Tired of the kids kicking the covers off and getting cold during the night? Try our tips below for warm and blissful slumber.
From personal experience, I can vouch that once you’re an adult, the three hardest things to get out of are …
1. Debt – ain’t that the truth!
2. Bean bags – there comes a point in your life when the only solution is to say goodbye to any dignity you have left and just roll until you find solid ground.
3. A warm, cosy bed in winter!
Keeping kids warm at night
When the winter chill settles in, adults layer up, snuggle up and disappear under a mountain of duvets and blankets at night to keep warm. The kids, however, are a little more unaware of their surroundings once slumber kicks in and have an infuriating habit of kicking off the covers and twisting PJs around until the cold air wakes them up. And then suddenly they’re in your bed, putting their cold feet on your back and hogging all the blankets!
So, to help keep the kiddies warm at night (and save your sleep), here are some tips for warm, cosy nights. (Always consider the age of your child and use safe sleeping practices).
1. Heating the room
Obviously the best course of action is to keep your child’s room at a comfortable temperature. An efficient heating system is a worthwhile investment, especially one that heats your entire home. However, this is not always affordable or practical for family homes. Other options for heating bedrooms include panel heaters, which provide a background warmth for a low cost, oil heaters, and electric heaters. Remember to follow all safety precautions with heaters and choose ones with a thermostat. A programmeable timer can help to keep control of the temperature and reduce heating costs.
The World Health Organisation recommends that our homes be at a minimum temperature of 18°C, or 20°C for homes with young children, elderly or ill people.
For tots, sleeping bag-type nightwear is a blessing! They’re extremely practical for night-time feeds and changing and are impossible to ‘kick off’. The award-winning Go Go Bags from Merino Kids are used by mums all over the world to keep their little ones cosy.
For older kids, onesies are great (we all love those footed jammies, right?!) and they avoid the need for socks which go missing in the middle of the night. Though they are a little impractical for those toilet training. You can also use a soft vest/singlet under warm PJs, cosy swaddles for babies, and choose PJs with cuffs to avoid sleeves and legs riding up.
3. Bedding layers
Just as we put on layers of clothing on cold days, it is also recommended to layer bedding. This is particularly helpful on those nights when the NZ weather can’t really make up its mind! Lay a blanket across the bottom of the kids’ beds (past their feet) and fold it like a paper fan so they can just grab the top and pull to add an extra layer if they get cold in the night. Polar fleece sheets are worth the investment – just don’t expect anyone to jump out of bed in a hurry the next morning! Woolen underlays are good at regulating temperatures.
Duvets have a habit of sliding off onto the floor in the middle of the night. You can buy grips with a strap that goes underneath the mattress to keep them in place. Or simply place a sheet or blanket cross-wise on the bottom half of the bed and tuck it in on both sides.
4. Keep the cold out
Installing thermal curtains on windows and external doors will help to keep the cold out and weather-stripping any gaps will stop draughts. Insulation can also make a huge difference to the room’s temperature.
5. Take the chill off
A hot water bottle popped under the covers before bedtime can help take the chill off. Just remember not to leave it in the bed, use a cover, and be careful when filling and emptying.
Electric blankets are very efficient at heating the bed. Read all safety information before use and do not use a blanket that is damaged. Turn it on about half an hour before bed and turn it off before the child gets in bed (turn it off at the wall and unplug it for added safety). Only use them with kids who are fully toilet trained.
What’s your best tip for keeping the kids warm in bed? Tell us in the comments below, or if you have used one of our tips, let us know!
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Written by Julie Scanlon
Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire.
Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”