Only what you need for your baby. Really. (OK – and some fantastic things you don’t that are pretty cool.)
Unless you have those awesome European interlocking blinds that can turn your baby’s boudoir into a room fit for developing film, you might want to consider investing in blackout drapes, especially if you’re in the process of choosing drapes for your baby’s room. They’re not absolutely essential, no, but this minimalist mama is a convert to the cause of darkness. (Not like that, you weirdos!) Especially if you have a non-sleeping baby. Or if your nursery is sunny – which is otherwise lovely but might not be the best for sleep at nap and bed time.
For expectant parents, this is a “nice to have” or “wait and see” item, since your infant will likely sleep pretty much anywhere, including broad daylight in a crowd, for the first few weeks. After that stage, you’ll need to be a little choosier to make sure Anastasia gets her zzzzs, and she might need a little assistance depending on what kind of sleeper it looks like she’s going to be. If she’s highly distractible and wakeful like our baby was, blackout curtains are one of the things that will help.
Another reason to invest: unlike many baby items, you little ones won’t outgrow these. We still benefit from having them in our toddler’s room: the summer evenings are long and it’s still bright outside when she heads to bed.
There are two types:
The former are easier to manage since they’re all one piece, but the options in design and color are limited. The latter won’t require the cost of re-purchasing curtains you might have already, but they will hang heavier on your curtain hardware (so you might need to keep an eye on how it’s holding up with the added weight), plus you will get a few more gaps that let in light because you’re arranging two layers.
Since I liked our existing curtains, we opted for the panels and here’s my advice: absolutely, 100% get the panels that are the same width as your curtain panels. You want them to hang exactly behind your existing panels. Trust me on this.
I thought I was brilliant saving money by buying the narrow-slice panels that add up to the width of a single panel of our curtains. The site claimed that hotels buy these: the narrow widths allow you to buy however many you need to match any width of curtain panel. After falling for this marketing, my conclusion is that they are jerky liars. I can’t imagine a hotel dealing with the annoyance of these mini panels: they separate when you breath on them and let streaks of sunshine into the room at every seam which ruins the whole point of having them in the first place. This happens all the time. All. The. Time. Gargh!
So just spend the extra money and get the nice Pottery Barn Kids ones which line up with your curtain panels. Seriously.
Blackout Panels, Pottery Barn Kids $39-$59 per panel, depending on width