17-Mar-14 08:16:04

What it says in the title really. I'd assumed I would put blackout blinds in nursery, but as baby will be in our room for first 6 months, do I need to worry about making that room dark too?

We have very lightweight curtains in our bedroom that don't really keep sunlight out at all (my preference, I hate waking in a dark room). Will this be a problem in the early months with a summer baby?

AlwaysDancing1234 Mon 17-Mar-14 08:32:47

I know a lot of people swear by blackout blinds but we had our summer born DS in our room from newborn and we have light curtains that don't keep the room dark. We never had a problem. If you find it a problem you can always put a sheet over the curtains until you can get some darker curtains or blinds

Waggamamma Mon 17-Mar-14 08:38:25

We found it really useful to help the baby distinguish between night and day, to darken the room at bedtime, minimal lighting for night feeds, hushed low voices etc. Ds nearly always settled straight after a night feed this could have been pure luck or due to establishing good night time habits, including blackout blinds, but we'll never know if it made a difference. He didn't settle well when we were away from home on holidays etc without black out blinds.

I would get them for both rooms.

ruth1104 Mon 17-Mar-14 08:41:20

Ive been wondering this too as I live in the north of Scotland where it doesn't get particularly dark in midsummer or light for long in the winter so I'm not sure if it's an advantage to 'train' my baby that dark = sleep or not? Will be watching with interest

PenguinsEatSpinach Mon 17-Mar-14 08:43:58

You can always get a stick on blackout blind rather than mess about with new curtains if you find you want one.

We do find it still makes a difference with early rising in our children (5 and 2) if they get light coming in.

greentshirt Mon 17-Mar-14 08:50:45

We've been debating this too and came to the conclusion that it probably won't matter at first as to a newborn there is no difference between night and day so it getting light will just be one of those things, they will be sleeping or not, whatever the conditions.
When we start to try and introduce some kind of sleep routine we might start with a blind then but going to see how it goes first. They are only about a tenner in places like dunelm mill so can easily pick one up if needed

Nocomet Mon 17-Mar-14 08:56:54

Yes if you have a room the early morning sun pours into, less if a problem otherwise.

Thus we don't have blinds in our room, but they are essential on DD2s East facing window as crack of dawn sunbeams shine round her curtains and into the cot.

Plateofcrumbs Mon 17-Mar-14 09:25:56

Thanks for the thoughts, keep them coming.

Unfortunately we have a massive bay window in our bedroom which means a) we do get a lot of light (and does catch early morning sunshine) and b) curtains for it cost a small fortune.

We're actually making do with some v v cheap curtains from Ikea at the moment and do need to buy new curtains - however I really wouldn't choose blackout curtains for myself (I actually hate curtains and if it wasn't for privacy I wouldn't bother with them at all).

CaipirinhasAllRound Mon 17-Mar-14 09:28:30

My thought is that if you make it really dark and this is what the baby needs to sleep, you might have problems if you want the baby to sleep at your parents/go on holiday etc

Lollypop1983 Mon 17-Mar-14 09:29:17

I had our LO in our room last April to sept, didn't bother with blackout blinds.

At the minute, we r about to move house, so rather than getting a blackout blind in his room that might not fit in new house, I've been hanging a heavy towel over the curtains to block the light out. It's been working so far

Mummyk1982 Mon 17-Mar-14 09:35:51

My mum suggested to me not to bother trying to make a room too dark- she said its good to get in to the habit of baby sleeping regardless of light. She said the same about noise- ie don't make it so the baby can only sleep in absolute quiet cos then anything will wake it up. I see where she's coming from- I'll have to decide when it's real life!!

SmallBee Mon 17-Mar-14 09:41:07

I didn't want to bother with making the room to dark for her so didn't bother with blackout blinds. But I found some cheap travel ones (gro blinds) so I thought I'd just try them. She now sleeps SO much better durning the day, her naps are longer and she goes to sleep easier. So if you're unsure don't spend loads on new curtains but maybe try the travel version. It worked really well for me.

Blowninonabreeze Mon 17-Mar-14 09:52:23

If you want a temporary solution(great for holidays too) tin foil on the windows is super easy as it moulds over the window frames and provides complete blackout.

I've spent many a holiday tin foiling velum windows!

(Suggests paranoia to the outside world though! For added entertainment I suggest the sculpting of a tin foil hat for use when opening the front door to strangers)

I've always used black out blinds etc to get the newborn to learn night from day as soon as possible. It wasn't such a big deal in the early days for DC1 but for DC's 2&3 getting them to sleep at night and to stay asleep in the morning was more important.

Now they are a little bit older I put the blinds up as part of the calm down to bedtime. In the morning as soon as they see light they think it's time to get up! DC4 is due in the summer so I will do the same thing again.

I usually buy several meters of black out lining from a fabric shop and construct something fairly cheaply. It is addictive though, if we go away I have to sort something out (usually a damp cloth wiped over the window pane which makes tin foil stick to it and that blocks out he light), that said it's worth it as on a good day they climb into bed fairly well.

I wouldn't make it pitch black - it makes feeding very difficult!
depending on your style of curtains, could you add some black out liners e.g. here to your curtains (get the best fit you can, it doesn't need to be perfect) and then when baby moves into their room, you can easily take them off, and put them on baby's curtains?

SaucyJack Mon 17-Mar-14 10:12:12

We keep a very low light on all night. Our DD (11 days) makes all sorts of peculiar noises in her sleep so I like to be able to peer over and check her with as little effort as possible.

MummytoMog Mon 17-Mar-14 10:49:02

I didn't put blackout blinds in our room - baby's room has shutters and very thick curtains, but both mine didn't go into the nursery until they were five months or so. We have shutters and get a fair amount of light through them. I also prefer waking up to a certain amount of natural light. I had one summer baby and one spring baby and both are very very good sleepers. We normally kept them downstairs asleep in a bouncy chair or clusterfeeding until we went to bed around midnight anyway, and had a sidecar crib so when they woke in the morning, they could just be rolled onto a boob.

This one will be sleeping under a velux window, so we were going to get some light blinds to keep out the glare, but not blackout.

crazykat Mon 17-Mar-14 10:51:37

You can get stick on blackout blinds for about £20. Or hang a sheet over the curtains to make it a bit darker.

I would try and make the room a bit darker but it doesn't need to be pitch black. I found that my DCs all sleep better when the room is dim. I found it easier to get them used to sleeping in a dark room even though I don't really like it, especially since we had blackout blinds in their rooms, it was less change for them when they went into their own rooms.

squizita Mon 17-Mar-14 12:01:47

Interesting. I have a sleep disorder which means I cannot sleep myself at all in pitch darkness (I've never 'slept through' in my life. Ever!).

So was wondering about this!! Glad to hear it can be just 'dark' in many cases.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 17-Mar-14 12:08:47

Our room isn't particularly light so we didn't add any thing extra to our lined curtains. Once they went into their own rooms, they had a blackout blind and curtains. It definitely helped with day time naps, and summer bedtimes as they got older.

We had a stick on travel black out blind which was useful for holidays and staying at friends/ relatives. Tin foil is best for velux windows!

Camping is a whole different ball game and the best solution is not to try to get them to bed until they're virtually asleep standing up!

VikingLady Mon 17-Mar-14 12:24:37

We have the tv on all night and DD wasn't bothered by it til after 6m. And she slept at least 4hr blocks from birth and slept fully through at about 4m.

(Don't usually admit the last bit as it sounds like boasting, but it illustrates my point!)

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