Monday, August 26, 2013

What Worked for Me: Making the Baby's Room (SUPER) Dark

To start this post off, let me direct you to My Baby Sleep Guide's Top Sleep Tips Post. This post is seriously life changing--or at least it was for me.

Sleeping Reed, three days old
Two weeks after Lila was born, we moved (great timing, I know). The house we moved into had zero window coverings and, well, we live in the desert so it's essentially bright all day long. Lila's room was one of the worst as far as brightness-factor goes. Ryan was at the beginning of busy season (he's a tax guy) and I was two weeks postpartum and trying to keep three small children alive, so window coverings were not extremely high on our priority list. So we did what anyone would do: we nailed a blanket over Lila's window. Her room was instantly uber-dark.

A full month later, we had family coming in town who were kind enough to help Ryan install the blinds we purchased the day before they came. Blanket down, blinds up, check. That weekend, there were a lot of people who wanted to hold Lila (of course)--they were meeting her for the first time. So when her naps started to be an issue after everyone left, I just assumed she was used to being held. However, despite my best efforts, her naps kept getting shorter and shorter until she was only napping for 30 minutes at a time. I tried everything, to no avail.

I read My Baby Sleep Guide's Top Sleep Tips Post yet again and the part that explains creating a good sleep environment--including a dark room--slapped me in the face, essentially. The new blinds? Yes, they blocked out light, but not nearly as effectively as the blanket had. Ryan re-hung the blanket over the blinds when he got home that night. The next day, each of Lila's naps were at least 1.5 hours long. Hallelujah.

So there you have it. Perhaps it's a little ridiculous, but I'm willing to make the room super dark to get my baby to sleep. Have you tried anything crazy to get your baby to sleep? Does your baby need a dungeon-like darkness to stay asleep?

Stay tuned for my next post, where I'll highlight a few slightly less ghetto options to help darken the room.