Night Night little ones
September 20, 2007 8:28 AM   Subscribe

How do you get toddlers to keep their blankets on overnight?

We have 18-month old twin girls. They wear PJ's to bed (full-length/footies now that it's getting cooler [we live in CT]) and we cover them with a nice fleecy blanket. Problem is, of course, that they move around at night and manage to kick their blankets off and they're not big enough yet to pull their blankets back on. So my wife and I get up frequently throughout the night to make sure they're covered and warm enough.

Are there any tricks to get them to keep the blankets on? I'd love to hear your experiences with anything that worked. When do they start pulling blankets back on themselves?

(They're too big for the HALO sleepsacks. We also pay attention to their temperatures, and they're not pulling the blankets off because they're too hot.)
posted by widdershins to Human Relations (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This may seem like a really stupid idea as I do not have kids, but couldnt you just put a space heater in their room? If they are too small to pull their blankets back on they shouldn't be able to get out of their cribs and upset it.

Another idea is that if they are sleeping together they would presumably snuggle for warmth if they get cold and its not a problem. Or you could just get a really big fleecy blanket that would not be so easy to kick off. Also, maybe they are kicking it off because they are too warm?

Again, I don't know what I am talking about, but hopefully something in there was helpful.
posted by BobbyDigital at 8:32 AM on September 20, 2007

We gave up :) Just put a heater in the room.
posted by zeoslap at 8:32 AM on September 20, 2007

Also as long as they aren't waking up cold it's really not a problem, those fleece suits are pretty warm as is.
posted by zeoslap at 8:33 AM on September 20, 2007

Response by poster: BobbyDigital: They don't sleep in the same bed - sorry, should have made that clear.

Zeoslap: Sometimes they do wake up cold, so it is an issue for us.

Re the spaceheater, we haven't gone that route yet because we're worried the girls will crawl all over it (when it's off, of course) and pull it down on themselves. It seemed very difficult to babyproof...?
posted by widdershins at 8:37 AM on September 20, 2007

My 2.5-year-old isn't interested in keeping the blankets on either. I just keep the heat up a little in the bedroom. Most of my friends can't get their kids to keep blankets on either. I find warm PJs work wonders. I'm not sure you can get little ones to keep the blankets on if they don't want them.

If you don't adjust the blankets, are they freezing in the morning? Do they wake up and say they're cold? If not, you can probably just let it go.
posted by acoutu at 8:38 AM on September 20, 2007

I would put thick fleece suits on them with footies. If they stay asleep they are warm enough. there's nothing wrong with being a little cold while you sleep. it might even be healthier.

I thought I read recently that adults sleep better when a room is cool. same for babies?

I would not put a space heater in a toddler's room. too much risk of a stuffed animal - or all these blankets you are giving them - being flung across the room, and onto the heater, during the night.
posted by cda at 8:41 AM on September 20, 2007

You could forgo the beautiful color-coordinated, sized-for-cribs blankets and buy a larger, inexpensive blanket sized for an adult-sized bed for each of the twins, then tuck the end of the blanket(s) firmly under the mattress, hospital-style, and let the weight of the mattress and child hold the blanket in place.
posted by misha at 8:46 AM on September 20, 2007

Best answer: You can also get a kind of sleeping bag with shoulder straps - we used that with our younger child till she was old enough to keep covers on most of the time.
posted by crocomancer at 8:53 AM on September 20, 2007

When our girls were this age, our cold-night solution was to put them in long-sleeved, long-legged footless pajamas (the two-piece kind from Gap or Old Navy) and then zippered fleece footie sleepers, like Carters' has. Our old house was very drafty and only had a wall heater in the middle of it, and our kids stayed pretty warm.
posted by padraigin at 9:05 AM on September 20, 2007

Best answer: Widdershins, are they too big even for the Big Kids Sleepsacks? These go up to 4/5T, though I know nothing about children's sizing ...
posted by brina at 9:23 AM on September 20, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you everyone for your answers so far. brina & crocomancer, I didn't know they made toddler-size sleepsaks - I'll look into those. If anyone has any other tips, please chime in...
posted by widdershins at 9:59 AM on September 20, 2007

