How to design the ideal nursery for sleep


Being a childrens interiors brand, of utmost importance to us is providing a selection of pieces that help create the right environment for our little ones to sleep, play and dream big. But most importantly creating a balanced ambience to promote a good nights sleep, as we have all had those nights settling and resettling bubs to bed and wondering what else we can try to make sleep time peaceful, easy and calm.
 
To expand our knowledge in this space, we reached out to sleep consultant Jana from "Kind Sleep Co", to step us through the essential elements required to optimize a quality nights sleep for our babies. She's put together a how to checklist, in elements to consider when designing your little one's nursery, we hope you enjoy.
 
When I was setting up my first baby’s nursery, I dreamed of making it a beautiful, relaxing sanctuary for both my new baby and myself to spend time in; and that is exactly what it should be. It’s important to remember that it isn’t just a space for your precious new baby, but it is somewhere you will get to spend a lot of time too! 
One of the main activities your little one will hopefully be using their nursery for, is sleep! It should be a comfortable, relaxing space; it should be beautiful and personal, and it should be a place that supports your little one’s sleep. A great environment can make an incredible difference for your baby’s quality of sleep!
There are so many elements to consider when it comes to designing a space that is optimised for your baby’s sleep, so let’s chat about some of the essentials so that you can design a nursery that is not only beautiful, but ideal for great naps and nights. 
Light
From around 8 weeks of age, babies start to produce their own melatonin (AKA the sleepy hormone). Melatonin is produced in small amounts cyclically throughout the day, but mainly in the dark, during the night. Blue light inhibits melatonin production, so we want to ensure that any lighting in bub’s room is warm and not too bright. Red light doesn’t impact melatonin production the way that blue based light does, so a dim, red night light can be a great addition to your nursery for those middle of the night feeds and nappy changes. 
During the day for nap times, we want baby’s nursery to be nice and dark. This will help to minimise any distractions while your little one is drifting off to sleep, and can also become a strong sleep association for them - the dark room signals sleep time! Ideally, we want it to be very dark (you shouldn’t be able to read a book but can see baby’s eyes close). We also don’t want light coming into the nursery early in the morning, which could lead to baby waking up before they’re ready to start the day. Investing in some good blackout blinds is essential for this purpose! 
Room Temperature
The temperature of the room can make a huge difference in baby’s sleep quality. We all sleep best when the room is comfortable, and not too warm. The ideal temperature to support bub’s sleep is between 18-20 degrees celsius (around 64-70 degrees fahrenheit). A heater with a thermostat in winter is so handy for maintaining a comfortable room temperature throughout the early hours of the morning, where there is a natural dip in body temperature. A fan is also helpful to have in the nursery, especially for those warmer days and nights. Studies have shown an association between the use of a fan in baby’s room and a reduction in the risk of SIDS. You’ll want to make sure the fan is not blowing directly on baby, but gently circulating the air in the room. 
Decor and design
Ideally, your nursery will be a calming, distraction-free environment. When decorating, think about whether elements of your design will be distracting for baby when they are trying to get to sleep. By no means does this mean you must keep to muted colours only; it can still be fun and beautiful! Think about your placement of artwork in the room, and whether it could potentially be a distraction for baby while they’re trying to drift off to sleep; some of our alert and curious little loves will want to stay awake so that they can keep enjoying the artwork above their cot! It’s also a great idea to hang that stunning mobile over the change table rather than the cot, so that it can be a lovely distraction for their nappy changes, but not for sleep. 
Setup and Safety
It’s vital that baby’s sleep space is completely safe. You will be placing them in their sleep space and ideally, getting some rest yourself! So you want to ensure that you are completely confident that they are in a safe environment. When thinking about furniture placement in the room, we want to ensure that the cot is away from the window, and any powerpoints, cords, or anything that could be pulled into the cot. Apart from some beautiful cot sheets, baby’s cot should be completely bare while they are in it; no pillows, loose blankets or toys. Something else to consider is a comfortable feeding chair in the nursery; in fact, I would say this is an absolute necessity! A comfortable, supportive rocking chair can really help with those middle of the night feeds and be super useful for settling baby back to sleep, while saving your back!  
Sleep Aids
It can be difficult to know which sleep aids are actually helpful, and which ones you simply don’t need! An absolutely essential sleep aid is a white noise machine - every nursery should have one! Studies have proven that white noise is incredibly calming for newborns, and supports them in falling asleep quicker and staying asleep longer. I recommend using a white noise machine that plays continuously all night long, and plays white or pink noise at around 50-55 decibels (or about the sound level of a running shower). It should not be placed right next to the cot, but by the door or window so that it can dull any distracting sounds and household noises coming into the room. 
Something else to consider using in baby’s room is a cool mist humidifier. During the newborn stage, simply use filtered water in the humidifier - this will help add a little healthy moisture to the air, which may be needed if you are using heating or cooling in the nursery. Once baby is 3 months old, you can introduce a drop of pure essential oil (lavender, frankincense or roman chamomile are my top favourites!) which can become a lovely, calming sleep association for them. 
I hope that this has been a helpful read and that you really enjoy setting up, and spending time in, your nursery with your precious little one. 
You can find more about Jana's at "Kind Sleep Co". Their approach to infant and child sleep is kind, holistic and evidence based. You can learn more about their services here.
To receive a copy of our checklist to the perfect bedroom, click here.


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