29 answers

How to Keep Toddler Warm at Night

How can you tell if your toddler is warm enough at night? Here's our situation: we keep the thermostat low at night because we're not made of money and don't believe in wasting natural resources. I dress my son in a onsie, fleece footie PJs and a pair of larger sweat pants over that. He will NOT keep a blanket over him, and when he gets tangled in even a tiny receiving blanket he goes nuts. What is tricky now that we're coming on spring, it's warmer in our 75-year-old home when he goes to bed (around 8:30), and then around 11 pm it drops about 5 degrees cooler. How can I tell if he's comfortable? He does these random cry outs all the time, that could be teeth, dreams, reflux (he's on meds, but sometimes you can get break-throughs), take your pick of reasons. He is also an incredibly active mover in his sleep, and he burrows into pillows like a little drill. Any thoughts? Would just like to know how other moms do it.

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Thanks gang for the suggestions! I failed to mention to you all that we sleep in the same room as my son, and I wear flannel pajama bottoms, top, and a sweatshirt, and I would FREEZE in that alone. (My husband and I have a down comforter over us.) I also thought the whole “dress them one layer more than you” rule ended when they became toddlers and their bodies begin to regulate temperature better…so I called my pediatrician’s office and asked. Glad to hear I’m not the only one in a drafty old house with the bedroom on coldest side! We imagine the temp in our room gets down to 64 at night.

I’m not keen on space heaters (seem dangerous) or on turning up the heat (it does not sit well on my environmental conscience). And of course blankets of any thickness are not tolerated by this kid. But the sleep bags you all suggested look awesome—especially the one with feet and a “backwards” zipper for diaper changes! I ordered a Halo wearable blanket from Target last night. Turns out they go all the way up to 4or 5T—who knew? Oh, you guys did! Thanks much.

Featured Answers

Someone once told me to feel the back of their neck. If it feel chilly, then they are cold. Good luck!

A pediatrician told me to keep the baby one layer warmer than I'd keep myself (for dressing, actually). So, if I was comfortable in short sleeves, put long sleeves on the baby; if I needed long sleeves, but two layers on the baby. If you're warm enough, he probably is too.

we use sleep sacks - they have fleece ones for bigger kids as well as heavy cotton, my son used one until he was 2.5 years old. We also keep the temp down for various reasons. Hope that helps.

More Answers

I think he may be hot in a onesie, pjs, and sweats! Kids are supposed to wear one more layer than you do, and be cooler at night. Try just the pjs one night, see if that helps. Kids are always warmer than we are it seems, my three year old never wants to wear clothes and never complains about being cold, she actually tried to run out in the snow in her underwear last night! My three year old constantly kicks blankets off too and it never seems to bother her sleep, even if she's just in underwear. All the books say to keep your house at 68 during the day, 65 at night, which doesn't seem to use too much heat in our house, especially upstairs, and with proper insulation.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi there,

Go for the sleep sacks. They are roomy, comfortable and keep the child warm. I've seen them at the more upscale stores (Georgia Blu in west seattle for $30, which is actually pretty reasonable because they are very nice and soft inside) but for something cheaper, I'm not sure where to find them because ours have always come from relatives in Germany. They are great though, no kicking off, you can keep the temperature a bit lower in the room, and the novelty of them is something our child loved so we never had to fight it. My son wore his until he was almost 5.

1 mom found this helpful

my three year old will sometimes let us put his pair of fav pjs on but only on really cold nights most the time he either sleeps with just a tshirt or just even a diaper. but he doeskeep a light blanket on himself at night. but even my fifteen month old who sleeps on the floor in our room right now he will only wear a one-z we too don tlike to sleep with the heat on. we also have a condo so it may keep heat better then a house i dont know. but i find that if my boys are too hot they tend to wake up and climb in bed with us i sleep with a fan on and i think if they are warm it cools them. I would try maybe just the footie pjs one night and see how he does. kids dont like being too hot if there is one thing i know about parenting that is it. If the heat is on in our house and they get to warm it is hell to pay for me they start throwing fits!! Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried Halo brand Sleep Sacks? They fit over your child's PJs but give them room to move their feet around a bit so they don't feel too constricted. We used them with our daughter until she was at least 2. She'd never keep a blanket on either. I think they even make larger sizes for preschoolers now. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I A. a Mom in Alaska...I know all about how cold it can be at night. We also turn our heat down at night otherwise our gas bill would be insane... Our 2 year old sleeps in a t-shirt and a fleece footed sleeper with a Halo fleece sleep sack. I bought them online at Target. I dont know if they have them in stores or not, that is one of many stores we do not have up here. That seems to keep her pretty warm. I also saw that Halo makes a lighter summer version of the sleep sack, that may work better for you since I dont know where you live. Even in the summer time we use the fleece sleep sack with a lighter jammie. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds like you are doing a fine job!

my experience is that boys are warmer than girls, & it's probably not as much of an issue to him. Does the house drop below 60 or 55? Your layers on him would seem to be enough. I would guess that if he were down to skin, he would not get tangled in the covers, & could turn under them easier. something you might try on the hot summer nights that we are bound to get somewhere in,,,, oh november next year. (poking a joke at the ice storm I drove through yesterday, April 19th.)

Seriously, my son was never fond of sheets, & just uses a comforter. He always wadded the sheet up at the foot of his bed. I quit putting them on his bed, just the blanket, tucked in at the end & the back.

I wouldn't stress it, he's probably hot if he's kicking the covers off.


Someone once told me to feel the back of their neck. If it feel chilly, then they are cold. Good luck!

we use sleep sacks - they have fleece ones for bigger kids as well as heavy cotton, my son used one until he was 2.5 years old. We also keep the temp down for various reasons. Hope that helps.

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