A picture of the sleepout blackout curtains which are perfect baby blackout curtains

Baby Blackout Curtains

When it comes to blackout curtains, there are so many options with very little information about the features you should look for as a consumer. Most information talking about the best types of blackout curtains are simply reviews and there is very little information pertaining to the features you as a consumer should look for. While these reviews are helpful and are necessary as they show you options. 


Adult and Baby Sleep Statistics

They do not always go into depth about the features you should specifically look for when you are in the market for blackout curtains. Today we will go through the features you should look for. 

Before we get into the features a blackout curtain should have, let’s look at the statistics of why sleeping in complete darkness is optimal for your health. 


Would You Believe Me If I Told You That 33% of Americans Don’t Get Enough Sleep?


According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), adults need 7 or more hours of sleep per night for optimal health and well being. That being said, the figure below shows that one third to one half of the population do not get enough sleep!

The percentage of adults that sleep less than 7 hours based on geographic location in the United States of America

Would You Believe Me If I Told You That 57% Of 6 Month Old Baby’s Don’t Sleep 8+ Hours Consecutively? 

Now that we covered adults, let’s look at the statistics for babies! These are the direct statistics taken from the national sleep foundation

The first graph shows the recommended hours of sleep for a baby/child according to their age. 

The amount of sleep newborns, infants, toddlers, preschool and school-aged children require based on age

The second graph shows the percentage of babies that do not sleep for 6+ or even 8+ hours consecutively at night. Do not worry you are not doing anything wrong, every baby is different and some babies take longer to start sleeping throughout the night. This could be because their sleep cycles have not aligned yet. The last thing you need to do is stress about this. 

The percentage of babies that are 6 and 12 months old that do not sleep 6+ and 8+ hours consecurtively

The study that found this information also noted that there were no detectable impacts on a child’s physical or mental development if they were not able to sleep for these long consecutive periods as a baby.  


The Effects Of Light On Sleep

This information isn’t new to anyone as I am sure that most people know that sleep is good for them but the disconnect occurs when they do not know what measures to take that WILL improve sleep. 

A study in the Journal of Psychiatry Investigation found that dim light at night which is defined as 10 lux or less significantly reduced total sleep time, sleep efficiency and decreased rapid eye movement (REM) latency. For reference, a night light on a building is about 60 lux!

What these results mean is that light from outside is six times stronger than the light that is required to have a negative impact on your sleep quality and duration. In fact the results also found that this level of light can increase your REM sleep (the state of sleep where you dream).

A potential reason why this form of sleep increases was discovered in a recent study out of the University of Surrey which found that daily stress increases REM sleep. This means that even light that we consider to be “dim” can cause you stress! This is very new research so new information is constantly being updated but the results are very interesting! 

 A person that is struggling to fall asleep because her room is very bright and light sensitivity is one of the biggest disruptors of sleep

This information can relate to babies as it's even more important for them to sleep in complete darkness as they are still developing their circadian rhythms. In fact long term health consequences are related to a baby developing an inappropriate circadian rhythm. As such, infants and children should only be exposed to light during the day and have little to no light exposure at night as this will promote a normal circadian rhythm development. 

If babies are exposed to light at inappropriate times, this can lead to shifts in their internal clock which is harmful for development. Also, remember that your baby spent 9-10 months inside a womb that is completely dark, warm and loud from rhythmic heart beats. Creating an environment like this for them will only allow them to sleep better! 

A picture of a baby in a womb. A womb should be completely dark, loud and warm

Features To Look For In Baby Blackout Curtains 

There are several features that you should consider before purchasing a baby blackout curtain. 


Baby Safe

Well duh, if you want to get something for your baby it's always important to ensure it's safe for your baby! When looking for baby safe blackout curtains and portable blackout curtains there are two aspects that you should consider. 

The first aspect is the safety of the suction cups it comes with if you choose to go with portable blackout curtains. Suction cups should never be a choking hazard! 

A picture of the sleepout suction cup that has a locking mechanism to ensure it will stay up

You would be surprised at how many recalls there have been for suction cups because they were too dangerous for children. And they were in KIDS TOYS!! 

 

That being said, if you want to read more about the features you should look for in suction cups check out our blog post on the topic.

The second aspect that applies to both portable and stationary blackout curtains are the quality of materials as well as the toxicity testing that the company has done!

Some companies will claim that their curtains are blackout when they are only 80-90% blackout. That’s like saying “I passed my math final by getting 30%”. In what world does this make sense? To ensure that your curtains are 100% blackout look for 3-passes or 3 layers.

Toxicity testing is another perimeter that you should definitely consider. In fact, for blackout curtains, the only testing required for Canada is to ensure that it is not flammable! Otherwise there are no additional tests that are required. For the US it is slightly different, there is Proposition 65 but this only applies to California. Otherwise there are no other safety regulations required for these curtains.

Now that I have sufficiently scared you, here’s the good news. The two certifications you should look for are greenguard and OEKO-TEX as this ensures that there are no volatile organic compounds, BPA, phthalates or heavy metals in the product.

An image of what greenguard and OEKO-TEX certifications look likeIf you want to read more about what compounds can be found in blackout curtains including what they are as well as how dangerous they are be sure to check out our blog post on it! 


Easy To Install

This is a very important feature that should not be overlooked. This is where portable blackout curtains have an advantage as they are well, portable. Portability is very important as it gives you peace of mind that no matter where you are, you will be able to put your baby down for a nap!

A woman being able to easily put up the Sleepout Blackout Curtain

Click here to read more information about why you need portable blackout curtains!


Lightweight/Easy To Pack

Baby’s change everything! Whoever says that they don’t has never had one! Speaking of which, I have never heard a single person say that baby’s don’t change everything so I’m starting to think no one has ever said that. Nonetheless, your schedule will constantly be changing, so you need a blackout curtain that can respond to your everchanging schedule. Ideally, they should easily fit into any carry-on bag or suitcase.


“The very and I mean very last thing you want is to be travelling and having to sacrifice a good night’s sleep or clean underwear”. 

A man sleeping because the Sleepout blackout curtain is portable and can be taken anywhere

 

To Summarize

  • Adults need 7+ hours of sleep every night for optimal health.

  • Babies have different sleep needs based on their age (refer to graph for exact numbers). 

  • It’s PERFECTLY normal for your 6-12 month old baby to not sleep 6+ or even 8+ hours consecutively.

  • The key features you should look for in blackout curtains are 100% blackout fabric (3 passes), baby safe (suction cups are not a choking hazard and fabric is greenguard and OEKO-TEX certified), your curtain should be easy to install and very lightweight/portable.

Now We Want To Hear From You!

Which statistic shocked you the most?

Are there any other features that baby blackout curtains should have that we left out? If so, what are they?

 

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