I’m not sure if there’s something in the air recently, or perhaps I’m just noticing more and more expectant Momma’s? In any case, I thought I’d give a few pointers to those soon-to-be parents who are perhaps a bit nervous about their impending sleep deprivation. As an expectant mom one of the first things we start day-dreaming about is our little one’s nursery. Personally, I scoured Pinterest for the best organization systems and decor ideas. I gave close consideration to the theme I wanted and the colour scheme, the furniture I should buy or look for gently-used. However, before my first child came into this world I had no clue how to prepare her nursery to encourage the sleep I would soon desperately wish to get from her.
When it comes to your babies nursery its important to realize the function of the room as much as its design.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have painted it a nice, neutral earth-tone and spent the rest of my time researching crib mattresses, sleep sacks and ways to encourage independent sleep from night one.
So when it comes to nurseries, I’ve got four words of advice for you.
Dark, cool, comfortable, and boring.
I know how tempting it is to adorn baby’s sleeping quarters with adorable mobiles, inspiring images, and fluffy, squishy toys. After all, this is the image we see in every advertisement that wants us to buy this stuff. Wouldn’t baby want all these cute things to surround them while they sleep?
Well, probably not.
I mean, they may like it in theory, but it’s not conducive to a good night’s sleep, for the same reasons that you shouldn’t bring your iPad to bed, or watch TV while you’re drifting off. It’s stimulating, and stimulation and sleep are best kept at a distance from one another.
So what does the perfect nursery look like?
I’m talking pitch black. Some blackout curtains or blinds are a much better investment than a colourful mural. I’m a huge advocate of baby sleeping in the same place all the time, which means naps should be in the crib. And you’ll find naps go down with a lot less fuss if there’s no light coming into the room. I’m talking “can’t see your hand in front of your face” level of dark here people.
It may sound cold, but studies show that babies sleep best in a room that is kept between 65 and 70 degrees. Obviously, you should follow your baby’s lead on this, but a warm, comfortable sleep sack or onesie in a cool room will often lead to better sleep than no cover in a warm one. Keeping baby cool and comfortable also helps to lessen the risk of SIDS.
Babies sleep for nearly half the day, so a great mattress is a sound investment. It’s well worth your time to do some extensive research and spend the money you had set aside for mobiles and stuffies on the surface baby’s going to be spending the vast majority of their time on. Which brings me to my major point...
Music and soft light, pictures of Disney characters, swirling colours and little plastic fish, all of them seem like they should have a calming effect on a baby, but it’s just the opposite. These standard nursery accompaniments are distracting and stimulating. These things can prevent baby from falling asleep, and staying asleep. Blank walls and an easily accessible changing station with a dim light for night changes and feeds, those are your best decorating choices when it comes to baby’s bedroom. At the absolute very minimum, please keep these stimulating items out of the crib.
I know this advice can be hard for new parents, because we dream of an adorable magazine-ready nursery. But bear in mind, this room serves a crucial function in your baby’s day-to-day life, and that’s to be a quiet, relaxing environment for them to get the extensive amounts of sleep that their growing bodies need. After all, the most adorable thing in that nursery will be your child sleeping soundly, no matter what else you’ve got in that room.
There will be plenty of opportunity for them to adorn their rooms with extensive amounts of knick-knacks when they’re teenagers. Until then, congratulations on your newest addition to the family and I wish you the best in navigating what works for your family. If you find that you want more education on your child’s sleep needs, or you need help teaching your child independent sleep skills so that they can fall asleep and stay asleep, don’t hesitate to book your free, 15 min Get to Know You Call by emailing me at info@SweetSleepbyCory.com.