Written by Sophie Howes from Baby Sleep Repeat
Do you have a baby on the way and are starting to think about how to decorate their nursery? Maybe you are getting yourself ready to move your little one into their new bedroom?
Along with the essentials and the decor you’re ready to take straight from a Pinterest board, you may want to make sure it is practical in supporting a good nights sleep. After all, as adults there are certain things we want from our room to help us have a restful night, and a child is no different.
Keep it dark
Arguably one of the most important aspects for a good sleep environment! Having a blackout blind can make a huge difference to how babies sleep and for how long.
By having one installed, unwanted daylight or light from early sun rises won’t creep into the room and be the reason for those dreaded early mornings or short naps. Our bodies produce Melatonin at night which is a naturally occurring hormone that helps us to sleep. When we are exposed to bright lights, the levels of Melatonin in our bodies reduce. Therefore, ensuring a child’s room is dark, will mean that they are encouraged to stay asleep for longer.
But you may be thinking, what about feeds in the night? Well, that’s no problem! Use a night light that omits a red glow – such as the Rockit’s ‘Zed’. A soft, red glow as opposed to a bright light, will keep your baby relaxed and ready to return to sleep. It won’t disturb their sleep pattern and it won’t stimulate them to the point of fully waking up.
The ‘Zed’ also vibrates to mimic the types of vibrations experienced in a car so it’s great to help extend sleep in their cot if they usually prefer a snooze on the go.
Consider the temperature and the cot
The optimal temperature for a little one’s room, which is in line with safer sleep guidelines, is between 16-20 degrees. Whilst cellular blankets are great for keeping them warm during the colder months, they are often kicked off during the night so consider a thicker sleepsuit in the winter or a sleeping bag. Sleeping bags come in a range of togs to suit the particular time of year. Until they can regulate their body temperature at 12 months old, the general rule is to wear a layer more than an adult would.
It is important to consider the sleep space and where their cot or bed is placed. For children under 12 months of age, their cot should be empty of soft toys, loose bedding, cot bumpers or cushions. If it’s situated near a window, it may get draughty or it may get too hot if close to a radiator.
Not all babies like sleeping in complete silence and this is especially true during the fourth trimester. The comforting sounds inside a mother’s womb have been their lullaby for 9 months so continuing to expose them to similar sounds can aid their settling and encourage them to sleep for longer stretches. Rockit’s ‘Woossh’ is great for playing soothing sounds throughout the night and the different timer settings ensure it can be played for shorter naps and for longer stretches of sleep. As your child gets older, they may still need gentle sounds to mask other disruptive noises that may wake them. This could include white noise, shushing, cat purring or the type of sounds heard in the womb. The versatility of the ‘Woossh’ means it can be used throughout the night to support sleep, used to play soothing sounds during the bedtime routine and handily clipped to buggies for sleep on the go!
These are some key things to consider when setting up a child’s room and they can really make all the difference to sleep success.
I’m Sophie, a Certified Infant Sleep Consultant and I work with families who have tried everything to get their little one’s sleeping better. For advice and information on sleep support that I offer, visit my website or follow my Instagram page