Sleep Environment

With the clocks going back last week, it is beginning to feel like Winter is definitely setting in. The darker evenings can be a real help in establishing a structured bedtime routine – it’s good to get the curtains drawn and lights dimmed nice and early in order to have the right amount of wind down time for your little ones before they go to sleep.

The environment in which your little one sleeps has a very important role to play in making sure that they get good and restful sleep.  At this time of year, many of us have the heating blasting out (I do, much to my husband’s horror!) As a result, it’s important to check the temperature in your baby or toddler’s room to make sure that it is optimum for them to sleep well. Often around this time we find that, although it’s getting colder outside, little ones’ rooms are too hot for them to get restful sleep. The ideal temperature for a child’s room during the night is 16C – 22C.  If you have a house that gets cold at night, don’t worry, you can add extra layers for your baby – just make sure there is no chance of them overheating. I have a handy guide for you here, which gives an illustration of what your baby should be dressed in depending on the temperature.  According to Safer Sleep Guidelines, it is important to make sure that your baby doesn’t get too hot so it’s a good idea to know the temperature of your baby’s room.

It’s also useful to check the light levels in your little one’s room. If you look at light on a scale of 1 – 10 (with 10 being pitch black), their room should be around an 8.  Check light levels from hallways or night lights to make sure the room isn’t too bright.

Using white or pink noise can also be a helpful way of ensuring that your child doesn’t get disturbed unnecessarily during the night or too early in the morning. Play it for the duration of your child’s sleep, not just as they fall asleep and it will help them not be disturbed by other noisy siblings or the early morning rubbish collection outside!

Check that the environment is safe for your little one – for a baby, make sure that there is nothing loose in their cot, whether that be bedding, bumpers or toys,  Also make sure that they can’t get hold of any cords from blinds, baby monitors etc. For older toddlers and children, that may get up and have a cheeky play in their room, check that all furniture is securely attached to the wall. 

Finally, if you have a toddler or older child who suddenly seems to be anxious about their room, have a quick look at the decor from the eyes of a child. Make sure the room is calming and restful to be in and that there is no decor that could be seen as “scary” from a little one’s point of view. If you think that shadows could be making your little one anxious, you can always spend some time during the day, making shadow puppets on the wall with your child, to show them that shadows are fun and nothing to be scared of.

Often looking at your little one’s sleep environment and making a few little changes can help with any sleep challenges that they are experiencing. I hope this is the case for you and this blog has been helpful in giving you some ideas on how to ensure that the environment in which your baby or child sleeps is helpful in aiding them get a good night’s rest. 

If you have any questions, please do get in touch, I would be happy to help.


Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!