How Darkening Curtains Can Help Your Child Sleep

Darkening curtains can dramatically extend the time your child is asleep by preventing light from disrupting it. Let’s dig into how this works and why you should consider hanging these curtains in the room he sleeps.

darkening curtains

Why darkening the room helps your child sleep

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Does your baby take forever to fall asleep at bedtime or wake up throughout the night? Are morning wake-ups inching earlier and earlier in the morning? Or are naps ridiculously short, sometimes to the point where putting him to sleep takes longer than the time he’s actually asleep?

Many of these problems can go away with the help of darkening curtains.

You see, any light can disrupt his sleep, from the hallway light peeking underneath the door to the neighbor’s car pulling into their driveway. While you can control whether to turn the hallway light on or not, you can’t exactly control what goes on outside his windows (much less the light of the sun).

By hanging darkening curtains, you can keep his room as dark as possible to signal that it’s still time to sleep. After all, he’s awake when it’s bright—simply by keeping the room dark, he’ll be more likely to fall and stay asleep.

That way, his room is dark even if sunset isn’t until 8pm or sunrise already happens at 5am. No matter the time of the day or night, the consistent darkness of the room can help him sleep comfortably.

This is especially important if he’s learning how to fall asleep on his own. Create a conducive sleep environment that helps him as much as possible to do so.

Tips for choosing and hanging curtains

Add sheer white curtains and a double curtain rod

The type of darkening curtains is totally up to you, but I do recommend that you also purchase sheer white curtains behind the darkening ones. This means you’d also get curtain rods that allow for two sets of curtains, one in front of the other.

That way, during the day, you can pull back the darkening curtains and keep the sheer curtains closed. This allows light to go through while still giving you privacy. Then when it’s time to sleep, you can draw both sets of curtains closed to keep the room dark.

Hang the curtains low enough

I also recommend that you allow enough of the darkening curtains to cover the bottom of the window instead of letting the curtain sit right where it ends. Otherwise, light can still peek through.

You might even want to test it out by holding the curtains up during the day to see if that height is enough to cover the light.

Alternatives to darkening curtains

I’ll admit: When I was sleep training my eldest, I wasn’t exactly in the market to buy and install darkening curtains. Even though I knew it would benefit him in the long run, I needed a quick alternative just so I could get started.

Thankfully, there’s another option. Enter the black garbage bag.

If you’re in a bind and want to keep your child’s room dark right away, simply hang black garbage bags over his windows. This is often enough to block out the light and is a great temporary measure to buy you some time before you get your real curtains installed.

The bottom line

The right sleep environment can help your little one sleep well, including keeping his room dark. Whether he wakes up throughout the night or is up by 4am, darkening curtains can help make these problems go away.