Toddler hates the covers
January 20, 2010 10:20 PM   Subscribe

2 1/2 year old hates the covers, blankets , comforters etc. Almost no matter how cold the room is. When covered after asleep, he will kick them off in minutes. Usually his room is 60's-74 so not that cold. What recommendations can parents make about making sure he is warm enough at night, in terms of either clothing options or getting him to like being covered?
posted by dougiedd to Human Relations (28 answers total)
Have you tried him in blanket sleepers? They're meant for just such a situation.
posted by katemonster at 10:26 PM on January 20, 2010

As long as he's sleeping soundly, don't worry about it. If he's cold or uncomfortable, he'll wake up and you'll know. Different people (kids and adults) have different sensitivities to temperature and we can't always expect our kids to need a blanket (or a jacket, or a hat, etc.) just because we do.
posted by amyms at 10:34 PM on January 20, 2010 [12 favorites]

That room temperature is warm enough that probably, ordinary footie pajamas are fine. They wouldn't even have to be the fleece kind with the zipper. I couldn't possibly sleep under blankets in a room hovering around 70ish, and my kids sleep much hotter than I do.

You will know if he's cold, he'll make it clear to you.
posted by padraigin at 10:38 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do you tuck the corners of the covers in? I don't know if there are safety issues with a child that age that require tucking in, but I have never been able to stand the feeling of being trapped by the covers when they're tucked in. My father is the same way. We both end up half wrapped in our covers, half uncovered in the morning, with the covers completely untucked.

Or to echo amyms, if he isn't having trouble sleeping, why worry about it?
posted by MadamM at 10:38 PM on January 20, 2010

Our daughter is very similar. One thing that we do when it gets cooler is that we run a little space heater before she goes to bed to take the chill off of the room. Also, we'll just make a point of covering her up for a few times during the night (before we go to bed, if we get up during the night), and then I cover her up one more time before I head off to work in the morning, so that she sleeps in a bit more (doesn't wake up from the cold and want mama to come and get her).

I think that it probably bothers us more than it bothers her. Kids are pretty resilient when it comes to temperature. I think a lot of our personal discomfort with cooler temperature is conditioned over the years.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:41 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some kids run hot. If he sleeps through the night, even if he's in skivvies and with the window open, count yourself lucky! (Plenty of adults have the same sleep preferences, too.) You can always program the thermostat to warm him up in the AM, when cold feet would be a bummer.
posted by turducken at 10:45 PM on January 20, 2010

Let him toss them off if he wants. If he does get cold, he'll remedy the situation himself. I did that a lot as a kid and heck, I still toss my covers off very often. There's nothing wrong with it.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:47 PM on January 20, 2010

They have Halo Sleepsacks for kids now, but I agree with folks above. If he doesn't seem to be cold (waking up or crying/whining) you can just make sure he's got warm PJs on and leave it at that. Our son seems to generate a lot of heat when he's sleeping, and I think it's a survival trait.
posted by girlhacker at 10:49 PM on January 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

My three-year-old is exactly the same way; he wants nothing to do with blankets or coverings of any kind. He will mutter "no, yucky blanket" and flail until he is free of them, without every actually waking up. This truly sucks when he ends up in our bed, in the middle, effectively leaving me with no blankets from the waist up.

The answer is definitely footed blanket sleepers. If your home is especially cold, put socks and a t-shirt under the sleeper. But we keep our heat at 64 overnight, and just the sleeper keeps our little guy plenty warm.

In fact, you might consider turning down your heat overnight - it could be that he's actually overheated if it's 74 in the house; I know I can't sleep well if I'm too hot. My mother-in-law tells stories about how when the lived in Canada, she always kept the window in my husband's room cracked open, even in the winter, even when he was an infant.

So if he seems chilled - fleece footie sleepers. If he seems warm, turn down the heat. Either way, don't worry about the blankets. He's self-regulating, that's all.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 11:02 PM on January 20, 2010

Our lil' one was the same, and still doesn't seem to notice being cold, day or night. Blanket sleepers were our answer.

Temps over 70 are a bit high at night. A lot of people require a lower temperature to be comfortable and sleep well.
posted by moira at 11:13 PM on January 20, 2010

Crikey, I live in Australia, and it's the middle of summer. If I had to sleep in a room at 74 degrees fahrenheit I'd swelter. Turn your heat down!

Get a grobag and turn the heat right down. Truly, that's a horrible temperature to sleep in. Australians would whinge about that. 65 degrees fahrenheit would be just about right.
posted by taff at 11:30 PM on January 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

When I was a little kid around this age, my mom would put me in "blanket sleepers" and I unzipped them and ripped them off of me every single night. If the problem from his perspective is that he feels too hot, a polyester death-sack is probably not going to be an awesome solution from his perspective either. If he can sleep without blankets on, then his body temperature is probably regulated comfortably for him. And he may just plain not like the feeling of being super restricted under the blankets too, in which case I can't really think of a good reason to force him to stay underneath them.

