My children tend to be early risers. When I solicited suggestions a while back on how to get them to sleep a bit later, many people suggested blackout curtains. I'd tried that when they were younger, around four months, but they didn't seem to help. Of course, part of the problem might have been that the way our windows and curtain rods work, there was still plenty of ambient light that got in around the shades. Also, I admit it: I'm afraid of the dark. Even though I know that just because I'm afraid of the dark it doesn't mean that my kids will be, the thought of them in a pitch-black room make me feel a little queasy.
When we were in Vermont over the weekend, Maddie and Riley slept in a room in my friends' basement. It was very, very dark down there. My monitor has a little night-light, but it was but a faint glow in the black vastness of the room. What was I to do but put the kids to bed down there and hope for the best?
And the best I got: They slept like angels. They didn't wake up until 6:30 (Riley) and 7:15 (Maddie). They took long naps. They were also playing hard in a new environment, so I wasn't sure that the great sleeping was all a result of the dark, but I figured the dark wasn't hurting, especially since once we got home, they started waking up between 5:30 and 6:00 again.
Yesterday afternoon, I had a friend help me cover the twins' bedroom windows with tinfoil. It looks like we're trying to communicate with the great beyond, but it's an extremely effective and cheap way to darken a room. The twins slept like champs last night--nary a peep from them until 6:45, and when they woke up they were happy and chatting. It was great. Hooray! I did have to laugh when I opened their door at 7:00, though, and Riley was sitting up in his crib playing with one of the cloth books I keep in their beds. He couldn't even see what he was doing! Silly little man.
Here are the twins having fun in the sandbox in Vermont: