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It’s Like Prison – Only Louder

I am so tired.  You’d think RR was an infant, I am so tired.  In fact, I think she might think she’s an infant for all the time she’s spending being a pain in the ass all. night. long.


Sorry.  I fell asleep just then at the sound of my own pitiful whining.  Also, because I am exhausted.

But! I am not here to (entirely) complain about sometimes four-times-a-night wake up calls (that’s putting it delicately) because we all have colds (thanks, RR) and it has been unreasonably cold in our house.  It’s a brick box.  It takes awhile to get hot or cold but when it does, hoo boy, prepare for endless shivering/sweating.  Yes, we have a thermostat.  Yes, it works beautifully in seasonable weather, which both it and I consider to be between 50-80 degrees all year long.  20s – I object to you.

So, our room is freezing and RR’s room is chilly so we’ve stepped up our parenting game and dressed her in warmer clothes.  We have humidified her cold.  We have anticipated her every need.  We have followed the parenting strategy that got us this far: we do go in, we do find whatever is missing, and we do give her a hug if she wants it.  She doesn’t take advantage and she’s not going to be small forever.  I’ll take cuddling where I can get it.  We lessened the number of things in her bed.  We stopped humidifying, applying what we know of temperature and science.  Still, we wonder, is her bed somehow made of icy spikes?  And is her voice so much louder at night?  It’s like the howling of a dozen…well, howlers.  I’m too tired for metaphors.

The point!  You knew it was coming!  When do people (you, obviously, because no one else has time for blah blah blah it’ssocold) give kids a pillow, sheet, and/or blanket?  Have we been cruelly making our child do penance with her old square swaddle for a blanket and nothing else?  Why do we even use pillows anyway?  Does every child you know have a cozy bed by two and a half?  Do they use normal-sized pillows?  Does she have to be out of the crib to get bedding?  How have I missed this important parenting lesson?  So tell me, worst parents ever?





12 Responses

  1. Ha!!! I remember the exact same question – when the hell can we give this kid a blanket? If RR is a toddler, it is fine to give her a blanket. And a pillow, and sheets, and all the other bedding. My disclaimer: I’m not a parenting expert or professional, but both of my kids have survived so far to the ages of 9 and 7. Good luck – I hope it helps!

  2. We have a little electric space heater for each of the kids’ rooms, the kind that’s plastic outside and therefore impossible to burn themselves on. Also Bug has had a blanket starting at, oh, 6 months? Started with a thin swaddling blanket, now up to fleece blanket (he won’t leave it on though) plus a full set of clothes under the footie pajamas. And the heater. He also has a pillow, which sits by his feet, and he’s never once put his noggin on it in two years. So…. um… space heaters!

  3. We started giving C a blanket (crocheted) last fall, somewhere after 18 months old. Sometimes she keeps it on all night, sometimes it doesn’t survive 10 minutes into her mid-slumber acrobatics… Still holding off on the pillow for now…

  4. Our kids started in a sleep blanket and stayed in them until they could stand up. (I think. It’s all a blur.) But they did have blankets in their cribs, Isa more so since we were in Colorado.

  5. Our almost-14 month old has pajamas, a fleece sleepsack, and a flannel quilt made by one of her grandmas. If she’s in the thin cotton pajamas rather than fleece ones, we’ll put a sweatshirt on her, too. I think she’d sleep better with a pillow (because she tries to curl up on ours) but I’ve heard no pillows until age 2.

  6. We live in a 100+ year-old house, and our little one has had blankets since she was born. When she was very small, we kept them down below her waist and swaddled her well. Once she could roll over, all bets were off, and she currently sleeps with four(!) blankets in her crib. One cotton knit blanket, one synthetic furry blanket, a down comforter/duvet, and a quilt. Also, two big pillows and a little pillow. She mostly uses the big pillows to buffer her head from midnight adventures with the crib rails, but the little pillow is used as a regular pillow. This winter she also has a space heater in her room, in a semi-successful attempt to keep her inner own bed for a few extra hours each night. I figure, she’s old enough to be in a big bed, so anything you’d put on a big bed is fair game. It sounds like we live in Fairbanks, but I promise we’re just in Seattle.

  7. My girls is a little over two. We keep our house at 60 degrees at night, and she sleeps in a onesie, socks, fleece sleeper, fleece sleep sack with feet (from halo), two fleece blankets, and one small flannel quilt. She also has about five friends who join her in the crib. Before we added the sleep sack to the mix, she’d gone from sleeping though the night for months, to multiple wakeups. So we’d been freezing the poor thing.

    That’s the long way of saying, I think blankets would be perfectly safe at this point.

    • Judging from everyone’s experience, I think we can safely say she’s spent two and half years sleeping in a situation that is a bit, um, too cool. So last night we equipped the bed with a sheet and thin fleece blanket and a pillow – to prevent incessant crib head-banging. She thinks she’s in a heavy metal crib band. She slept like a rock all night long. Coincidence? I could care less, I’m so well-rested. Thanks for sharing your techniques everyone!

  8. Glad to hear what you tried worked! Noah has had his glow worm to sleep with from almost day 1. He’s still in his crib and in fleece footy pajamas. He’s had a fleece blanket for this whole winter, and we think he mostly keeps it on when he sleeps. This week and it’s horrible 20s we broke out the space heater for his room at night. We were just talking last night that we hope he stays in his crib for at least another year – we have no idea how we’d get him to stop running around and go to sleep otherwise!

  9. Glad you added the blanket. My son is 13 months. We’ve got a cold house, as well, and our son wears what Mary’s does, with two fleece blankets…and a couple stuffed animals. And has since 6 months, i think. I used the SIDS protocol as my philosophy. Once he was able to move his head and push himself up if something blocked his airway, that was good enough for me. So happy that you seem to have found a way to sleep!

  10. We gave the Bean a blanket at a probably-unapproved-of age, but he was COLD, and the sleep sacks weren’t enough. He was also very mobile and had fairly early head/torso control.

    He still sleeps better if he is warm, but try giving him a blanket now. Toddlers! We did give him a pillow recently — after going through a similar series of “did I miss this memo??” thoughts to yours — which has been pretty popular. Naturally, he prefers the old throw pillow to a normal one, but whatevs.

  11. I honestly cannot remember when we gave E a blanket. Pretty early I’m guessing, as we keep our house somewhat cool, esp. at night and she didn’t do sleep sacks. We moved her to a big girl bed when she was 2 1/2 at her own insistence – she simply refused to go into the crib and instead put herself to bed across the hall in the guest room, telling us “no more crib”. We went out and got her a bed that week. She would stay in her bed until we came in to get her – it was a lovely, smooth transition. Until a few months later when we began the screaming bedtime meltdown phase, which is why she’s an only child….

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