February 02, 2009,
S.S. asks from Oklahoma City, OK on December 13, 2008
Baby's Room Is Freezing Cold at Night!
I need some ideas on how to keep my baby from freezing at night! His room is the coldest in the house, and I think he's been waking up at night wanting to come in our bed to nurse because he's so cold (that and he's teething!). I would if I could, but I just can't do the cosleeping thing because I always get crowded out and hardly sleep at all. We usually keep the temp a little lower at night to keep the gas bill down, plus we have a big down comforter that is super warm, and I can't sleep if it's too warm (the MBR is the warmest room!). Our baby is only 7 months so extra covers/blankets for him aren't recommended due to SIDS and suffocation risks. We dress him in warm footie PJs and a fleece blanket sleeper, but his hands still feel like ice when I go get him in the morning. We need to keep his door closed at night so our cats don't bug him, and I'm afraid to put a spaceheater in his room overnight for fear of it shorting out and causing a fire. Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can keep him and his room warmer?
C.H. answers from Tulsa on December 19, 2008
I'm new so I'm a little late on the advice but I will go ahead anyways. We had a similar problem with my son. He actually sleeps better with the door shut so no one bothers him. I would put him in a onsie, a pair of socks and a warm footie sleepers. I also put a blanket in the bed for him to sleep on. Just sleeping on the sheet was to cold against the matress. Good luck
J.B. answers from Birmingham on December 15, 2008
C.S. answers from Hattiesburg on December 14, 2008
hi there S.
Once upon a time there was a hot water bottle or even warm gel pack. People also warmed bricks and wrapped them to put in the bed to warm the bed. And the there was a heating pad to warm the bed . The last items were removed when the bed was occupied. hope you find these suggestions helpful,
S.J. answers from Tulsa on December 14, 2008
Wow, you just described our situation exactly, (even down to the three cats)! We dressed our baby in layers, depending on how cold it is. Regular onesie as an undershirt, then a long-sleeved t-shrt over that, then the pajamas, then the sleep sack. Now that she is almost 1, we don't use the sleep sacks anymore and haven't for awhile, but we don't use blankets yet either because she moves around so much at night that it wouldn't stay on her anyway. So we still dress her in layers - onesie, long-sleeved tshirt, thick fleece footed pajamas (socks and slim pants underneath if it is really cold out). Her pajamas are a little too big right now, so the sleeves hang over her hands a bit, which proabably helps keep them warm. Have you tried mittens at night? They may not stay on though, and the kind attached with a string would be too dangerous at night. But if she's warm enough over all, then her hands don't seem to get cold, and her body feels toasty warm, even her legs and feet, when I get her up in the morning so I think the layering I'm doing is enough. I tried a space heater in the very beginning, but I stopped because it made me too nervous, plus I didn't want it to get TOO warm in there because babies aren't supposed to get overheated either. Oh yes, I almost forgot - since we have an old house it contributes to the cold room problem. My husband put this clear plastic "shrink wrap" type film on the windows that we don't open (half are painted shut). You adhere it to the edges and then use a blowdryer to finish and it really looks invisible. Of course this only works if you do not open your windows in the nice weather. But it helps with utility bills. I read another response that said to lock the cats in the bathroom at night so you can leave the baby's door open, but I disagree with that. At our house, our "furry kids" sleep with us in our room and have full access to the rest of the house (food, litter boxes) except for the baby's room, and there is no way I'd change that. So just use those layers to keep the baby nice and warm. Sorry, one more tip: We actually have started keeping the thermostat warmer at night. We just decided that it is one of the expenses we need to pay when you have a baby, and we cut back on other things instead. And it makes getting out of bed easier in the morning too! :)
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R.E. answers from Oklahoma City on December 15, 2008
Our baby has somehow always managed to be in the coldest room in the house; don't know why. We also have two cats, so the door stays closed at night. Long thermal curtains help retain heat, and they also darken the room well for daytime naps. We put a space heater in his room to warm it up, and just tweak the temperature setting based on how warm the room is in the morning. I looked for a space heater with safety features like automatic shutoff in case of a short, resistance to tipping over, and the like. We got a Vornado space heater around a year ago; our son is 16 months now and crawling all over the place, and I am very firm that he is not to play with the heater, and so he is careful around it. (I never turn it on when he's out of bed, but this is in case he learns to work the buttons.) So far, things are working great, and he sleeps through the night (and has since 4.5 months).
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C.U. answers from New Orleans on December 14, 2008
Mom, you're going to have to make some sacrifices, it's what being a parent is all about.
Here are some suggestions:
- Replace your blanket so you're not hot so you can warm up the rest of the house
- Secure the cats so you can leave his door open
- put socks on his feet under what he already has on
- put up some thermal/lined curtains to help keep some of the cold out of the room from the window
- make sure his bed is not by the window
- put flannel sheets on his bed
- you can always put his bed in your room until the weather gets warmer
- turn up the heat in the house at night for a little while
- if you have a ceiling fan in his room, reverse the motion of the blades and keep it on low. This will pull up cold air in the room
- if his floor is not carpeted, put a large area rug over it to help keep the coldness from the floor from affecting the room
- put his bed right under the vent to make the most use of the heat coming out
Let us know how well his little hands warm up!