Long-sleeved cotton PJs during colder nights, and a blanket that he can pull over himself if/when he wants to seems like a good solution.
posted by so_gracefully at 11:32 PM on January 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

OOOOOH, forgot to mention. The accepted wisdom in these parts is that you heat the room, not the child. So you're sort of doing the right thing. Maybe turn it down and leave a doona (quilty thing) on the end of the bed for him to bring up over himself if he likes.

ToddlerTaff at the same age refuse her doona so we just put her in footed fleecy pyjamas. But her room was more like 55.4 degrees fahrenheit.... Australians don't generally do central heating.... as you can imagine.
posted by taff at 11:39 PM on January 20, 2010

wow: amazing how responsive folks are around these parts! Thanks.
posted by dougiedd at 11:45 PM on January 20, 2010

You could try a bed tent if footy jammies don't work.
posted by Sallyfur at 12:42 AM on January 21, 2010

Leave the blankets or covers at the foot of the bed or just beside him rolled up. Let him know that if he is cold he can pull them over - show him how. Let him know its no big deal. It's how I sleep. I have to cool down before I can nod off usually. Often I wake up at some point and pull covers over me. It doesn't disturb my sleep. I'm 34 of course but I have always been this way.
posted by evil_esto at 1:20 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

My daughter is 8 now, and ever since she was a toddler, she's slept in a t-shirt and skivvies and kicked the covers off. Our house is heated to the mid-sixties, but she sleeps with the ceiling fan on to make it cooler. Kid likes it cold! One thing I've noticed about her, though, is that for a such a skinny kid, she gives off a ton of body heat - sharing a bed with her is like having a person sized hot water bottle next to me. So I don't worry. The blankets are there, and she'll pull them up if she wants them. Oh, and also, 74 degrees would kill me. I like sleeping in a cold room, but 74 would be too high for me even during the day. The temperature in my house right now is 68, but I'd still be comfortable at 66.
posted by Ruki at 5:57 AM on January 21, 2010

Seconding "it's nothing to worry about".
posted by glider at 6:04 AM on January 21, 2010

Yeah, we sleep with the heat at around 60, and in fleece footies, our two year old still kicks off the covers.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 6:50 AM on January 21, 2010

I'm a portable heater too. For me it was a combo of overheating and claustrophobia. I learnt to sleep with a leg or arm out of the sheets to calm the claustrophobia. I don't do even that now: The trick is to avoid the body's "I'm cold so I'll produce heat" circuit. Seasonally appropriate clothing (thermals/sleepers for winter/spring/fall, *long* pants and shirts for summer) and beddings (two blankets for winter, one in spring and fall, just the bedspread and a sheet for summer). That keeps me just hot enough to stay cool and calm.
posted by jwells at 7:07 AM on January 21, 2010

Sleep sack, if it hasn't been mentioned. Also, our oldest son went through a stage like that, and we dressed him in two pairs of pajamas for bed.
posted by not that girl at 7:41 AM on January 21, 2010

Ugh, I remember being three or four and just getting way too warm and waking up in the middle of the night all the time. I would kick blankets and sheets off of me, unzip the feeted pajamas and fling them away from me, etc. (In fact, this still happens -- even though I'm comfy when I fall asleep, I always wake up at about 3 AM feeling uncomfortably warm, and end up removing most of the warm blankets, etc., in the room (which is usually around 60-65 F).
posted by kataclysm at 7:47 AM on January 21, 2010

>This truly sucks when he ends up in our bed, in the middle, effectively leaving me with no blankets from the waist up.

Heh - this. My solution is to now wear undershirts - keeps me toasty, lets him kick the covers off.

So - this question, does your toddler wear PJ's? If so, I wouldn't worry about it - if not, then perhaps a space heater for the room (one with an auto-thermostat).
posted by jkaczor at 7:54 AM on January 21, 2010 has the halo blanket sleepers 50% off today, if you think he needs the sleep sack. We used them on our baby when she was tiny, but at 8 months she's a sweatbox, so we sort of let her regulate on her own.
posted by dpx.mfx at 8:35 AM on January 21, 2010

Yep, my 19-month old has a couple of fleece-y sleep sacks. Grobags are great.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:05 AM on January 21, 2010

If my room was 74 I'd kick the covers off too, and my clothes if I could get away with it.
posted by dagnyscott at 9:14 AM on January 21, 2010

I'm a blanket kicker, and I think my almost-7-year-old son is the same. He's been sleeping in just undies (no PJs) for years. I say don't worry about it at all.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:36 AM on January 21, 2010

74 was the high end of the range: summertime and no AC
posted by dougiedd at 10:22 AM on January 21, 2010

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