Daddy SOS: Blankets for Toddlers?

Courtesy of Shane, our very first Daddy S.O.S!

It’s been one I’ve been wondering about for a while now too, so most likely you all have to at one point or another..

In Shane’s words:

I’ve been meaning to send this to you for a while. But the recent cold spell in NorCal makes it top of mind again. I’m looking for some of the great advice that flows through your comment threads – more of the actual experiences vs. what the books say.

When and How did you start introducing a blanket into your toddler’s sleep routine?

At 15 months we’ve never had G sleep with a blanket in his crib at night or during naps. We have him in warm PJs and sometimes with an added fleece sleep sack. We also keep a space heater in his room at night so the temp doesn’t drop down as low as the rest of the house (our nighttime house temp is ~60 degrees F). I’d like to reduce the use of the space heater (it’s a power sucker).

The books talk about tucking in a blanket which I picture as almost creating a little sleeping bag fit. G rolls all around at night – the kid does laps in his sleep. So I don’t really picture the tucked blanket working well.

What have you done? What worked? What didn’t?

As far as what we’ve done, Jasper has two blankets he’s been sleeping with for a while, but they are more the lovey type than the “cover and keep you warm” type.

The first we introduced a long time ago (maybe 7 months?) and is crocheted so I didn’t worry about the smothering potential as much. The second I introduced a few months ago and is a super warm fuzy thing that I did more as something to make his crib more comfy and inviting (which with the addition of a velour crib sheet works wonders!)

But by no means do these stay on him all night or keep him warm. Our house goes down to 65 at night, but I also run his warm steam humidifier to keep the temperature up there and also his room is the hottest in the house so it’s worked so far.  But out of town this weekend we won’t have a humidifier with us, so this is a timely question for us too.

Now, another first..

My first ever “video” response to a previous Mommy SOS about winter boots!

I posted two days ago that we were trying these BearPaw boots even though the smallest is a size 5 and Jasper is a four. I had also read a review that said they were hard to get on, and it did look as though they might be (they don’t have an opening on the side) but actually they went on pretty easily. And then the moment of truth, can he walk in them? Take a look:

These boots are SO warm and fuzzy, they will definitely keep his feet warm outside.. I wish I had a pair!

They have them at which includes free overnight shipping and if you go there via clicking on the endless ad on this page on bing you’ll get 20% back which takes a bit of the sting out of paying $50 for baby boots.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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kari says:

we’ve been using the gro-bag at night (basically a sleep sack – but they make larger sizes – and come in different thicknesses that they call “togs”)

and introduced a blanket during naps when needed a few months ago.


Samm Ivri says:

We also use the humidifier to warm up Mia’s room at night. Its much better than turning on the heater because it doesnt dry her up. Since her room is small, it works great. Other than that, I recently purchased the IKEA crib comforter. Its very soft and lightweight, but really warm. its a perfect crib size. The sell the covers as well. Its worked out well for her and she doesnt get as tangled up in it as she did with the smaller blankets.

Judy N says:

I am paranoid about SIDS…even though technically, SIDS is for kids under 1 yr old, there are still kids who die after 1 year that are “SIDS-like.” I am totally skewed on this, though, because I trained in an area with a SIDS-specialist, so I heard and saw a lot of horror stories. Anyway, my son sleeps with just a long sleeved, long panted PJ and some socks when it’s cold. And I must be really sensitive to cold, because our house is set at 75 thermostat and we have a space heater in his room! before we used the space heater, sometimes when I picked him up in the morning, his feet would be a little cool (despite socks)…so with the space heater, I pick him up and he’s warm from fingertips to toes! It’s one of those warm air blowing space heaters….like a big hair dryer.

Katie says:

Velour crib sheet? Tell me more!

Michelle says:

My daughter sleeps in a short-sleeve onesie, socks and fleece pjs with a crochet blanket. She’s 14 months and has been using the blanket for a few months now. I also have a space heater in her room because even though the house is 71 it is freezing. I worry about her being cold because my husband and I have pjs on and cuddle in sheets and blankets, my 4yr old son has fleece on under a warm quilt – and then she just has her pjs on. If we are so cold – wouldn’t she be as well? I leave the door open to her room and it never gets too hot in there.

jbhat says:

We used blankets on our kiddo when he moved to his toddler bed. I think he was 2. Before that, in the crib, no blankets. We would have him wear layers, though, as suggested by other commenters.

ariana says:

Shane, I don’t know exact temp. My guess is that if thermostat is downstairs and set to 65 it’s probably at least 67 in his room if not higher.. pretty toasty, maybe too much so!

Jennilynn says:

We put a onesie and socks on under fleece footie PJs to keep our little one warm. Our house is set to 61 at night- we are also in NorCal and we did throw a little blankie on him too those last few nights. (If our heat is much higher we start to boil in our bed- my husband is a heater!)

Shane says:

Do any of you use a heater in the room? How cold is the nursery at night?

I actually know our temps because we have a little weather thing that shows temp and humidity – good for watching the dryness in the winter.

Kelsey says:

I live in Minnesota and we introduced the blanket to my son’s crib in November when the cold reality of Minnesota winter hit! We use a small blanket–about two feet by three feet–that is thick and fleecy. If it goes over his face, he pulls it down on his own. (In fact, he likes to actively bury his face in the nubby fleece and does just fine.) Anything bigger than that blanket and my concern would be that he’d get “lost” underneath and not be able to pull it all away from his face.

If you want to stick with the sleep sacks, then layer up underneath–we do this, too. Socks, long sleeve onesie, footie pjs, and then sleep sack. He stays toasty all night long!

Stephanie says:

I didn’t even know they existed, but we got a toddler-sized sleeping bag as a hand-me-down and it was great! It looks just like a standard sleeping bag with a zipper up the side. When my daughters outgrew the sleepsack but were little enough that having a blanket in the crib made me nervous, the sleeping bag was great – it kept them warm, they couldn’t kick it off and it was too short to pull up over their faces. My older daughter used it until she was three. My younger daughter (who turned two in August) has decided she is done with it (she recently moved into a toddler bed and is insistent that she is NOT A BABY) but it was great to have the sleeping bag as a stopgap between sleepsack and real blankets. I have no idea how much they cost – the one we had was hideous (Care Bears and rainbows) but it worked well – the key was to leave it unzippered in the morning – it’s too hard to put a sleeping child in a zipped up sleeping bag!

Peytie's nanny says:

From my years of experience I don’t feel it’s really necessary to introduce a blanket (as a cover for sleep) any time in the first two to three years. I have only ever introduced them during the few months leading up to the move from crib to bed when they would be needed. It’s really more about how you feel about it and what your instincts tell you. If your kiddo moves around a lot the blanket really isn’t going to do any good, so why use it? Warm feety pajamas are all you really need during cold months :-)