Your Baby Is Not Afraid Of The DarkJul 28, 2021
Your Baby Is Not Afraid Of The Dark
Hi tired parents!
I’m here to share a gentle sleep tip – your baby’s room should be DARK for your baby to sleep her best.
Why? Because when the sun sets at night, the body produces the sleep hormone melatonin. And at nighttime, any exposure to light will disrupt the production of melatonin. If you want your baby to have deep restorative sleep, the room should be super dark.
How can you make the room dark enough?
Blackout curtains are a tired parent’s best friend! Blackout curtains are made with an opaque fabric so they block out all light – like the thick curtains in hotel rooms.
Blackout curtains are helpful during naptime, when you’re trying to convince a kid to sleep when it’s bright out. They are also helpful for extending sleep in the early morning as it gets brighter. (If you’re struggling with 5am wakeups … definitely check if any light is getting through cracks in the curtains!)
You can also cover any lights in the room with electrical tape and even use tape to close any gaps between the curtain and the window.
If you don’t have blackout curtains, you can get creative. I’ve spoken to parents who hung up sheets over the window, or even used black plastic garbage bags to cover the gaps.
What about nightlights?
I don’t recommend keeping a nightlight on all night for small babies. If you have to give a night feed or change a diaper, just turn the light on briefly if needed. A newborn baby is not afraid of the dark. Your baby has emerged from a dark womb where she felt perfectly secure! If you have an older toddler it’s possible they may express some fear of the dark and request to have a light on, and that is just fine. My older daughter does this and it drives me a little crazy because I know she’d have deeper sleep in a darker room, but she does use a nightlight.
Although my focus is on baby sleep, all of this is true for adults too! You’ll sleep better if you get off electronics an hour before bedtime and keep the room dark in the night.
P.S. My book Sleep, Baby, Sleep is here! You can find it on Amazon at bit.ly.com/kerrybook
Cozy Little Sleeper, a 3-week course for newborns age 0 to 4 months
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