If you’re expecting a baby then getting your nursery right is important.
Planning soundproofing into your nursery is a great idea which will help minimise unnecessary sleep disturbances.
Having a baby is expensive, especially if it is your first child as you can’t rely on hand me downs and have to buy expensive items like baby seats, cots and changing tables.
Fortunately soundproofing your nursery can be done without having to break the bank by paying for an expensive structural overhaul. The right materials can be bought on a relatively low budget and shouldn’t take long to fit yourself.
Follow the tips below to get your baby’s nursery sorted:
Whether it’s a barking dog, a busy road, or the neighbours garden party external noise can easily penetrate most windows and disturb your babies sleep.
If you don’t already have double glazing then you should swap them ASAP, double glazed windows have an air vacuum in the middle which makes a significant difference to soundproofing (and heat retention) when compared to single glazed windows.
To really take the edge off outdoor sounds then pair your double glazed windows with some soundproof blinds.
Soundproof blinds are typically made from a honeycomb style of cell construction cell blinds, they work by creating closed cells which trap air. Some of the best honeycomb cell blinds can reduce sound transfer by as much as 50%.
We recommend that you pair the blinds with some extra thick curtains, you can even get purpose-made sound dampening curtains, you can also fit window film as a cheap method of taking the edge off background noises such as a busy road.
Curtains are good at sound deflection and absorption. Make sure you install your curtain in a way that allows it to cover your window as much as possible then they can make a difference, particularly with airborne background noises.
While curtains alone will never completely soundproof a window (they are not sealed so airborne sound can pass around them easily) but they can make a difference especially when paired with a good blind and double glazing.
One additional benefit of soundproofing your windows is that a well-insulated window will also help you to better regulate the temperature in the nursery. Keeping it warm in winter and cool during summer to keep your baby happy.
If your nursery has hardwood or laminated flooring this will allow sound to bounce off them creating echo which will not only amplify noises in the room but it will also amplify noises from adjacent rooms and rooms above and below the nursery.
Adding a carpet will help minimise noise amplification in the room, especially if you pair it with acoustic carpet underlay.
A cheaper and easier option to install is a rug, get the biggest and thickest one you can fit in your room, ideally made from wool, for the best results.
Rugs are less effective than carpets as they don’t cover the entire floor space and leave gaps around the edge, the most effective option is to pair your carpet with a rug.
If you’re keen to go the extra mile and rip up floorboards to insulate your floor cavity read our article on how to soundproof a floor.
Internal doors rarely do a great job of blocking sound.
They are often hollow prefabricated doors which aren’t made specifically for your particular frame meaning they may not fit perfectly leaving gaps around and underneath the door for sound to leak through.
A simple solution to this is to invest in some weatherstripping which should be fitted inside the doorframe (where the door touches the frame), this will stop noise leaking in.
If you have a big gap under your door it is also worth fitting a door sweep too (find out more about door sweeps and how to soundproof a door here).
Mass blocks sound. One of the densest things you can usually find in most baby nursery rooms is a wardrobe or chest of drawers (or both) packed full of clothes.
If you have a problem wall, such as a wall shared with a neighbour through which you occasionally hear music, then put your wardrobe and drawers against this wall this will help deflect sound, reducing the perceived volume of sound that comes through the wall.
If you have a sofa or armchair in your nursery push this up against the problem wall too as the soft fabric will also help absorb sound waves, thereby reducing echo in the room.
Using soft fabrics for soundproofing strictly speaking isn’t soundproofing because it doesn’t stop sound from traveling into a space. Instead, it absorbs the sound, softens it and reduces the echo which is often enough to keep your baby sleeping peacefully.
Another thing you can try is using acoustic art panels. These look just like standard art panels and (depending on where you get them from) they allow you to have any image printed on them. Unlike a standard art panel that usually consists of canvas stretched over a frame, acoustic art panels are densely packed with compressed foam which helps further absorb sound and reduce echo in your nursery.
It works by creating generic noise such as a TV static or running water which helps to fade sudden noises like a dog barking or a door slamming into the background allowing your baby to sleep through it.
If you have read through this article and decided that you can’t be bothered trying out any of the methods mentioned then white noise offers an effective way of dealing with your sound problem.
You don’t even have to spend a penny to get a white noise machine, you can download apps onto your phone which can play white noise for you.
Alternatively you can use a fan - the whirring noise will soon send them to sleep while also helping to prevent the room becoming too hot. If you're concerned that your fan is too loud to hear your baby over the baby monitor then consider a quiet fan, most of these make enough noise to help your baby sleep while not being so noisy that you can't hear them on the baby monitor.
The chances of a baby sleeping through the night are pretty much non-existent. Newborn babies need to feed every two hours so you should expect them to wake up frequently for feeds.
Young babies are pretty resilient when it comes to sleeping through noisy scenarios, they can sleep through parties, TV noise, dogs barking..anything really.
As their hearing develops and they become more attuned to the world around them they become more aware of the sounds around them and are therefore more likely to be woken up by unexpected noise.
Your babies sleep is affected by more than just noise, as they grow older they become increasingly aware of much more.
Trying to get a child to sleep in the middle of summer when it’s gloriously bright outside at 8pm is hard work, it doesn’t seem right to be sleeping when it’s light.
An easy way of working around this is to fit blackout blinds or curtains to your windows, a lot of the soundproof blinds and windows we previously mentioned also do a great job of blocking light helping your child get a better night of sleep.
When planning your nursery it is a good idea to think about using calming colours in the room as this can have an impact on your child’s behaviour and sleep habits.
Using blue is a good idea because it is a calming colour which (according to studies) helps to lower blood pressure, heart rate and reduce anxiety all of which will help your child sleep better. Obviously this is not something that your child will be immediately aware of as a small baby however as they grow into a toddler it may have an impact.