Back to Black (out blind) - Mind The Baby

Back to black (out blind)

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.

17 thoughts on “Back to black (out blind)”

  1. We’ve made the idiot decision to move into an apartment where the bedroom windows are bloody sliding patio doors. I am yet to find a blackout blind that will cover it and am rapidly growing sick of the 5am wakeup call… Hope yours works out for you!

    1. Lisa Ikea have massive roller black out blinds – we have a grey one in our boys room (it’s only the middle size one). However I will say I have them placed to let in some light at the edges because am ultra paranoid about them needing utter darkness to sleep. But you have to take the edge of the spring evenings for sure!

  2. “The bastard will decide to fall down at stupid o’clock.” Thanx for reminding me of why I love your writing SO MUCH.

  3. Just put up the black out blind this evening. Was taking the 15 month old 1hr+ every night to cop on it was bedtime even at that I think she just got fed up trying to persuade me that it was not bedtime yet!
    Great invention! One of the sucker things have fallen down, fingers crossed the rest stay put lol!

  4. Sylda, it’s like you are reading my mind. Literally just mailed my friend saying that just as Billy’s sleeping has started to take a positive turn, the bleedin’ kids are out playing football and joyriding their scooters across every shore in the vicinity of my house. I could have cried tonight. The noise was unreal!

    We too are black-out blind converts. Got them in IKEA two weeks ago out of pure necessity. Got the wrong size. Made a balls of it. Ended up glueing the new blind to the old blind pole, chopping parts of the rail off, and using a scissors to cut them to the right size. Hours later, a few “never again”s and they are functioning and making a difference!

    They never really go up though between nap times and bed time, so the front of the house is looking a bit morgue-y.

  5. We have the same stick-on blackout blind up permanently. I’m still trying to ‘fix’ the toddler’s sleep since the clock change, but it does help. Added bonus – the rental house we’re in is FREEZING during winter. That extra layer on the window keeps the heat in and raises the temperature in his room by a couple of degrees.

  6. Littlewoods do some cheap as chips blackout curtains; I have them in all the upstairs windows but then again ye wouldn’t want to be taking home decor tips from me. I am not house proud in the least bit!
    They are brilliant; my only problem now is how to get the bleeding ice cream man to stop doing his rounds at half seven in the evening. I swear I feel stabby even thinking about it

What do you think?