Gro Blackout Blind
If you’ve read my post How to get a Toddler to Sleep Through the Night – 5 top tricks, you will know that I recommend blackout blinds are installed into your children’s bedrooms. Before we installed permanent blackout blinds, I trialled whether they would improve my son’s sleep by using the Gro Blackout Blind for a few weeks. Here’s a brief summary of how our sleepless nights took a turn for the better from the day our Gro Blackout Blind was delivered….
- Likely to encourage longer naps and later wake up times
- Adjustable to most window sizes (maximum 130 x 198cm)
- Cheaper than installing fixed blackout blinds
- Timely to put up so removing in between each nap is not feasible
- Can fall down if not stuck on perfectly with the attached suckers
7 months old – 45 minute naps and 5am wake ups…
Our son had a difficult start to life. He was born slightly premature (3.5 weeks) and taken to the neonatal unit of our hospital for 4 days. He had reflux, and was diagnosed with CMPA (cows milk protein allergy) when he was 4 months old. I had completely eliminated dairy from my diet for 3 months in order to continue breastfeeding him, and STILL he wasn’t sleeping very well.
The little man had always been a very sensitive baby. He startled in a big way when there was a loud noise, he cried 90% of the time when we put him in the bath, he didn’t like to be too hot or too cold.
One of the parenting books that I was reading, called Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, suggested that there are 5 types of baby personality, and that “Touchy” babies (essentially the sensitive ones), sleep best in complete darkness, with white noise playing in the background, and no distractions.
My son’s nursery already had blackout blinds, however with it being a south facing room, on sunny days, the sunlight would creep down the sides of the blind and light up the room. Definitely not what I would call “complete darkness”, so I set about rectifying this. Initially, I took a black bin bag, cut it up, and stuck it down the sides of the blind to block the extra light.
My son usually only napped for 45 minutes before crying out to be retrieved, and then spent the rest of the day grumpy and overtired. That morning he slept for a blissful 90 minutes and woke up happy and gurgling.
The problem I had with the makeshift bin liner blackout edging is that I had to make sure it was positioned properly each time I closed his blind. Being such flimsy plastic, I had to rearrange it and make sure it was blocking the sides of the windows.
8 months old – our turning point 🙂
I stumbled upon the Gro Blackout Blind when reading on forums about how to darken babies’ rooms, and ordered one from old faithful Amazon. With my Amazon Prime membership it arrived the next day, and I set about making the room dark again.
The Gro Blackout Blind fits most windows – it has suckers all around the edge of the fabric, so you can fold it to fit smaller windows. The maximum window size that it will fill is 130 x 198cm, but if your window is bigger than this, you can easily use 2 of the blinds stuck side by side.
Once the Gro Blackout Blind was in place, and I rolled down his fitted blind, the room became pitch black. Perfect. It really was a turning point for our family.
As I mentioned earlier, we had a tough time for the first few months. Life with a baby who doesn’t nap and is waking you up as soon as the sun comes up in the morning can make for one very grumpy mamma. Once the blackout blind was in place, I felt like I got my life back. During a 90 minute nap, I could spend 30 minutes doing some housework, and then sit and relax for an hour and feel refreshed ready to play when he next awoke. Sleeping in until 6.30 or 7am became the norm, and let me tell you, that kind of wake up time becomes known as a “lie in” when you are a parent!
Value for money: 5/5
Price: RRP £29.99
Buy from: Amazon.com (currently £20.00 at time of writing)
Something that could result in hours more sleep for both baby and parents and only costs £20.00… it’s a no brainer! As I mentioned above, you won’t find the time to take the blind down and put it up again in between uses, and the style of the blind isn’t too harsh on the eye but just a bit of an eyesore if you will be having it hanging up 24/7.
Do you believe that sleeping in total darkness really helps your baby to sleep? Please post your success stories or any questions in the comments below, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.