Light matters for all of us when it comes to our sleep. Our bodies are designed to come up with the sun and go to sleep with sunset; it’s really quite amazing how the body does this.
However, when we don’t get the darkness we need for sleep then we can’t sleep for a good long deep sleep.
Babies are not different.
If you’re like me and blessed with a child who doesn’t want to miss out on anything, and loves to be in the middle of the action then you’ll know that trying to get them to sleep in a light room is doubly as hard. When there is noise around, then light just adds to the recipe for a bad nap.
The reality is that babies and toddlers still need day sleep and when they don’t get it, then they get overtired and get a giant rush of cortisol which in turn makes them a little nuts! They are a little manic and then trying to get them to sleep from there is hard.
When we started our camping plans for the summer I began looking into how to make out tent dark so that even though there was noise, at least the light wouldn’t be the reason for any waking’s.
I found some options for covers for our Pack ‘N Play and it was a worthwhile investment. The one I chose was the Millard Shade Cover.
How does it work?
It has multi-layer black mesh so baby can still breathe but it is darker, then from there you are able to fit it over the top of your Pack ‘N Play. It has helpful Velcro straps to put around the legs so it can’t be pulled off by adventurous little ones!
At the top, there is an extra layer so it is darker and a zip to open it. This is how you can get your baby in and out easily and the zipper is good quality so doesn’t get stuck and is easy to use with one hand. And on the side there are port holes so there is extra air flow coming in for baby.
What do I like?
I like that it makes the Pack ‘N Play darker for my baby girl, and so then it’s easier for her to get to sleep. Also sleeping in a new space means that there are usually shapes and shadows that are unusual; this eliminates this at night, minimizing wake ups because of confusion as she can’t see beyond the mesh.
I was successfully able to help her nap under a tree, by the beach, in the tent and at a friend’s place where the room wasn’t as dark as she is used to.
It folds up very small and so taking it traveling is very easy, it rolls up into its mesh bag and is approximately the size of a pair of jeans in my suitcase. This is important when you’ve got extra things to pack when baby comes along!
What Didn’t I Like?
The first thing that I didn’t like about this shade was that the top didn’t fit snug at the top so it was a little loose and so then sagged. They advertise that this fits any play pen, however, it does fit, just not as tightly as I’d like.
The second thing that I’m not a big fan of is the port holes and the side. The side isn’t as thick of mesh as the top and so isn’t as dark. The port holes provide a way for baby to look out and see what is happening which is really distracting.
One morning while camping, the Pack ‘N Play was between my mother-in-law and I, I had a bag between baby and I where as she could see Nana. She woke up in the morning with the sun and could see Nana. . . we then heard “ Naaa… Nana… Nana… Naaa!!”
So I now put bags or a swaddle over the port holes until she’s asleep and then when she’s asleep remove them so that she gets the air flow.
Overall do I like it?
Yes I do, and we actually now use it at her daycare because she gets so distracted sleeping in a room with other children. I’d be curious to try other brands and will likely do so because this kind of thing fascinates me and I’m kind of nuts about sleep.
It was a GREAT price compared to its major competitors so that’s also a big win!
Where’d I get this from?
I got this item from US Amazon, as there aren’t any baby stores that I could find in the lower mainland/Fraser Valley who carry the same or similar.