Relishing those long summer evenings, but an early sunrise means baby is ready to go long before you are? You need to find the best blackout shades for nursery or nursery blackout curtains.
Don’t you just love this time of year, when the evenings are long and full of light and you can sit in peace and quiet outside? Littlees all tucked up in bed. Then in the morning, you can enjoy the gentle sunrise and natural light creeping in through the curtains. Knowing you don’t have to get up yet.
That is unless your baby wakes up.
An early sunrise often means an early morning waking from your little one. Waking at 5 am or even earlier, is not uncommon for newborns. If the sun has come out to play, why shouldn’t they?!
While light might not be the only issue in your newborn waking too early, it’s almost for certain part of it. So preventing the sunshine from streaming into baby’s sleepspace with nursery blackout shades or blackout curtatins long before you want to get up is essential.
Altogether it’s not that difficult to black out the nursery. Whether you’re looking for blackout shades for nursery, blackout blinds or blackout curtains, you’ll find the best options right here.
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What Are Baby Blackout Curtains Or Shades?
Blackout curtains, blackout shades & blackout blinds might look no different, but they are made differently to their non-blackout versions. In fact, there are three ways blackout lining is made:
- Two-pass blackout lining (two layer construction of blackout material) – lightweight but might not offer 100% blackout, depending on the color of the curtain or shade – 95-100% blackout is the norm
- Three-pass blackout lining (three layer construction of blackout material) – thicker, heavier material that blocks out 100% of light.
- Triple weave blackout fabric (three interwoven layers of blackout fabric) – also block out 100% of light.
So for the best blackout blinds, curtains or shades for nursery, go for three-pass or triple weave blackout fabric.
Baby blackout curtains & blackout shades do more than block out light
Nursery blackout shades and curtains also provide extra insulation and can dampen noise. Perfect if you have noisy neighbors or live on a busy street. It’s certainly worth a try! Even more reasons to find the best blackout shades for your nursery.
What’s The Difference Between Blackout Shades Or Curtains And Room Darkening Ones?
The difference is in the amount of light blocked out.
Blackout curtains & shades should block out light completely
The exception being light-colored curtains with a two-pass blackout lining. With the best blackout shades up, the only way light gets into the room is if you have gaps around the window or cracks under the door.
If you took a torch and shone it behind a blackout curtain, blackout shade or blind, you shouldn’t see any light shining through the fabric. 100% of light is blacked out.
Room darkening curtains aim to darken, not block out
They have a fabric liner which thickens the curtain and prevents as much light passing through. But it doesn’t have the total light blocking out effect that blackout curtains or shades do.
If you shine a torch through room darkening curtains approximately 5% of the light will seep through.
How Blackout Curtains or Shades Can Improve Your Baby’s Sleep
If you’re wondering do blackout blinds help baby sleep longer and do babies sleep better in dark rooms, the answer is a big, fat double yessss.
By longer, we’re talking longer naps in the day and a later wake-up time in the morning (as in more like 6.30 am/7 am rather than 5 am). By better, we’re talking fewer wake-ups, as well as longer sleeps…
There are four main factors why baby’s sleep longer and better in dark rooms:
#1 Newborns spend most of their time asleep in very light, easily disturbed sleep stages
70-80% of the time newborns are asleep they’re in the light sleep stages of “active” and “transitional” sleep. This is a protective mechanism that allows baby’s brain to check in that everything is ok.
As adults we do the same, coming into light sleep several times in the night to allow our brain to check in – do we need to take a pee or have a drink.
Babies and particularly newborns do this even more so, since their needs are greater, particularly their need to eat regularly when teeny tiny.
At around 3-4 months, when sleep matures (the dreaded 3-4 month sleep regression) babies become much more alert and into semi-consciousness between sleep cycles.
When they become more alert, you don’t want light to disturb them because…
#2 Light suppresses the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin
Melatonin is released by the pineal gland in our brains and helps regulate sleep patterns. As darkness falls, levels of melatonin rise helping our bodies and brains get into sleep mode.
#3 Light in the early morning stimulates the production of cortisol
Early in the morning, high light levels stimulate the release of cortisol, helping the body wake-up and get into gear for the day. (Source).
Keep the room pitch black with the best blackout curtains for nursery for optimal sleep: they’ll help your baby sleep later in the morning and longer during day naps.
Some say that you shouldn’t use blackout curtains or shades in the day as light will help establish your baby’s circardian rhythm and help fix day night confusion.
