What Should My Baby and Toddler Wear to Sleep at Night in the Colder Months?
The weather is turning cold these days, and many parents wonder how best to keep their children warm at night.
Keeping your baby warm at night is more manageable. Using a high-quality sleep sack is the best solution. But what do you do if your older child keeps kicking the covers off at night or refuses to use a blanket?
Children have a difficult time keeping their covers on throughout the night. It can be nearly impossible to sleep in a toddler bed because the blanket for that sized bed is small. It is easier to keep a blanket on sleeping in a twin or a full-sized bed, but it can still be challenging. Kids often sleep like bowling balls. They inadvertently kick the blankets off their beds because kids tend to move a lot while sleeping.
Most toddlers can pull a blanket back up and over themselves to keep warm, but it can be a bit harder if your child is on the younger side. This skill can get lost in the shuffle and become a sleep issue if you find you have gotten into the habit of covering your child instead of having them cover themselves with their blanket.
Covering your child with a blanket over and over is a common habit when your child screams "Cover me!" in the middle of the night, and you do it even ONE time. All it takes is that one cover and a kiss to clue your child into the fact that having you do it for him is possible. Why would your child cover himself if you are willing to do it all night long? This is human nature :)
Make sure your toddler covers himself with his blanket at bedtime. That may sound a bit sad because who does not want to "tuck" their child in at bedtime? But what parent wants to "re-tuck" their child in all night long? Have them pull up the covers and then do all your snuggling, reading, and kisses. When your child calls for you in the middle of the night, do not cover them. Instead, point to their blanket, and have a sleep training line prepared "It is time to be asleep night-night."
Some toddlers flat-out refuse to use a blanket. A blanket is illogical to them. They have spent their whole lives sleeping in a crib with no pillow or blanket. A blanket can feel foreign and uncomfortable at first. If your child has a blanket aversion, don't force them to use a blanket, but do not ditch the blanket altogether. You can fold it down in half at the bottom of the bed. Every once in a while, you can put it on their feet or pull it up to get cozy for books, this way, they can get used to having a blanket on them to keep warm and a good association with a warm snuggle at bedtime.
Wearing a warm sleep bag with legs and footholes is a good solution for those who have blanket refusers! Your child can also wear socks that are not too tight fi their tootsies are cold. Sometimes kids do not like footy pajamas as they feel too hot and restrictive. Some children run hot at night.
I love the Tealbee Dream Suit; it is a sleep sack with legs. It is so comfy and adorable and gives your toddler lots of space to roll around in the bed without feeling restricted by a blanket. In addition, Kyte Baby (also a big favorite of mine) is has a toddler sleep sack with legs. Both Tealbee and Kyte have TOG ratings. TOG is the measure of thermal resistance. It stands for Thermal Overall Grade and has become the measure for how much heat a garment retains.
Knowing what TOG helps parents keep their babies and toddlers at a comfortable temperature while sleeping; is vital, so your child does not overheat. TOG helps understand what your younger and older child needs to stay warm but not too warm at night.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping your child's room between the temperatures of 69 - 71 degrees to reduce the risk of SIDS. It is always better to keep a cooler room and dress your child in appropriate sleepwear than a warm room dressed in nothing.
Stay warm and safe this holiday season, and I look forward to connecting with my Little Sleepers Family in the new year!