Light-Blocking Shades Set the Mood for Sleep

Posted on: May 5, 2010

When new parents first feather the nest, window coverings don’t always flutter to the top of the list.  Once baby starts sleeping in her own crib, though, it seems the room can never be dark enough.  (Even the tiniest power lights will get a piece of electrical tape.)

Invest in superior window coverings and you may need nothing more than a lullaby to send baby off to Dreamland.  Our top pick is no snooze – the OptiLight Blackout Honeycomb Shades from Smith+Noble.

OptiLight is a novel window blind that combines a solid light-blocking and insulating honeycomb shade with a pleated sheer shade deployed top-down for daytime privacy. Smith+Noble also offers basic blackout honeycombs in petite and grand sizes, but for <$100 more in most sizes we like the versatility added by the sheer, especially for first floor bedrooms or other rooms with a view.  Best of all, you can order these blinds with the Cordless Lift System for built-in child safety.

Hard-working honeycombs don’t just block the light, they add insulation – Paul Fisette blogs on Fine that an average home may lose 30% of its heat or air-conditioning energy through its windows.  Honeycomb (aka cellular) shades are particularly effective blocking both light and heat in summer months, especially in south or west-facing windows.  To keep nursery temperatures more constant or boost the efficiency of a window air conditioner, keep shades fully deployed whenever the room is not in use.

For a near-total eclipse, layer on a light-blocking curtain or curtain liner.  The Sailcloth Blackout Panel and Blackout Panel (to line an existing curtain) from Pottery Barn Kids are truly substantial and come in several sizes.

If all else fails, try working from the outside in.  eHow contributor Gemma Argent has a bright idea for planting bamboo to block light outside a nursery window.  Bamboo has a dense and vigorous growing habit and can be notoriously hard to control once established (eHow also provides good tips for keeping it from spreading).  On the plus side, it grows quickly – up to 60cm a day in the right soil, which is certainly faster or at least on par with your little babe.  Also, consider the zen factor – the verdant view from the window, and the calming sway-swish are a meditative boon to sleepy kids and parents alike.


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    • JHeff: I have read a good number of comments about most users of the boba not really ever using the foot rests. Looking at the videos I've seen, the back on
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    • Cathy: I know this is a couple years old but I ran across this post and was so excited when you said the Boba was made in America - a big selling point for m

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