We get it: dressing a toddler to sleep in winter can be tricky. While you have to ensure that they’re not underdressing and are warm enough, toddlers also shouldn’t be overheated because it can lead to other health concerns. So, what are your options to dress your child during the winter season? How can you keep them at an ideal temperature throughout the night?
This article covers everything about how to dress a toddler to sleep in winter, from an ideal temperature for toddlers to what they can wear and cannot.
What is the ideal room temperature for toddlers to sleep?
Toddlers shouldn’t be cold when they sleep, yet they also shouldn’t be too hot. An overheated toddler can cause some health concerns such as dry mouth, nasal tissues, heat rash, or worse, increasing the risk of SIDS.
Ideally, the room temperature for toddlers to sleep should be between 16C to 20C, and you need to maintain it until the morning. There’s a reason why you should not put your toddler to sleep in the living room: a large room temperature is dynamic and constantly changing, especially at night. Use a room thermometer to constantly check your child’s room temperature.
How to Dress a Toddler to Sleep in Winter?
Typically, we either dress our toddlers in multiple layers of clothing or give them a thick blanket during a cold season. But what are really the best tips for dressing a toddler in a cold season? Here are some ideas you can take notes of:
Layering is Key
Putting your child in multiple layers of clothing helps keep them warm. Start with a soft and lightweight onesie or pyjamas as a base layer. Add a long-sleeved top or sweater and pants as the middle layer, and finish with a warm and cosy sleep sack or blanket.
Make sure that the layers are not too thick and heavy, as this can cause your toddler to overheat and become uncomfortable.
Use a sleeping bag or wearable blanket
In addition to clothing, a warm wearable blanket or a sleeping bag is great to provide additional warmth to your little one. Unlike standard blankets, these wearable blankets prevent your child from kicking it off in their sleep and becoming cold.
However, keep in mind to use the right TOG rating based on your room temperature, because using a sleeping bag with too high TOG rating can also overheat your toddler (we will talk more about TOG rating in the later section).
Choose Breathable Fabrics
As mentioned before, toddlers shouldn’t be overheated when they sleep. One way to avoid that is to make sure their fabrics aren’t just warm, but also breathable. Fabrics that are naturally breathable are cotton, wool and bamboo.
Keep their feet warm
If your child isn’t wearing a sleeping bag, make sure to keep their feet warm by dressing in comfortable socks or footed pyjamas. You can also add a pair of soft and breathable slippers to keep their feet extra cosy.
Do not cover the head
Unless your toddler is having a cold, it’s okay to leave the head uncovered. In fact, if your child is still a baby or under 18 months of age, covering their head in their sleep isn’t recommended and can lead to overheating.
What is TOG rating
TOG rating is a measure of the warmth of a fabric material, whether it’s a sleeping bag or a blanket. The higher the tog rating, the warmer the material is, and vice versa. It’s recommended to use either a 2.5Tog or a 3.5Tog sleeping bag during a cold winter season, however, that may change depending on your room temperature. Check our complete sleeping bag TOG rating guideline here.
How to check if your toddler is warm enough?
Wearing your child the right sleepwear is essential to keep them warm in winter, but how you can make sure that your toddler is already warm enough?
Hands and feet don’t always reflect the real temperature of a toddler. Start by touching your toddler’s chest or back with your hand to feel if they’re cold or warm. If their skin feels warm and dry, they are likely to go to sleep. However, if their chest feels cold or clammy, or they are shivering, they may be too cold and need an extra layer of clothing or bedding.
Can a toddler use a blanket?
Fortunately, you have plenty of options to dress your child to sleep in winter when they have reached toddler age, and a blanket is one of them. It’s safe to provide your child with a blanket as long as they’re older than 12 months of age. However, always refrain from giving a blanket to a baby under 12 months of age since it can increase the risk of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
There’s no problem with choosing a blanket over a sleeping bag for your toddler to sleep in winter, as long as you’re confident that your child won’t kick them off when they sleep. An ideal TOG rating for a blanket in winter is between 10.5 – 13.5 Tog. Also, you need to make sure that the blanket, is breathable, and fits snugly around your toddler’s body. Avoid using heavy or bulky blankets.