Everywhere you hear about making sure your sleeping space is clean, serene, and free of clutter. It's the minimalist dream to sleep in a room with only a bed. We make sure our sleeping spaces are very calming but why then, are mom's encouraged to make their children's rooms places full of colour and stimulation?
I never understood this idea of bright colours, toys, alphabets, mobiles, noise, colour, stuff. It didn't make sense to me. As soon as my children started sleeping in their own rooms, I made sure they had a serene space to sleep in. The result - babies who go to sleep and sleep well.
Which room would you prefer to SLEEP in?
Both are beautiful, but I feel like only #2 is a calming environment to actually fall asleep in.
How I made a serene space for my children/How I get my Babies to Sleep:
1. No Toys (Almost)
I've limited my baby's toys to a few stuffed animals that are really cute are are in neutral colours. NO toys in the crib at all, ever! This is a hazard but more because it's not calming.
My toddler has a few stuffies that she likes to sleep with, some books, and a few of her own little treasures (her room is becoming a growing concern because she likes to decorate it her self and has too many treasures for my liking - I'll let you know about what kind of compromise we come to when I figure it out. Any tips for me?)
2. No Playing in the Bedroom
I have enough space in my house where my children don't have to play in their rooms. They use their space for sleeping only, a habit I hope they can carry over to adulthood. I know this might not be an option for everyone, especially if you have a small space but when possible, I highly recommend this. It keeps the mess out of their room and provides for a ready to sleep in bed at all times. It also allows them to associate their bedroom with sleep. Both my children, as babies go down to sleep quite easily. It took a few weeks but once the association was formed the stimulus of their room was enough to make their brains realize it's time to sleep.
3. White Sheets
This has been my 'thing' for many years now. I don't sleep well with sheets that are any other colour than white. I first learned this from Danny Seo in Conscious Style Home: Eco Friendly Living for the 21st Century and haven't wavered from my conviction that white sheets provide for the best sleep.
4. Nothing Under the Bed
This is another missive from Danny Seo that I LOVE. For some reason you can feel the clutter under your bed when you are sleeping. It doesn't matter how little space you have - nothing under your bed! I did this in a 600 sq ft apt. I'm serious about my sleep and this is a deal breaker for me.
Confession: I actually have some Shakespeare under my bed at the moment 😲. His many volumes of work are a great way to hold up the middle of our bed. The legs under the bed broke so good ol' Shakespeare is helping us out until it's fixed.
5. No Extras
By no extras I mean no bumper pads, bed skirts, extra pillows, etc. It's just more stuff to be distracting, collect dust, and clean.
6. Only a Few things on the Walls
My son's nursery has 4 black and white prints from Etsy and some books displayed on his walls. Nothing else. It provides for a serene space.
7. Limit the Colours
Our nursery is a clay grey colour. The brownish tones makes it warm but not so much that it's too warm (I prefer cool colours). The curtains are black and the shutters, bookshelves, trim, rocking chair, and dresser are white. Black, white, and grey are the main colours. The only colours in the nursery are a planet mobile and some blue books (I choose them specifically for their cover colour (YIKES! Judging a book by it's cover). I find the limited colours soothing and less distracting when sleeping.
8. Clothing Must Be Away
I don't want to see my children's clothing. They are so varied in colours, textiles, etc. I try to keep the majority of them in the closets and in their dressers. It's my goal to have all of their clothes fit into their closets. At the moment, there is room but not drawers so things like underwear and socks have no place to live. Once our closet organizers are in - no clothes anywhere but in the closet. Dirty clothes go straight into the hamper and in the morning, PJs get hung over the foot of the bed.
I feel like minimalism and children are an excellent pairing, especially in their rooms. I followed what I'd learned about my adult bedroom and applied it to my children's room. I might have just been blessed with good sleepers but I really feel like my approach to their rooms has helped. I know many people recommend stimulation for a baby's room but I feel like I don't want to be stimulated when I want to sleep, do you? I'll leave the stimulation for waking daytime hours.
What's your take on getting your child to sleep? Have you ever considered his/her environment?