Room Darkening

Updated on June 22, 2012
K.C. asks from Mc Lean, VA
16 answers

We've noticed recently that LO sleeps better if the room is dark. It also helps keep it cooler and in this early 100 degree heat here in VA, cooler is better. So, right now, we have an old quilt hung over the curtain rod. Looks REALLY tacky, but it has been serving its purpose. We need to get some room darkening curtains or shades this weekend. Pros / cons to shades versus curtains? A favorite one that you absolutely love and couldn't live without for your LO? Any other options? Your suggestions / experiences gratefully appreciated! TIA!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think we're gonna go with shades since we really only need thief for this time of year. Dad on Purpose ... We're only having issues with staying asleep later in the am so we have a happy LO. without the room being darker, he's awake with the chickens!!! Momma needs her sleep too ... Thus the need. Thanks again to all!!

Featured Answers


answers from Redding on

I know walmart carries them for a reasonable price, they have a plastic backing on one side and then print on the side that would be facing you, I'd go that route, they'd work better than blinds for a kid's room.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Yeah - we thought "room darkening" was the answer too. It isn't.

All you'll do is train LO to ONLY sleep in a pitch black room. Which means when you need LO to sleep the most (hotel, grandma's, vacation)....they won't b/c it's not perfectly dark.

Plus, we went and put up the black out blinds....worked for a couple days - then he got used to that and reverted back to whining. Just gotta let 'em whine it out and learn to self soothe.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Fresno on

Two of my three boys were terrible sleepers! We even went to a special 'sleeping hospital' when they were each 12 months old to help us learn good sleeping habits! One thing we learnt was that room darkening is very important to good sleep.

We have lived in various places and the darker the room, the better. I have found curtains over a blockout blind is good, as well as curtains with blockout material behind. A pelmet at the top of the curtain will stop light coming in over the top. Also, make sure the curtain falls below the window sill, so that light doesn't filter through.

The other benefit of curtains and window treatments is that they insulate the room, keeping out heat in summer and keeping heat in the house in winter!

Of course, be careful with cords and make sure any cords are well away from children.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Just last weekend I purchased Eclipse darkening shades from Walmart - they were $9.00 each. Our room has a window on the north and east side so we get a lot of light in the morning so they certainly help.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

When we first moved in, our 'curtains' were over sized beach blankets (from Costco) held up with push pins.
They do a pretty good job blocking the light, they look good, and they wash up well, too.
We have the room darkening shades now from Pennys and they work fine.
But our son still likes the beach blanket over his shades because he likes the fish pattern and colors.
It really helps to keep the heat in during winter and the heat out during summer.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I got the BEST roller shade from It blocks out pretty much EVERYTHING in my bedroom, and you can get it made to your exact measurements. Going to be putting them up in my boys' rooms too, because even though we have room darkening & insulating drapes in their rooms, the light still comes in on the tops and sides.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

We got room darkening, cordless blinds for DD's room. They are great. What I like about them is I can have a sheer curtain in front of them for decoration but without the heavy drapery, and they neatly go to the top of the window where they remain pretty much unseen during the day. And when she naps (which is less and less!) her room gets darkened and she sleeps. Cordless is the way to go for kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I purchased a pull down shade. The paper shade are cheaper and work, but I didn't want curious kiddos tearing them. Black out curtains work as well, but sometimes light seems to come in a bit on the sides and they aren't usually cheap. With the shade it blocks everything out and I can redecorate my daughter's room and buy any curtains I want without having to reinvest in blackout curtains.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Curtains usually leave a lot of light coming through, probably a shade with curtains over it.

If your window(s) are small enough, you might try a cardboard cut out the size of the window. We did this and painted it and used stencils to match the room decor. It really cuts out the light and you can hang curtains over it. It was also a fun project.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Ha, I was too cheap to purchase and always used the quilts.. Finally purchased her eye masks when she was in 3rd grade.

When she was in high school she made herself an eye pillow. Larger than a typical one and made out of cotton, because she said the satin ones were too hot.

Remember we are in Texas.. Even in the winter it does not get really dark till later.

We also purchased a fan, even though she has a ceiling fan.. She liked it blowing on her and the low hum, kept the outside neighbor kid noises from distracting her.

Whatever you pick, make sure it covers the whole window. Top, sides and bottom.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We got rid of the blinds long ago, I think those things are so horribly ugly. We have the lined curtains to black out the sun, and they work great, but man are they expensive!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sherman on

we use these cheap window darkeners from walmart they are 5$ each and are kind like paper and they stick to the metal trim on the window itself, then you put your blind in front of it me it helps lowered out light bill nd helps everyone sleep..and when your done with them they just peel off..and they work in the winter to keep heat in..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You can line your curtains with balckout material, they are sold at fabric stores. I have black out material on all my curtains, sewing them is really easy, too. Target used to sell curtains with the blackout material as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

We use blackout curtains from walmart. They work great, and since the sun beats down on them constantly, the blackout effect has lessened slowly over time. This is a plus for us, because as someone else mentioned, it gets hard to put the kid to sleep anywhere else that isn't pitch black. The room is still dark, but no longer pitch black inside.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Potterybarn Kids makes room darkening panels that hang under your regular curtains.
We couldn't live without ours, and both of our kids have them as well.

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answers from Jacksonville on

We have blackout shades in our bedroom now. They are great, except they do let in little slivers of light at the very edges, because they fit inside the windows and obviously do not "seal" to the window frames. If you already have curtains up, then this is not going to be an issue. They are just like regular honeycomb blinds, but the back/inside is coated with a fine metal like paper that does not allow any light through.

For my daughter's room (on the front of the house so all afternoon sun, and she has double windows, so that means heat also)... I just bought "cheap" thermal curtains at Walmart. They are about $14 per panel (54 inches wide?). And they are fabulous! They have several varieties and colors, and slip right over an existing rod/pole. But you'll likely have to take down whatever other curtains you have up, unless it is a tension rod inside the window frame.
Totally easy and cheap to do. Really... $14-15 per panel. You can't go wrong!

1 mom found this helpful
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