We didn’t start off as the parents who kept the house quiet for naps or drew the blinds all the way in the nursery. We started off vacuuming around our babies in broad daylight as they napped in a swing or playpen in the early weeks.
But it didn’t matter.
Both babies soon demanded pitch-black environments and noise machines.
While some of you may argue that we enabled dependencies, I will argue back that sleep (for everyone) is more important to get sorted out in the short term. And sleep, they did. And do.
But we created this environment for them that was really hard to replicate at friends’ cottages or on vacation. Even napping at the in-laws’ became a challenge because no one could get the guest room nearly as dark as we could at home. That’s because we have blackout fabric custom-sewn onto opaque curtains, and on top of that we have a blackout blind between the kids’ windows and their curtains.
It. Is. Dark.
We went through more XL-sized garbage bags and masking tape trying to darken strange rooms than I care to get in to. And I’m sure we’ve been the laughing stock many times as we’ve taped up rooms to hermetically seal them.
I’m good with this. My kids’ sleep is worth being the laughing stock. My sleep is worth it.
The Gro Anywhere Blind will get a very bright room very, very dark. We first tested it out on a west-facing window while the sun was beaming into my brother’s old bedroom at my parents’ house. (I can’t count the number of garbage bags we’ve wasted in that room alone over the years.) The difference was astonishing and we didn’t need anything beyond the specialty blind to get the room to near-optimal darkness for Miss Q.
It’s super-easy and super-fast to put up. Part of the problem with the ultra-fancy garbage-bags-and-masking-tape route is that it’s awfully time-consuming. Because, people, one layer of garbage bags doesn’t cut it. And you have to tape down everything unless you want to risk it all coming crashing down mid-nap. Disaster. The Gro Anywhere Blind just suction-cups on to your window. All the way around the top and sides!
I think the $60 price tag might seem high for parents who don’t go to great lengths to darken their child’s sleeping environments. (Yes, consider yourselves lucky and go read a different review already!) But for those of us who have passed on opportunities to visit friends or take weekend trips because of the hassle or unpredictability involved, $60 is a small price to pay for the kind of freedom this will bring back to your life.
It comes in a convenient carry pouch. And you can actually get the blind back into the pouch easily every time.
It’s too small for hotel/resort use, at 130 cm by 200 cm. While the Gro Anywhere Blind is a really decent size for home use in rooms with average-sized windows, large sliding doors and spaces banked with floor-to-ceiling windows won’t be touched by it in the least. I would easily pay double for a portable room-darkening shade that would make a sliding door disappear behind it. As it stands, we’ll still be taking a box of garbage bags and a healthy supply of tape with us on our next vacation. Or buy four more Gro Anywhere Blinds.
I wish the suction cups were even closer together. I recognize that I’m slightly maniacal, but anyone buying a product like this is probably in the same boat. We’re co-captains of crazy. With a side of crazy. And we prefer ZERO light coming in at the edges. Zero.