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Should Baby Nap Time Be Dark?

Understanding Baby Nap Time

Just as adults do, babies benefit greatly from regular napping routines. However, a common question parents often ask is whether the baby’s nap time environment should be dark or not. In this post, we delve into this topic to help you create the best napping conditions for your little one.

Dark Versus Light During Nap Time

Why Consider a Dark Environment for Baby’s Nap Time?

Dark environments can signal to your baby’s brain that it’s time to sleep. This is because darkness helps stimulate the production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. Therefore, making your baby’s room dark during nap time can help them fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.

Can Light Affect Baby’s Nap Time?

A room filled with light can potentially disturb your baby’s sleep, especially if they’re sensitive to changes in their environment. Moreover, light may inhibit the production of melatonin, potentially making it harder for your baby to stay asleep.

Setting Up the Ideal Nap Environment for Your Baby

Darkening the Room

Consider using blackout curtains, shades, or blinds to reduce the amount of natural light entering your baby’s room during nap time. If these are not options, a temporary fix could be using a dark-coloured blanket or sheet to cover windows.

Maintaining a Comfortable Room Temperature

A cool room can help promote better sleep. Experts suggest a room temperature of around 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 degrees Celsius) for optimal baby sleep.

Consistency is Key

Strive to be consistent with your baby’s nap routine. The predictability of a nap routine can help signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep, whether the room is dark or not.

Dark vs. Light: The Optimal Nap Environment

Should You Darken the Room for Daytime Naps?

Yes, darkening the room for daytime naps can be beneficial. The darkness aids in the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone, which can help your baby fall asleep more easily and maintain a deeper sleep.

Is It Better to Nap in Light or Dark?

While napping in a slightly lit room may not necessarily disrupt your baby’s sleep, research suggests that darkness can facilitate a more restful and longer nap. This is because a dark environment signals to your baby’s brain that it’s time to sleep.

Should Babies Nap in Sunlight?

While exposure to natural light during the day can help regulate your baby’s internal body clock or circadian rhythm, direct sunlight might create a too-bright environment that could inhibit sleep. Using blinds or curtains during nap time can help control the amount of sunlight in the room.

Nap Times and Schedules

What Time is the Healthiest Nap?

The optimal time for a nap largely depends on your baby’s age and individual sleep schedule. Generally, a mid-morning and mid-afternoon nap are common for many infants.

Nap Duration by Age

How long a baby should nap can vary by age. For instance, a 4-month-old might take 3-4 naps a day, each ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours. By 6 months, this might reduce to two longer naps, each about 1-2 hours long.

Other Factors Affecting Baby Nap Time

Why Do Babies Like Contact Naps?

Contact naps, where a baby naps while being held or carried, can provide a sense of comfort and security. However, it’s essential to encourage your baby to nap independently to promote good sleep habits.

Should You Swaddle Newborn for Daytime Naps?

Swaddling can provide a cozy and secure feeling that may help newborns sleep better. However, once your baby starts showing signs of rolling over, it’s time to stop swaddling to prevent the risk of suffocation.

Should Baby Nap in Same Place as Night?

Consistency is key when it comes to a baby’s sleep environment. Having your baby nap in the same place they sleep at night can help reinforce sleep cues and promote better sleep habits.

Do Daytime Naps Help Babies Sleep at Night?

Yes, good daytime naps can contribute to better sleep at night. An overtired baby may have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep during the night.

How Can Help

At, we understand that every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Therefore, we offer a variety of resources, including one-on-one sleep consultations, to help you tailor your baby’s sleep routine to their individual needs.

In relation to nap environments, we can provide advice and strategies for creating the best nap conditions, whether your baby prefers a dark room or not. Furthermore, we can guide you on how to implement a consistent nap routine that aligns with your baby’s natural sleep cycles, promoting more restful sleep and, in turn, happier wake times.

Check out today for more information, resources, and support on baby sleep health.

1 thought on “Should Baby Nap Time Be Dark?”

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