I’ve used blackout curtains for day naps for all 4 of my babies from day 1 and found them essential to getting those proper, restorative 2+ hour naps in the day. Blacking out baby’s nursery is an important and simple gentle sleep training solution to try.
Whether you want baby to sleep through the night or hep settle them in the bassinet, it really is a must.
#4 Finally, newborns are soothed and comforted by darkness
A newborn has just spent 9 months in total darkness while in utero. Being in darkness is familiar and comforting to a baby.
Taking baby out of bright lights is one of the many things you can do when baby is fussy to help calm and soothe. Ensuring your newborn’s sleep space is pitch back with some blackout shades for nursery is a must.
So baby blackout curtains will help calm and soothe and induce sleep
By taking your baby somewhere dark for sleepy time in the day or at bedtime, you’re helping their bodies produce melatonin.
In addition, you’re eliminating light as a potential disturbance in the early morning or for naps in the day when in those light sleep stages. You’re not allowing cortisol to get a look in.
A dark nursery will help you keep and instigate a healthy sleep routine and improve their quality of sleep.
Blackout shades for the nursery are a no brainer!
What To Look For In Nursery Blackout Curtains
So, we’ve covered the why you need to black out baby’s room. Next question on your lips is probably: how do I blackout my baby’s room?
If you’re already googled best blackout curtains for your baby’s nursery, you’ll probably have discovered that there’s a lot of choice. Firstly, here’s what you need to look for:
#1 Ability to block out 100% of light
If you’re going to invest in baby blackout curtains or shades, then they need to blackout 100% of light. This is number 1.
If there’s any info on the type of blackout lining, steer clear from nursery blackout shades with a two-pass lining as these may not be 100% blackout.
#2 Your existing window set up
Before purchasing your blackout curtains, take a look at the window they will cover and what sort of hanging style you’ll have.
If you have a curtain rod, it’s almost impossible for even the best blackout shade to block out all light as the curtain cannot sit flush with the window. Light leaks around the sides. You’re probably going to need something else on the inside of the window as well.
If you do want to stick with a curtain rod, you can install one with wrap-around ends so that the curtains wrap around the window opening from end-to-end.
I can’t say I’ve ever seen these up and while these will block light either side of the window but I’m wondering how much light they’ll allow in top and bottom. You still may need to line the window with some form of blackout blind or film.
Tracks are less common these days but are definitely the best option for blackout shades for baby’s nursery, since they hold the curtain flush to the wall. I’ve just replaced curtain rods with curtain tracks in my 4 and 5 year olds room and in the process of doing so for the twins room.
These are possibly the worst if you want to make baby’s nursery room pitch black. Althogh not impossible, it’s very difficult to get the blind flush with either the window or the wall. It depends on your frame and window and where you can install the mechanism. It needs careful assessment.
If you prefer blinds to curtains, roman blinds can provide total blackout, so these are the ones to go for.
#3 Future-proofing styles and colors
You may want your baby blackout curtains to match the nursery decor. But what about in the future? Will your baby quickly outgrow the pattern or style you choose? What about if you choose a “boy” pattern and then you want to use it for a baby girl down the line?
Will the nursery ever be changed into a guest room?
#4 Length of time room will be used for baby
If the room is only going to be used for your baby temporarily, you can use something more temporary to make the room pitch black.
For example, we have twins on the way. The recommendation is for babies to stay in the room with mom and/or dad for the first 6 months, but there’s no way we’re going to all fit into the nursery. So they’ll come into the room with us in the meantime.
For these first 6 months the windows will be lined with blackout lining under existing normal curtains.
Another option is to line the existing curtains with blackout lining – but that depends on how flush your curtains hang to the wall/window.
#5 Safety and practicality
If you go for blinds, consider the safety aspect. You don’t want any long cords that could pose a safety risk to your baby as they grow and start to explore their room.
Last but not least, you’ll also want to check to make sure your blackout curtains can be washed – we are after all, talking about a baby’s room and we all know how far poo-namis and sick-explosions can travel!
Some of the thicker fabrics may state that they should only be dry cleaned, so just be aware if this isn’t something you don’t want the hassle of.
18 Best Blackout Shades, Curtains & Blinds For Your Baby’s Nursery
Best PERMANENT Blackout Shades & Curtains For Nursery
When it comes to permanent blackout curtains for baby’s room, there’s an overwhelming choice. Considering all the different types of blackout curtains and what’s important when it comes to choosing blackout shades for the nursery, here are 6 that fit the bill, and the best options for each category.
