Throw Some Serious Shade: Our Readers’ Favorite Blackout Shades

Our blog series featuring our readers’ favorite baby sleep products continues with your picks for blackout shades and curtains. Read our first post, about swaddles and wearable blankets, and check back soon for more posts about white noise machines/gadgets and sleep spaces (including baby carriers).

Favorite Blackout Shades

We can never emphasize enough how important it is to keep your baby’s sleep environment cool, dark and quiet for optimal sleep. While the first installment of our series covered swaddles and blankets that will keep your little one snug and comfortable in a slightly cool room (65–70 degrees), this post is all about helping you achieve the darkness that is essential for protecting your baby or toddler’s circadian rhythm and maintaining (or establishing) a consistent sleep schedule.

 

Before we get started, a few disclaimers:

**Please make sure that you’re familiar with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) safer sleep guidelines (found here) so you can make informed decisions about your little one’s sleep safety.

**Also, please note that, although the Baby Sleep Science team has reviewed the product information for everything listed below, we do not personally test or endorse each item. Use your knowledge of sleep basics and safety guidelines, as well as your family’s preferences, to decide whether a product would be a good choice for your baby or toddler.

 

First, let’s talk a little about the science. Light exposure, in part, controls your child’s circadian rhythm, and exposure to light in the morning can reinforce an early morning waking. Light after bedtime, or overnight, can make it difficult for your child to fall asleep or can reinforce night waking the next night, causing a pattern of wakefulness or circadian rhythm disruption. We recommend the use of a very dim nightlight as needed for safety or comfort, but lamps, closet lights and sunlight should be avoided during overnight sleep.

We highly recommend blackout shades for your child’s bedroom for overnight sleep, especially as we head into a period of longer daylight hours during the warmer months. Blackout shades will keep your child’s bedroom consistently dark from your desired bedtime to your desired wake time. Blackout shades can also be useful during nap sleep, although not for the same reasons that they are critical for night sleep. Darkening the room during naps helps make the room less interesting and thus less distracting as your little one falls asleep. The options below, recommended by our Facebook followers, offer a range of prices and functionality so you can find the one that works best for you.

Redi-Shade Pleated Paper Shade

The Redi-Shade has long been one of our favorite blackout shades to recommend to parents, because these pleated paper shades are easy to install, easy to use and super affordable (less than $5 a pop!). When layered under regular blinds and/or other curtains, these shades help you achieve complete black-out in your child’s room, even during the brightest summer daylight hours. They can also be quickly clipped up to allow the light in during awake time.

Click the image below to check out Meg’s demonstration of how dark she made her daughters’ room using the Redi-Shade in the early afternoon:

Blackout shades for baby sleep environment

Blackout EZ