We use a space heater. It is an oil-filled one that looks like a radiator. It keeps the room toasty, and doesn't get hot enough to burn anyone or anything. It's worked well for all three of our kids and lets us keep the temp in the house lower.
posted by hilby at 10:16 AM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Duct tape!
posted by browse at 11:12 AM on September 20, 2007 [3 favorites]

I would not put a space heater in a toddler's room. I actually set our house on fire by sticking a piece of paper into a space heater when I was two. Fortunately, my mom was right there and was able to put it out pretty quickly.

With my own two year old, I dress her in fuzzy footie pjs. She always kicks the covers off between the time I put her to bed and the time that I'm ready to go to bed. So, I sneak into her room before I go to bed and make sure that she is well-covered. She has a set of sheets, a big poofy comforter, and a quilt that goes on top of the comforter. Once I tuck her in for the second time, she usually stays tucker in.

Seconding the suggestion for the sleep sacks as well.
posted by Ostara at 11:20 AM on September 20, 2007

Try layering. Onesie under the full-length footie for now, then when it gets colder, another layer of full-length footie under a more snug full-length footie. If you buy a larger size fleece full-length footie, then they grow into the larger size. Tucking the blanket in under the mattress never worked for me because mine hated being restrained and therefore would wake up, or just crawl out of the blanket and sleep on top of it.
posted by jujube at 11:58 AM on September 20, 2007

We doubled up the jammies on our daughter in very cold months and also ran a space heater - but at that age she couldn't get out of her crib or walk, so it was a non-issue as far as safety was concerned.
posted by plinth at 1:40 PM on September 20, 2007

What about getting a big fleece blanket, folding it, sewing two sides up to make a pocket, and then tucking them into the pocket?
posted by nakedsushi at 3:32 PM on September 20, 2007

Ther's a reason they call them blanket sleepers. And they can wear 2 if it's cold. After that, warm up the room.
posted by theora55 at 3:40 PM on September 20, 2007

Are they waking up? If so, deal with it, otherwise don't lose sleep over it.

With my twins we had them in the same bed, good pj's and used adult sized blankets. We kept the heat in the house up a bit. You can experiment whether they do better in the same bed or separately, and if together whether they're better with one super huge comforter (eg Queen size) or 2 twin comforters. If they're in the same bed or crib, check to see whether side by side works better or end to end.

While different solutions worked at different times, at that age we put a double mattress on the floor and they slept side by side but sideways on the bed (because they didn't need the length) with one Queen sized comforter. As they were bigger, we switched to separate comforters.

We never had luck with any sleeping bag options since they weaseled out of them just as easily.
posted by kch at 3:57 PM on September 20, 2007

We used the sleepsacks mentioned above for all of our children and they worked great up until about 3. After that, socks on their feet and warm pajamas like long underwear.
posted by bluesky43 at 4:57 PM on September 20, 2007

they come in range of sizes (for up to 6yr olds and varying weights for different seasons/situations);

although suggestion of duct tape may be interesting to follow up :)
posted by beige at 6:20 PM on September 20, 2007

I know I'm a little late to the party, and so you might not still be reading this, but... I'd be against relying too much on multiple layers with onesies and footie pajamas. You're just about into potty-training age, and trust me, it's hard for a little girl to get all the way undressed from pajamas with feet to pee in the middle of the night, and then get dressed again. With two layers, it's even worse. It took me ages to get my mother-in-law to stop buying pajamas with feet for my girl, because she only had boys and didn't see the problem. :)

Better, I'd say step away from the baby-type solutions and invest in multiple layers of t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and nice warm socks. :)

My five-year-old STILL kicks off all of her blankets, and strips off all of her pajamas, too. Fortunately she doesn't wake up cold anymore.

The one-year-old baby sleeps with the blanket all night long, though. I think it's just a matter of temperament.

Good luck!
posted by Andrhia at 7:13 AM on September 23, 2007

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