One of the first things a pregnant mom plans is the layout, furniture, and color of their baby's nursery. There are endless wall colors, cribs, and bedding choices available to choose from, and for a mom, it can be an exciting project to helm. Beyond design, a nursery is where your baby will sleep, but can your baby's nursery affect their sleep? Apparently, it can.
Romper asked Christine Stevens, a Certified Sleep Coach and author of 7 Tips to Help Your Child Get the Sleep They Need, and she says that a baby's nursery can absolutely affect their sleep. Whether they're sleeping in their own room or their parents' room, she says there are some things that will help make the environment more comfortable and encourage sleep.
Stevens says light plays a part in creating a good sleep environment. "Whether for naps or nighttime, make the room as dark as possible," she suggests. "Using blackout curtains, blankets draped over windows, or room darkening blinds are all great ways to block out the light."
Keeping a consistent sleeping location is key, too. Stevens says that babies should have their own sleeping area, like a crib or bassinet, with no other toys, bumpers, loose blankets, or mobiles. "When babies sleep in the same place and are placed in their crib, they know that it's time to sleep." She further explains that it's important to ensure that the baby's room should be for sleeping, and cutting off things like screen time one hour before bedtime will help them settle into sleep because the blue light emitted from screens can keep your baby's brain from producing melatonin, which helps prepare for sleep.
Too hot or too cold? Stevens suggests keeping the nursery at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which should be a comfortable sleeping temperature for your baby.
Another thing to keep in mind when setting up your baby's nursery is noise. Stevens says that using white noise to drown out the sounds from other children, pets, and household noises can be helpful, as long as it is constant, and low enough where you could still talk over it. White noise machines, as long as they aren't too loud, can be a great tool for getting baby to sleep.
Before painting the nursery, keep in mind that color psychology, which is when color affects perception, mood, and mental states according to The Baby Sleep Site, can play a part in your baby's sleep, too. Making the right color choice for the nursery can help keep your baby's mind calm and at ease, The Baby Sleep Site further noted. You should avoid yellows, oranges, and reds, which can excite your baby, and stick to neutrals or shades of blue, purple, or green to lead to more restful sleep.
So while thinking of the aesthetics and design when setting up your baby's nursery, don't forget to make it a comfortable, restful sleep environment, too. (You know, so you can blame their frequent night wakings on something other than the wall color.)