“Babies” and “sleep” are two words that notoriously don’t go together. But that doesn’t mean you need to lose sleep too. Where your baby sleeps is just as important as how, when, and why they get their rest. Like everything else you do as a new mother, planning is an absolute must when it comes to your kiddo’s nursery — here’s how to create a sleepy-time sanctuary.

Baby sleeping in crib

1. Use a sound machine. Shh! Baby is sleeping. You sneak around the house, quietly tip-toeing to keep the space as noiseless as possible. But the silent thing doesn’t always work. Life wasn’t void of sounds for baby’s first three trimesters, and turning off the noise right now may have the opposite effect. White noise or similar sounds can overpower other distractions such as dogs barking, cars driving by outside, or just about anything else. Try: Hatch Baby Rest Night Light, Sound Machine, and Time-to-Rise ($60), which is a sound machine, night light, and alarm you can control via phone.

2. Add room-darkening shades. That spectacular mid-afternoon glow you love in the nursery is also, well, a major distraction at nap time. When natural light interferes with daytime naps, room-darkening shades can keep 2pm looking more like 2am. And don’t worry about getting stuck with weird or stiff materials that in no way matches the room’s decor. Today’s blackout shades, blinds, and curtains come in plenty of rad styles. Try: NICETOWN Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains ($20).

3. Keep a rocking chair for yourself. Technically, this one is for you. But carrying baby from their room to your room (or even worse, downstairs) isn’t exactly sleep-inducing. When baby wakes for their middle-of-the-night meals, a rocker or glider gives you a comfy place for a near-crib feeding. Try: babyletto Tuba Swivel Glider ($499).

4. Pick a neutral paint color. A neutral, soothing hue will definitely do when it comes to your baby’s nursery decor. Skip the in-your-face, over-the-top bolds and stick with something that gently whispers, “Caaaaaalllllm.”

5. Use a night light. Yes, this may seem like the wrong way to go. But sometimes too much darkness is… too much. A low-key night light that gives off a barely-there luminous glow can balance the space and create a comforting environment.

6. Downplay the patterns. A pattern-packed room is like a carnival to your baby’s eyes, so hold back on the crazy-bold patterns. This includes wallpaper, window treatments, bedding, and anything else that might catch your kiddo’s eye during those daytime naps.

7. Maintain the right temperature. Think Goldilocks. A hot, hot, hot room will leave your kiddo sweating and uncomfortable. A room that’s too cold will keep her up too. Aim for something in the middle to keep baby safe, healthy, and happy.

8. Limit unnecessary electronics. Those battery-powered and plug-in, light-up, noisy toys won’t help your little one drift off to dreamland. Skip the rotating planetarium-like star show projectors and underwater ocean light-makers.

9. Create a safe space. While it’s tempting to decorate baby’s room with a mountain of throw pillows, cute quilts, and other fluffy, stuffed accents, these won’t help your child to sleep safely. Creating a safe space is absolutely important. Even though you want baby to drift off right away, this needs to happen in a healthy way. Ditch the pillows, comforters, and anything similar right now. You can bring back all the accent awesomeness when they’re older.

What’s your get-baby-to-sleep tip? Share your pick and tweet us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)

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