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D.B. answers from Tulsa on December 14, 2008
The key to proper air flow is to keep the door open. We had a baby and a cat once and actually installed a screen door to keep the cats out of the baby's room when needed. Sounds crazy to have a screen door inside but it worked like a charm! God Bless you.
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B.L. answers from Oklahoma City on December 14, 2008
I'll bet it has to do with keeping his door closed. It doesn't make much sense to me, BUT it was explained to me that in order for a room to stay warm, there has to be air flow in AND out of the room. If the door fits tightly against the carpet, air doesn't circulate. If our kids close their doors during the day to play, their room starts to get cold. I use to close our baby's room at night, but same problem. I now close it for her to go to sleep, but prop it open with a stuffed animal when I go to bed. No more problems with frozen baby fingers.
Is there another solution with the cats?
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G.B. answers from Tulsa on December 13, 2008
I have lived several times without natural gas so I know how hard it is to pay the heating bill. I choose to turn the heat down during the day, 60-65 degrees, when everyone is up and playing and able to snuggle when they are chilly. With all the laundry and cooking the house stays fine all day. I need to be comfortable to sleep well, I set the thermostat on 70-72 degrees at bedtime. Too hot or too cool is very uncomfortable. Also, I am awake more hours than asleep so the heat is turned down for more hours.
Also, they sell magnetic vent covers at home supply stores and Wal-Mart. If your vent covers are made of something other than metal use magazines or books, my brother has a heat and air business and he uses bricks to cover his vents. Our master bathroom is the first room off the central unit and it is the hottest room in the house. I bet it can reach 95/100 degrees in there when the heat is on (we keep all the bathroom doors closed to keep little kids out of the toilet and possible drowning). Think about Summer...it can be very cold coming out of the shower. I place the vent cover over 90% of the vent. The actual vent is mostly closed and the air that comes out is minimal but enough to keep the bathroom comfortable. The toilet seat doesn't freeze our hiney's when we sit down. We cover, 90%, all the vents at night so the heat goes into the occupied rooms. We moved our bedroom to the coolest room and let the kids have the warmer room. It is bigger and they have more room for their toys and can have an indoor slide and stuff so they can have large muscle play. It is under 30 degrees here so it is nice they can play indoors.
Your baby is more important than the cats...but a cat is always on the wrong side of a closed door, I know, we have had cats too. I gave up a long time ago when it came to keeping the cats out of the bedroom at night. We couldn't sleep because the cats constantly, all night, clawed the door and meowed loudly trying to get in. When we gave in I got used to sleeping on my tummy with 2 cats sleeping between my legs on the covers. Have you considered putting a screen door on the baby's room? It would allow ventilation but keep the cats out. Maybe a piece of lattice, the cats can't rally destroy that like they can screen.
I agree the windows could be covered. I entirely disagree about putting a space heater in the room. They cause fires all the time and it isn't worth the risk. My daughter heated a bedroom with one and I noticed the wall was getting discolored, when I touched the wall it was very hot. She threw the heater away that day. They all have risks. What about when the baby starts climbing out of the crib in a couple of months? A long term solution is your best bet.
I know I go on and on but this is at least something I have experience with. I hope some of my suggestions will help you, or spark ideas that will solve the situation.
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L.M. answers from Fort Smith on December 15, 2008
You could try putting socks on his hands once he's asleep, so he doesn't pull them off. When my daughter was a baby, we had this same problem, I used to tuck the baby comforter into the sides of the crib, and then have her hands, chest, and head out of the covers, but at least her lower body was covered, and it would help her to stay warmer. With the comforter tucked tightly in, she couldn't move it, and she never scooted down throughout the night, she usually scooted up. I don't know if that makes any sense, but those are 2 things you could try, otherwise, moving the crib to your room seems like pretty good advice! Good luck!
J.B. answers from New Orleans on December 14, 2008
Good morning, S.! A space heater is your best bet. I'm not sure why you are afraid of it "shorting out"...that would be an electrical issue and not a product issue. If your eletrical system is a problem then anything you plug in can short out. If it is the space heater safety about which you are worried, choose one accordingly. We chose an oil-filled floor model for our daughter's room when she was young and only turned it on at night. The benefits of it is that it warms the entire room at a constant temperature that can be set. There are lots of safety features. The downside to this one is that it can get hot to the touch. Once Allie was crawling we set up her playpen fence to separate the heater from the rest of the room in case she ever managed to climb out of bed at night. There are some smaller models than the one we chose though (she had a really big room) and some can be put up on shelves out of the way of little hands.
Here's a good comparison website I found: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/10/5-great-portable-...