1. Best EYELET/GROMMET blackout curtains for nursery (plain colors)
It’s often difficult to find white blackout curtains but here we have these blackout curtains from Nicetown. They receive rave reviews about their light-blocking ability as well as their insulation and soundproofing effects.
Just note that they are very heavy, so make sure your curtain rod is up to the job.
2. Best POCKET ROD blackout curtains for nursery (neutrals)
Alternatively, for a rod pocket design in lovely neutral colors (beiges, creams and muted colors), try these blackout curtains from H.VERSAILTEX .
3. Best PATTERNED blackout curtains for nursery (grommet/eyelet fitting)
These navy space-themed baby blackout curtains for nursery from Vangao are just the thing for an outer space themed nursery. What’s more they’re made using triple weave technology, so effectively block out 100% of light. They’re also machine washable and come in a few different color options.
However, for the best blackout curtains for nursery, choose the navy ones pictured. The paler ones will not fully block out light.
4. Best PINCHPLEAT blackout curtains for nursery
If you like the pleated style of curtains, you’re going to love these pinch pleat nursery blackout curtains from Magic Drapes. They’re simply stunning.
Using triple weave technology, they block out 100% of light so these are true blackout.
PLEASE BEWARE THAT THESE COME IN LOTS OF DIFFERENT SOLID COLORS BUT MOST ONLY BLOCK 70-80% OF LIGHT. ONLY THE BLACK AND WHITE CURTAINS BLOCK 100% LIGHT.
5. Best VELVET blackout curtains for nursery
For a luxurious look and feel try these heavyweight velvet pinchpleat blackout curtains for the nursery from Letau.
NB: THESE CLAIM TO BLOCKOUT 90% OF LIGHT BUT SEVERAL CUSTOMER REVIEWS CLAIM TO BLOCK OUT ALL LIGHT. PURCHASE WITH CAUTION!
6. Best LINEN LOOK blackout curtains for nursery
Going for a woodland, safari or green nursery scheme? Then soft furnishings and blackout curtains with a rustic and natural look are what you need. Try these 100% linen affect blackout curtains for the nursery.
Best PERMANENT Blackout Shades & Blinds For Nursery
Whether you want blackout blinds for nursery or blackout shades, it’s going to be tricky to get a good fit. Here are a couple of options.
7. Best blackout ROLLER BLINDS for baby’s room
It’ll be difficult to stop light creeping in around the sides of roller blinds. So, even though this roller blackout shade for the nursery is meant to block out 100% of light, it’ll only be effective if you can install one that fits the window perfectly.
You want the blackout blind to either sit flush against the window or overlap a little. You’ll need to measure carefully and check your window frame and fitting to see if this is achievable.
8. Best blackout ROMAN BLIND or SHADE for the nursery
If you want blackout shades or blinds in the nursery, rather than curtains or drapes, roman blinds are a much better option. It’s much easier to get them to sit flush to the wall, but rarely come in 100% blackout material.
If you’re dead set on blinds in baby’s nursery, then your best option is to have them custom made. This Etsy seller makes roman blackout blinds in custom sizes using 100% light-blocking fabric, but they don’t come cheap.
Otherwise, you can use your existing (non-blackout) blinds or buy the ones you want and then line the windows – see next section.
Best Options For Blacking Out Baby’s Room Without Blackout Curtains
Don’t want to buy new curtains? Have your heart set on some pretty nursery curtains that won’t block enough light out? Then you may be asking:
What can I use instead of blackout curtains or shades?
Well, you can simply line the windows with blackout material. Blackout winow coverings won’t be as aesthetically pleasing as dedicated blackout curtains. But, remember the goal: to get your newborn sleeping longer in the morning and taking nice long naps in the day.
If you’re sleep-deprived then I’m sure that’s going to be your top priority.
As long as you get a good fit, lining the windows themselves may actually be the most effective way to make baby’s room pitch black. This way, there’s absolutely no chance of any light creeping in around the sides.
Plus, once you draw your existing curtains or some really cute nursery curtains over the top, you won’t see whatever you’ve chosen to line the window with.
A final option is to line your existing nursery curtains with blackout material. But remember: the light-blocking ability will only be as good as the fit of those curtains.
Non-blackout curtains for baby’s room
These curtains with a sheer overlay are divine and They do have some blackout properties, but only claim to block out 60% of light.
They’d still need to be used in conjunction with one of the blackout window lining options below.
