5 Nursery Decorating Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep

Help your little one sleep through the night by implementing these design tips.

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1. Place the crib in “command” position. Feng shui practitioners believe that people feel most comfortable and secure when they have a view of the door and a solid wall behind them. Locate the crib so your baby can see the door but isn’t in its direct path. Your baby will feel more secure if the crib is positioned with at least one side (preferably two) against a solid wall.

2. Consider noise and light. Hang sheers over the window to block direct sun during the day when your light-sensitive newborn is awake. Heavier curtains or shades keep the room dark for sleeping. If you live in a noisy area, consider installing double-pane windows or hang heavy curtains to block street noise. You also can purchase a white-noise machine, which can help mask household sounds. (Place the white-noise machine, as well as other electrical equipment such as a baby monitor, away from the crib to reduce the effects of electro- magnetic fields.)

3. Design the room with sleep—not play—in mind. Active murals, wallpaper or linens filled with large animated characters, animals, planes or trains can feel busy and overwhelming, and they’re hard to change if your child has trouble sleeping. Children have no problem making the room feel lively at playtime with their colorful toys and stuffed animals. Also, consider the scale of a mobile in relation to your baby. Although it doesn’t seem large to adults, even a regular-size mobile could be overpowering to babies trying to sleep. A large mobile is better placed over a changing table.

4. Have plenty of storage. Transform the nursery from playroom to “sleep room” at night. Place toys out of sight in cabinets, bins, baskets and shelves so the space feels calm for bedtime. Clutter (particularly under the bed) will stagnate the room’s energy. Free-flowing energy and peaceful surroundings will help your baby get a good night’s rest. Picking up the room, putting away toys, closing curtains and dimming lights all can become part of the nighttime ritual that will signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep.

5. Cleanse the room’s energy periodically. One sleepless night tends to lead to another sleepless night. To freshen the room and clear the air, open windows to let in fresh air. Or, lightly spray water with a few drops of lavender essential oil (only after the baby is six weeks old; check for sensitivities or allergies).