Back when I was the perfect parent, along with my friend – who was also a perfect parent at the time, but is now a mother of two boys – I did some tutting and eye-rolling when I heard my friend’s sister’s children (I know, tentative link) had blackout blinds on their bedroom windows. It meant that when they were sleeping anywhere else except their own beds, some class of a fangled blackout blind had to be gerry-rigged for anyone to get any sleep.
“The precious little babas” we scorned. “Imagine! Can’t sleep without complete darkness. It’s far from blackout blinds they were…oh wait…”
Turns out we were just a pair of child-free dicks really.
Because it didn’t take us bleedin long to figure out the effect of early morning light in a small child’s room, particularly at 5am.
If you have light or medium weight curtains in your house – or no curtains like us eejits* – then chances are the daylight savings change a couple of weeks ago probably saw your smallies’ bedrooms flood with light a whole hour earlier than you were expecting. The reason you saw it was because you were bloody awake!
Enter the blackout blind. Scoffed by the uninitiated masses – loved by parents everywhere. And hated. It’s definitely a love/hate relationship.
Blackout blinds come in a number of forms. Some people have a permanent solution with all-year round blackout curtains or roman blinds. Some people have a temporary solution where you have little suction pads that stick on to the glass of your window. We have the Gro Anywhere Blind. It’s biggest advantage – apart from its transportability – is its price. Others have a nifty velcro thing that goes around the wall of their window frame and you just peel your blind on and off. This sounds cool – and maybe a bit ugly – but I don’t know anyone in real life who has one.
We heart blackout blinds because:
- If you get them up/closed before your small children arrive in the bedroom, you can convince them that the sun has gone down and it is in fact bedtime. Disclaimer: blackout blinds are not soundproof. You will need to find an alternative expensive hereto-undiscovered solution to block out the sounds of the kids playing football outside.
- They do keep the room dark and cool so that you nip unnecessary early rising in the bud. Everyone gets the sleep they need and it minimising crankiness and mid-morning tantrum throwing from both small size and full size humans. Disclaimer: blackout blinds do not make already early risers sleep longer (unless they do). They also do not make babies or children who wake often for non-light related reasons not wake. This is not the miracle cure you’re looking for. It might help, but it probably won’t. This too will pass etc…
We hate blackout blinds because:
- If you have the temporary ones, they are a pain in the hole to have to put up and take down every day.
- They make the outside of your house look like someone has thrown a brick through your window and you are addressing this problem by covering your full window with a black plastic bag.
- Even when you have meticulously applied the sticky thingies to the window, invariably the bastard will decide to fall down at stupid o’clock and make that sound that your posters used to make when they fell off your wall when you were a teenager and you thought the ceiling was falling in. It’s loud. And if it doesn’t wake the kids, it’ll wake you. Additionally, everyone will probably be up earlier the next morning because the light is now streaming in. So you’ve not only had a crappy night’s sleep but now the concept of even a five minute lie-in is a distant memory laughing in your well-lit face.
Long story boring, the blackout blind is back! I love it now, but I won’t miss it in October when its time to pack the yoke away.
*we have wooden blinds. We bought them when I was pregnant. Nuff said.