These dinosaur nursery curtains are certainly not baby blackout curtains. They offer no shading from daylight but would be cute for a baby boys nursery to conceal the blackout liner or blind underneath.
9. Adhesive blackout WINDOW SHADE or FILM (semi-permanent solution)
These static blackout films adhere to your window and stay in place for as long as you need them to. They don’t leave a residue so you can remove them and put them back up again.
However, they’re really for semi-permanent use. You’re not going to be able to remove them and put them back up daily.
One advantage of this type of blackout shade is that they can be fitted to any window of any size. Great if you have super huge windows or odd shapes, like triangular windows in the eves. Simply cut to the exact size you need.
We’ve used them in one room in our house and they do an incredible job of blocking out light. They’re certainly the best blackout shades for the nursery I’ve had personal experience with – let me tell you I’ve tried a few!
I should caveat that with: as long as you fit them correctly. Which we didn’t with the one window.
We cut them a fraction too small, so there was a tiny gap of a few mm between the edge of the film and the window frame. It’s amazing how much light those gaps let in.
If you go this route, rather cut them a fraction too big to ensure a really snug fit.
These ones from Velimax come in black or white:
10. Velcroed blackout shade WINDOW LINER/COVER
Unlike the adhesive window film above, you can simply roll them up whenever you want. To install these blackout shades in the nursery, fit a strip of velco at the top and bottom of the window frame and velcro the liner onto it.
11. Velcroed blackout shade WINDOW LINER/COVER – DIY VERSION
This is a DIY option for the ones you can purchase above. It works extremely well for blocking out 100% of the light and living in rural Africa for our first two babies, was our best option.
All you’re doing is velcroing a large piece of blackout material over the entire window and frame, so it’s actually attached to the wall. With your existing curtains drawn over the top, you won’t see the material.
What I love about this option for blacking out the nursery is that you can remove the shades daily easily and if you do a good job of installing them, once the nursery curtains are drawn over the top, you’d never know they were there.
However, be warned! If you come to move house or want to remove the lining permanently, if the room no longer needs to be blacked out 100%, removing the velcro will take the paint off. We found this out, but having used them for 3 years, it was worth the repainting the room needed.
Instructions for making your own blackout shades or window liners for the nursery
You need blackout material, velcro, contact adhesive, as well as a few skilled helpers for sewing (velcro to blackout material) and DIY (measuring and gluing).
Then you need to:
Measure the window you want to blackout out
Add a few inches either side. You want the velcro to lie under your existing curtains when drawn and the top line of velcro to lie under the curtain pole or immediately under the curtain track. This means when the blackout shade is removed in the day, you’ll barely notice the velcro.
Cut blackout material to size
According to the dimensions you’ve measured above
Cut the velcro to size
You can do all 4 sides of the window or you can try with just the top and the two verticals, leaving the bottom loose. Because it’s such a close fit, you’ll probably find the material hangs flush to the wall without letting any light in. That worked for us.
Glue the velcro to the wall
Glue either the hook or loop side of the velcro to the wall, it doesn’t matter which.
Sew the other side of the velcro to the edge of the blackout material.
Attach your new blackout shade to the wall
Enjoy a 100% blacked-out room!
12. Blackout CURTAIN LINERS for eyelet/grommet curtains
These 100% blackout curtain liners from Driftaway can be used with your existing curtain pole and curtains with the included rings. Just thread the blackout liners onto the curtain pole with the curtains.
13. Blackout CURTAIN LINERS for any curtains
Or these 100% blackout curtain liners from Central Park can be paired with any curtain. Simply attach the liners to the curtain using the hooks that come with them.
Need more nursery inspiration and recomendations? Try the following:
- 15 Best baby bassinets for small spaces
- 23 Best Nursery Dresser Drawer Organization Ideas For Baby Clothes
- 15 best rocking chairs & nursery gliders for small spaces in 2023
- 13 Best non-toxic safe paints for your baby’s crib in 2023
- 25 best nursery closet organization ideas in 2023 (plus exactly how to organize baby’s closet)
Best PORTABLE Blackout Curtain/Blind Options (Staying Away From Home)
So, we’ve talked a lot about blackout curtains at home, but what about when you start traveling with your baby? Enter portable blackout blinds and shades for nurseries or any room you want.
14. Best PORTABLE & ADJUSTABLE baby blackout blinds
There are lots of different brands of portable and adjustable travel blackout blinds on the market, but they’re all very similar and extremely effective. The material is 100% blackout and you can fit them to almost any size window, using the velcro adjusters.
