Creating a Happy and Healthy Sleep Environment

baby nursery for healthy sleep environmentWhen you first bring home your little one home from the hospital, there may be a moment or two of doubt; “Do I have everything I need?” “Did I set everything up right?” “When should I start setting up the baby nursery?”

Here are some quick and easy tips to ensure the baby nursery is set up for healthy sleep!

Avoid Distractions

Keeping the baby’s crib free from distractions lets them focus on sleep. Having toys or other novelties around can confuse them and make them think it’s playtime.

One of the biggest distractions in a baby’s sleep environment is the mobile that spins around and plays music right above their crib. When we lay our child down after a calming soothing routine and then turn on this loud, light-up, spinning toy that captures their attention and increases their alertness, it is counterproductive when a child is learning to put themselves to sleep.

Regarding the baby nursery décor, bright colors and the color red should be avoided, as well as busy or loud patterns.   These can be very distracting to a baby’s sleep.

Why is it so dark in here?

This question cracks me up. So your child will sleep! A child needs complete darkness in order to fall asleep and stay asleep. Darkness will help start the child’s melatonin production to help them sleep. When a child is very young, their brains are not mature enough to know when the right time to produce melatonin is.

Black-out curtains are a must-have! Especially during those summer nights when it is still light outside until late into the evening. The room should be just as dark as nap time.  Blackout EZ Window Covers are a great way to keep your child’s room dark.

However, when it is not nighttime or naptime, a child’s room should be full of light when they are playing. It is important to distinguish night from day, sleep from the wake in a child’s mind. The best way to do this is through sunlight and darkness. In the same way that darkness will influence melatonin production, sunlight will kick-start your child’s circadian rhythm, which is the internal drive that tells them to stay awake. With a young children, we need to help their brains decipher night from day.

I remember one of the first things I put in my baby’s room was the cutest little night light that I found; I was so excited about it! Unfortunately, nightlights are not conducive to an infant’s sleep environment. That includes the cute stuffed animal whose shell lights up when you squeeze it that your best friend got your baby. But don’t worry; they can use it when they get a little bit older!

Room Temperature For Baby

It is important to keep a baby at a comfortable temperature throughout the night. The baby nursery should always remain between 68-70 degrees. A younger child will prefer the temperature in the room to be on the cooler side.

For obvious safety reasons, do not leave loose blankets in the crib, instead of dress baby warmly, but not with too many layers that they will be too hot in the middle of the night. If using a swaddle, which I recommend until about 4 months, take that layer into account when getting baby in their sleepwear. A sleep sack is another great thing to have once the baby has outgrown the swaddle.

White Noise

Although there has been some controversy over white noise, I do recommend a white noise machine be placed in a baby’s room. It is best to keep it at a medium volume and place it across the room. However, I am not a fan of the “rain” or “jungle” sounds or whichever one they come up with next. Stick to the standard white noise. I find that an air purifier or small fan also works just fine. They serve the obvious purpose while also giving off a slight humming sound. Stay clear of any white noise sounds that are high-pitched “static.” But you will know by listening to it if it is a good fit for your child’s room.

A baby’s nursery can have a significant influence on their sleeping pattern.   Being mindful of the distractions, temperature, and the amount of light in the baby nursery can help ensure a peaceful atmosphere conducive to healthy sleep.

About the Author
Diana Flutie

Diana Flutie


Diana Flutie is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant, and the founder of Big Sky Lullaby; a child sleep resource to help navigate the early years of pediatric sleep! At Big Sky Lullaby, we strongly believe that implementing a healthy sleep schedule and maintaining it throughout their early years, is one of the greatest gifts that we can give our child. After the birth of her son, Diana made it her mission to become an expert on child sleep patterns and behavior, making it the focus of her career. Diana has since become an avid child health enthusiast, (specializing in newborn to age 5) with a strong passion for implementing healthy and safe sleep habits, and helping other families do the same. Diana's programs are personalized to meet the specific needs of each client, while offering a high level of communication and support throughout the process. Big Sky Lullaby is proud to offer a military discount!