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How Do I Make My Kids Room Sleep-Friendly?

How Do I Make My Kids Room Sleep-Friendly?

Arranging your child’s bedroom in a way that supports sleep can not only promote a more relaxing environment to fall asleep in but also an environment that supports resettling,  should your child wake during the night. You are aiming for the bedroom to be a calm, inviting space that your child associates with sleep.  

Let’s consider a range of strategies that can help you to create that for your child:

mum and dad reading story to their child at bedtime

Make The Children’s Bedroom A Screen Free Zone

  • Aim to make the bedroom, and especially the bed, a no-screen zone, even during the day. Research shows that TV watching in the bedroom impacts young children’s sleep. The artificial blue light emitted by screens of televisions, smartphones, tablets, computers and gaming systems promotes alertness and impacts our sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm.
  • Many parents find that using a nightlight emitting a red-light wavelength can support sleep by stimulating the production of the sleepy hormone, melatonin.  If your child is scared of the dark we recommend using a red night light, a lot of parents use soft glow room thermometers which have a gentle orange glow when the room is the right temperature. Try to avoid leaving the door open as this can be a fire hazard. Avoid being able to see blue lights as discussed here.
sleep friendly children's room

How Do I Make My Child’s Room Sleep Friendly?

  • Set the thermostat to a slightly cooler temperature to support your toddler to feel sleepy. Aim for between 16 – 18 degrees. Breathable cotton clothing can also help with keeping cool at night.
  • Top Tip – put socks on your baby, under their sleep clothes and the sleeping bag. Room temperature normally drops at around 5 am, this can  wake your child as their feet suddenly get cold. Often the extra pair of socks can help with early rising.
  • Keep the bedroom quiet or consider using a white noise machine to mask outside sounds – particularly if your child has been used to this as a baby. Use dark curtains to block out light.
little girl happy sleeping in her sleep friendly bedroom

What To Watch Out For In Older Child’s Bedroom? 

  • Attend to any objects that cast potentially frightening shadows at night. This could leave a child frightened. You can ask your child if there is anything they want to take out of their bedroom to get a sense of what may potentially scare them.
  • If your child plays in their bedroom, involve them in tidying away toys before bed, so there is a clear separation between “play time” and “sleep time”.
  • If your child shares their room with a sibling, ensure each child has a separate space to call their own.
family with a newborn baby in the moses basket

Bedroom Set Up For A Newborn To 1 Year Old

  • In the room you should have cot or Moses or travel cot or carry cot. Use a good quality, firm, flat and waterproof mattress covered with cotton sheet. You will need a sleeping bag for a baby and light cellular blankets (remember to tuck those in, never have them loose in the cot with a baby).
  • Avoid using sleep pods or nests, sleepyhead, sleep positioners, hammocks, cot bumpers, pillows, duvets, loose heavy, non-breathable blankets, comforters or soft toys for children under 1 year old. Make sure to always follow  Lullaby trust safety recommendations! to prevent your baby from SIDS.
children's bedroom shelves with soft toys

Bedroom Set Up For Older Child

  • Use comfortable bedding and pillows that are appropriate for the temperature of the room – don’t forget to let your child help select their bedding or make it relevant to their likes and interests.
  • The Lullaby Trust recommends no bedding until after 12 months and ideally not until the child is using a toddler bed as opposed to a cot with raised sides. In these sleep guides you will find great techniques that will help you with transitioning from co-sleeping, transitioning to the cot or how to transition to a toddler bed.

How To Avoid Any Bedroom  Anxieties:

  • You can leave an item or an object that reminds your child of you to support your child to manage any sense of separation anxiety. For example, they could place one of your pyjama tops under their pillow as a reminder that you are never far away. A photo could serve a similar purpose.
  • Many children have a transitional object: a particular favourite teddy or blanket that helps them to feel secure when you are not there. This can be a great support to a child. If your child has a transitional object, encourage them to take this into the bedroom at sleep time. You can use “teddy” as a means of talking about sleep needs. For example, “teddy has had a busy day, and wants to be quiet and calm now. Can you keep teddy company and help him drop to sleep?”

Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.


For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our
 1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.

Will My Nursery / Child-Care Provider Support My Little Ones Sleep?

Will My Nursery / Child-Care Provider Support My Little Ones Sleep?

When you have worked hard to improve your child’s sleep routine, especially if your child has had difficulty sleeping in the past, the idea of sending them to a Nursery or a Child-minder where their sleep routine may not be supported can be daunting to parents.

When selecting a child-care facility, I always recommend looking around at least twice and at different times of the day if you’re able to as this will give you more of an idea of their routine. However, you should always speak to your child-care provider about your child’s sleep routines and your concerns. Maybe you have a special phrase that means it’s sleep-time, or perhaps a comforter that needs to be removed once they fall asleep? All these little things can affect your child’s sleep and it’s perfectly acceptable to ask them about it!

Recently, I was asked by Purple Jay Nurseries to go to their Lambeth, London site (they also have lovely facilities in both Peckham Rye and East Dulwich) and do a presentation and question and answer style interview for the parents there all about Supporting Sleep and talking them through my gentle, holistic methods. I was so pleased not only to be asked and able to help this group of parents in person (which thanks to Covid were a novelty) but to be able to answer individual questions.

baby sleep coach workshop 1

It was also refreshing to have a nursery wanting to support their parents and little ones through what can be one of the biggest challenges of parenting. Having passed on my methods to both staff and parents, I’m confident it will help everyone get some improved sleep and more communication regarding sleep behaviours between the nursery and parents. They were so accommodating and I hope to return at some stage as I felt it not only really benefitted everyone but also built the parents confidence that the Nursery is looking after their little one’s best interests. Something every parent wants in their child-care provider!

baby sleep coach back to work guide 1 2

How Can I Communicate Our Sleep Routine To Nursery / Child-Care?

Absolutely make sure you communicate your sleep routine! Child-care providers will be actively looking for all the methods to help support your little one to sleep. Remember they also WANT them to sleep and be in their best mood possible for the day.

If, like myself, you’re against the cry-it-out method, or have other ‘no no’s’ when it comes to naptime then make sure you make that clear within your handover instructions. If you’re new to your child attending child-care because of going back to work then I’d recommend looking at my Back To Work Guide, shorter than my sleep guide. This guide focuses on returning to work and how to ease this transition. Even if you aren’t returning to work there is a lot of useful information on how to start your child with a child-care provider and a handy handover template/guide.

The best way to communicate your wishes around your child’s care is to write it down (maybe even laminate it!) and put it within your child’s belongings so that whenever the nursery are changing a nappy or in your child’s bag they will be reminded of your care instructions.

baby sleep coach holding baby 2

Can You Speak To My Child’s Child-Care Provider?

Similarly to the presentation, I did at Purple Jay Nurseries, I’m available to speak to parents and/or staff regarding sleep methods that follow my gentle, holistic and family centred ethos. If your nursery would like me to do a presentation then they can contact me directly here where I can happily talk through the options with them directly.
My sleep presentations build the confidence of parents not only with their home sleep-time routines but also with the ability of their nursery to accommodate their gentle sleep preferences to the highest standard. Discussing these strategies together can bring a new clarification on what may or may not work for a child – and also where the discrepancies might be!

    Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.


    For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our
     1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.