This means you can get a very good seal to blockout light. They work fantastically on their own or as an additional layer of blackout behind existing curtains.
Portable baby blackout blinds are ideal for traveling, as they take up very little space in your suitcase and are quick and easy to install in any window.
These blackout blinds from Aozita come in a 2 pack offering great value for money and since there may be two windows in the room when you stay away I’d definitely go all out and buy these. (However, you can buy a single one if you’re on a budget.)
15. Portable baby blackout tent
Instead of blacking out the whole room or nursery with blackout shades, why not put up a blackout tent?! This portable blackout tent from Slumberpod, made from fabric that is breathable and light-blocking. It’s big enough to put baby’s cot inside, completely enclosing it.
It’s a great solution if the whole family are sharing a room, but your baby is struggling to sleep because of the distractions.
Please note, it’s not suitable for teeny tiny babies that need to sleep close to you still. From 6 months up you’re good to go.
16. Travel Crib Blackout Canopy Cover and Tent
This Pack N Play Blackout Travel Crib Canopy Cover from SnoozeShade is an air-permeable blackout cover which fits over all standard pack n plays, creating darkness for baby’s sleep space, just like the portable blackout tent.
It claims to block out 94% of the light, making it a good solution for room sharing and day naps when you’re away from home.
Please note this should not be used when your baby is standing or pulling up.
Best PORTABLE blackout Curtains, Shades & Blinds (On The Move)
There are also ways to keep baby’s sleep space pitch black when on the move in the car or stroller. Snoozeshade have cornered the market here. These are great for keeping your baby’s naps on track if you’re following a newborn sleep schedule.
17. CAR SEAT blackout shade
This Universal Air-Permeable Baby Car Seat Blackout Shade from Snoozeshade is made from a mesh blackout fabric allowing airflow while blocking out 94% of the light. With a UPF rating of 50+, this also means it protect baby’s delicate skin.
18. STROLLER blackout shade
As above, this universal stroller and jogger baby blackout shade from Snoozeshade is made from breathable mesh fabric that lets air flow freely while providing protection from UVA and UVB, blocking out 99% of light.
This blackout shade is ideal for hot and suny climates too. When not asleep, you can open the front window so baby can see out, while still safely protected from the sun’s rays.
Should I Get Blackout Curtains For My Baby’s Nursery?
With the sleep benefits of blackout curtains, you shouldn’t need convincing that finding the best blackout shades for nursery is an absolute must. With swaddling and a white noise sound machine, baby blackout curtains or shades will help make the best sleep environment possible for a newborn.
How Dark Should Blackout Curtains Make The Room?
Pitch black darkness. Baby blackout curtains should not let any light through when you shine a torch behind them.
This is the single more important factor in choosing baby blackout curtains.
Also, assess the room as whole. The room needs to be so dark you shouldn’t even be able to see your hand in front of you. Checking like this will allow you to see if there’s anywhere else in the room that let’s in light, such as under or around the door.
Lining windows with portable blinds or blackout lining and leaving curtains as is
While you absolutely need to make that room pitch black, you don’t necessarily need to change the curtains. You can line the windows with blackout material instead.
Suggestions on how to do this are included in the recommended best blackout shades for nursery.
Prepping for baby? You might find the following useful:
- What should a newborn baby wear to sleep in bed at night?
- How to help a newborn poop instantly! 11 tried & tested ways to relieve poopy struggles
- How To Keep Your Baby’s Hands Warm At Night (10 Practical Tips)
- First night home with your newborn baby – what to expect & tips to survive it
- Are the first two weeks with a newborn the hardest? When does it get easier?
Conclusion: baby blackout curtains or shades are a nursery essential
As us parents all know, sleep is sooo important – both for your baby and you. A well-rested parent is likely to be happier and feel more able to tackle the day-to-day challenges of raising children. And a well-rested baby will be a happier one too.
Starting your baby out in the right sleeping environment will help establish good sleep habits for years to come. This means making their sleep space pitch black with some effective blackout curtains for nursery. Or lining the windows with blackout material.
And be sure to grab some portable blackout curtains or blinds for travel. Whether home or away, you want to make baby’s sleep space pitch black.
Hopefully, this list of baby blackout curtains and other blackout options have narrowed down the immense choice. You should now be able to make an informed decision on the best blackout curtains, shades or blind for the nursery that suit your needs.
Just remember what’s number one – complete darkness, blocking out 100% of light. Always check the description of any blackout fabric or curtain you buy.
Good luck and let me know how you get on!