Blackout Blinds: helping your child to sleep

When the summer months are upon us it becomes increasingly more difficult for any of us to sleep if we choose to have an early night, so there is little wonder that children struggle the way they do.  It doesn’t seem to matter what age your child is, whether they’re a baby or a preschooler, they can all struggle when the light nights appear.

You can explain to your child as much as you like about how the clocks have changed and how its light at bedtime but they’re still not going to be too pleased about having to go to bed when it’s still light, and they’re going to find it even more difficult if the light is shining through their curtains.

When this is the problem the only real solution is to either lock your child in the cupboard under the stairs like Harry Potter, or invest in a blackout blind.  If you get a perfect fit for your window frame, these blackout blinds are an extremely effective way of shutting out the sunlight when your child is trying to get to sleep.

Blackout blinds and babies

Quite a common problem when getting your baby to sleep through the night is the change in season.  If you’ve managed to do this in the winter season, even though your baby naps during the day, they will not be used to sleeping at night with the sun streaming through the window.  Night time sleeps are the deepest, and sometimes if you don’t manage to get your baby off to sleep early enough they can get what’s called “locked out” and it’s quite possible that you will find them restless all night and unable to enter the deep sleep they need.  If you fit a blackout blind before the light nights begin to creep in you’ll be able to maintain the consistency of your night time routine throughout the spring and summer too.

Fitting a blackout blind

Fitting your blackout blind is as simple as fitting any other blind, the only difference is that you will need to be very careful when you select the size.  If you get one that’s too small you’re likely to get light creeping around the sides of the blind, and sometimes this can be just as distracting as light shining through a pair of curtains.  Ensure that you consider where you’re going to put the brackets for the blackout blind and try not to put them on the inside of the frame, too close to the window, because this will almost certainly turn out to be a bad fit and let light around the sides.  If you’re in any doubt about fitting your blackout blind it’s a good idea to ask a professional, or at least someone that’s done it before to do it for you.

Mobile blackout blinds

Because we’ve become a nation of travellers, so too have our children.  Therefore it has become necessary to take our blackout blinds with us.  You can’t always expect to have blackout blinds when you go away on holiday or stay with friends and family, but your children may still need that comfort in order to get a good night’s sleep.

The mobile blackout blind usually comes in a handy bag that allows you to fold it away and pack it into a suitcase or underneath a pushchair, and it’s fully adjustable to fit any size window.  It attaches in minutes; and what’s even better than this is that you don’t have to get your drill and screwdriver out to fit it!

This article was submitted by Baby Security, the Baby Safety Superstore.  Baby Safe UK stock an excellent range of baby comfort and safety items and also stock the mobile blackout blind.

Baa Baa Blackout, Have You Any Sheep To Count?

As any parent knows there is one guaranteed way to ensure that your darling little baby falls asleep, and remains in a deep sleep for hours. Invite the doting grandparents or relatives who live 200 miles away to drive over specially armed with their video camera in order to capture the delightful giggling antics which your child has been practising just lately.

But at any other time of course getting a baby to fall asleep can be extremely difficult, and this is often made harder due to light pollution. In fact light pollution has recently been in the news, with experts recently expressing their concern that over half the population of the UK could hardly see any stars at night because of this very problem.

The test involved asking people across the whole of the UK to count the number of stars which they could see in the Orion constellation. Orion’s Belt is one of the easiest constellations to see in the sky, comprised of three very bright stars in a row. In fact I looked up at the sky on the night in question, and apart from the three stars of Orion’s belt, and Orion’s head, I couldn’t see any other stars at all. Of course, living in the heart of a city centre does make it is rather difficult, with street lights and neon signs making it very hard for any of us to either see stars, or get to sleep at night.

But it’s not just at night time that it can be difficult to help your baby get to sleep due to light. Obviously young babies needs to sleep throughout the day as well, and it is always a big problem, since young babies needs to rest frequently, yet they are also programmed to respond to bright light. So what is the solution?

You may have heard of blackout blinds. These are often roller blinds which have a special lining which blocks out virtually all light, even during the brightest summer day. This means that drawing blackout blind will create the sort of dark room one might expect in the middle of the night in the middle of the countryside. This makes it ideal if your child needs to have a nap during the day, or is having difficulty sleeping at night because for example there is a street light right outside their window.

But what about if you are visiting family or friends? Or perhaps on holiday? There is a solution here as well, because there are a number of blackout blinds and blackout shades now on the market which are portable. These portable blinds can be packed up very easily, and then quickly fixed to any window using suction cups.

These portable shades stretch to fit most sizes and shapes of window, and can be fixed in place in seconds. So whilst you might have a made-to-measure blackout blind in your child’s nursery at home, when out and about having a portable blackout shade can often make the difference between a grumpy, unhappy child who can’t settle but who desperately needs to do so, and a peacefully sleeping baby.

If you are on a reasonably tight budget, which so many families are of course these days, and you don’t yet have a blackout blind then I would highly recommend that you opt for one of these portable blackout shades. For most of the time you can have this shade fixed in your child’s nursery, but then if ever you find yourself elsewhere and your baby needs to have a nap, then you will have a portable solution that helps both them and you get much needed rest!

Blackout blinds form a key part of a bedtime routine during summer

Being so far north, the UK has very long hours of daylight during the summer months. At this time of year, the sun rises at 4.40am and sets at 9.20pm, meaning we get over 16 and a half hours of light each day. This can be very problematic for babies’ sleep patterns once they have started to react to light and dark.

As a matter of fact, not only babies react to the daylight. Many adults experience sleeping issues like waking up too early due to the early sunrise during some seasons of the year.

Fortunately, there are measures which can be taken and a blackout blind is perhaps your greatest ally. Where curtains and conventional blinds will still allow a certain amount of light to enter the room, blackout blinds do as their name suggest, blocking light completely.

Even better, there are portable blackout blinds varieties available that can affixed to any window via suction cups, meaning that even if you go away for a few days, you can still create a suitable sleeping environment for your baby.

Don’t assume that a blackout blind is a cure-all though. Your baby won’t react instantly as soon as you remove light from the environment. Your baby needs to move towards sleep gradually, winding down just as you yourself do.

It is good to establish a bedtime routine to encourage this. Many parents include bathtime as part of this, but whatever you do, the important thing is to keep the routine calming and consistent.

Copyright 2020 BabySecurity © a division of EDPA Limited, Infant Care Specialist

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