Many shift workers have blackout curtains in their bedrooms. But what about blackout curtains in a nursery? After all, babies sleep day and night. At least that’s the hope of every parent. Can blackout currents help when it comes to encouraging your baby to fall and stay asleep?
You should have blackout curtains in your baby’s nursery. Blackout curtains are effective in eliminating the bright sunlight and moonlight. Another benefit is that they help regulate the room’s temperature. Between the lack of light and maintaining a constant temperature, blackout curtains contribute to helping your baby both fall asleep and stay asleep.
When you think of blackout curtains, you usually only consider keeping out the light. But there is another reason to hang blackout curtains in a nursery. We’ll touch on this and discuss why darkness is important and healthy for your baby.
Blackout Curtains Have a Dual Function
There’s a couple of different reasons to install blackout curtains in your nursery. They, of course, will create an environment conducive to sleeping. But they also can help keep the excess cold and heat out of your baby’s nursery.
Sleeping in the Dark is Natural for Your Baby
Darkness is comforting to a baby. Let’s face it; it’s not exactly bright and sunny in the womb. When in total darkness, it’s natural for your baby to relax. In a dark room, your baby will:
- Settle down
- Fall asleep
- Stay asleep
But the keyword here is “dark.” With blackout curtains, you keep the light from invading your baby’s sleep.
Complete darkness stimulates the pineal gland to release a hormone called melatonin. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), melatonin may be beneficial in helping children adjust to a healthier sleep. You don’t want to give your baby melatonin, provide a dark room, and let mother nature run her course.
Blackout Curtains Regulate the Temperature in Your Baby’s Nursery
The temperature in your baby’s nursery should run between 62 and 68 degrees. When it’s summer, and you have sunlight blasting through the window, that temperature range can be hard to achieve. Those light and airy curtains are certainly cute, but they aren’t going to do the trick. Winter cold temps can be a problem as well. If you have old windows, a draft billowing on your baby is a possibility. But don’t be tempted to pile blankets on the infant; it’s not safe.
Blackout curtains are thick enough to keep the outside temperatures where they belong–out of your baby’s room.
There are Blackout Curtains, and Then There are Room Darkening Curtains
Although there’s debate on the degree, it’s not just semantics; there is a difference between blocking out light and darkening it. And maybe just darkening the room will suit your needs versus a total blackout. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, there are two types of curtains and each has a specific effect on the light. They include:
- Blackout Curtains
- Room Darkening Curtains
Both inhibit outside light from coming through the window when compared to regular curtains. But read the description and make sure you’re buying exactly what you want.
Buying the Right Blackout Curtains
When buying blackout curtains, start by reading the label. If you want total darkness than you’ll want to look for the words “blackout.” With blackout curtains, you’ll have 100 percent of all incoming light blocked. The label should clearly read 100 percent. If it doesn’t than they’re not true blackout curtains.
Blackout curtains do have a few cons. For one, they’re heavy. You need to make sure to use sturdy hardware when hanging the curtain rod. You don’t want them to come crashing down in the middle of the night. They’re also a little on the pricey side, and you’ll be limited with the styles and color choices. Most blackout curtains come in plain black, brown, or white. But we have your back. We’ve found a few blackout curtains that have color and style. They include:
- White blackout thermal insulated Grommet Curtains—These are 100 percent blackout curtains and have a primitive linen look. They have silver grommets and are doubled layered.
- BGment Thermal Insulated Curtain—This navy blue 100 percent blackout curtain is great for your baby boy. It also comes in red, beige, white, and mustard. It’ll give a stylish flair to any nursery.
- HLC.ME Versailles Lattice Flocked—A Complete blackout thermal insulated curtain with grommet panes, it’s sure to help you keep out the light and save energy. Its lovely lattice pattern gives it a light and airy look.
Room Darkening Curtains Keep Most Light Out
Room darkening curtains block 93 to 97 percent of outside light. They’re not as thick as blackout curtains so they’re not as pricey. They still kill the light, and like the blackout curtains, they help regulate temperature in the nursery, keeping your baby comfortable. It’s a matter of preference.
The cons for room darkening curtains are similar to blackout curtains. They’re both heavier than regular curtains. Room darkening curtains must also have sturdy hardware to keep that rod hanging. And you’ll have to decide if that 7 percent difference in blocking the light is important to you.
We discovered that there are more decorative options with room darkening curtains. Some include:
- Eclipse Room Darkening Curtains—These thermal insulated long light blocking curtains are white with yellow and blue leaves. They have a triple-weave design that does the job while at the same time looking fashionable.
- Victories Room Darkening Curtains—You’ll have a galaxy of twinkling stars with these window treatments. They’re blue with stars on them that will dazzle any boy’s nursery. Something different than the standard solid colors you usually find with room darkening curtains.
- Yancorp Room Darkening Curtains—We had blue stars for the boys; now we have pink stars for the baby girls. These curtains are beautiful. Designed with gray and pink, they have a daintiness that defies their heavy double layers.
Making Your Own Blackout Curtains
Since blackout curtains are expensive, making your own is an option. Drag out that sewing machine and get started. Make sure when measuring for the curtains that you allow extra material to avoid light seepage. Your curtain should be 6 inches wider than the window’s sides and 6 inches taller than the top. You’ll want the curtain to go down to the floor. This is the best way to keep light from creeping in.
Keep in mind this is no different than sewing a regular curtain, except in this case, you are adding a blackout liner. Now, if you really like the curtains you already have a simple solution is to sew a black out liner on them. Let’s face it, since liner is less than 10 dollars a yard, that’s a lot less expensive than buying a whole new set.
But what if you can’t sew? You can still make blackout curtains. Use metal curtain hooks to attach the liner to your curtain. The beauty to this is, you can go ahead and purchase those cute nursery curtains and then make them blackout. This way you’re not sacrificing style to keep your baby comfortable.
Can Blackout Curtains Reduce Noise?
You’ll often see blackout curtains advertised to reduce outside noise. But noise reduction and light control are not the same. If noise is keeping your baby awake, you’ll need soundproof curtains. These curtains are thicker than blackout curtains. If you think you’ve found a pair of blackout curtains that are also soundproof, check for a Sound Transmission Classification (STC) rating. A true pair of soundproof curtains will have a 20 or higher STC rating.
Blackout Curtains Can Make a Nursery Comfy, Cozy
Babies need their sleep and so do you. By using blackout curtains, you’ll help keep the first light of day from waking your baby. You’ll also make nap time more inviting since the sun won’t be peeking in. And the added benefit is that the room will be a consistent temperature. Finally, because of the release of melatonin, your baby will have a healthy sleep. Blackout curtains are a must for your nursery.