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Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together.
Hey, everyone,
welcome back to the kids sleep show, Courtney Zentz. Here founder of tiny transition sleep consulting and I am super excited to be chatting with you again. Today, we are talking all about pillows and blankets, when they should be used will they help and when is the best time to introduce one if you would like to. So first things first, I want to talk a little bit about kind of the guidelines around anything that’s a loose piece of cloth or fabric in a child’s sleep space. So as you know, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nothing in a child’s crib, bassinet, or pack in play depending on where your baby’s sleeping for the first 12 months of life because it can potentially be a hazard to the ability for them to breathe. So first and foremost, no baby under 12 months of age should have anything inside of that sleep
space
except themselves. Okay, maybe they’re using a pacifier, that’s fine. But pretty much that’s it if you are in a space where you find maybe baby’s cold, or perhaps you just as a parent would feel better if they had a bit of a blanket on they do make approved and safe wearable blankets that they resemble swaddles. But where their feet can be kind of freely moving about the actual fabric itself is of appropriate cut. And, you know, safety, if you will, right. So I know for example, we used to use the halo wearable blanket when my kids were babies, because I was someone who lived in some older houses. So it was generally pretty cold in certain rooms, even if the heat was set to like 70. So you know, we used fat but something like that is deemed appropriate and safe, always recommend checking out the American Academy of pediatric guidelines. But you know, anything under 12 months of age, they didn’t they don’t need it. And no, it is not going to help them sleep better. A lot of times I see parents trying to say oh, well, they just might be uncomfortable. Maybe if I got them a pillow or Gosh, they really just seemed to be chilly, maybe a blanket will help them it will not help your child sleep. Obviously, if you’re worried about the temperature, the space you can wear, use a wearable blanket, if they’re over 12 months of age, you can introduce a blanket, a pillow is not something children even look for, frankly, until at least two years of age, they will likely just kind of push it aside if you try to introduce it after 12 months. And they don’t quite grasp the concept. And frankly, they find comfort in other places in that sleep space. So the pillow and blanket isn’t going to help your child’s sleep better you have to look at what they’re seeking, or what the challenge is that they’re facing that’s causing them to not sleep well, right. And usually there is the word to sleep in there somewhere. So the first thing you want to assess is whether or not you’re doing something with your child to help them physically fall to sleep, right rocking, to sleep feeding, to sleep, bouncing, to sleep, co sleeping to sleep, because that’s the only way your child will go to sleep. Okay, when those types of things are introduced, it’s not that a blanket or pillow is going to be a quick fix, it’s that you’ve got to fix the root issue, which is they don’t know how to settle independently, they’re missing a skill set, right? So they don’t have the skill or recognize that they’re capable of putting themselves to sleep because maybe for their whole life they’ve had support, you’ve got to start there with kind of going back to basics. And I would definitely encourage you to join me in my next session I do I’m making over bedtime it’s free sleep training for five days so it’s the next one we’re kicking off is may 1 right now based on when this episodes airing, if you’re catching it later, you can always go out to tiny transitions comm forward slash tools and have a look at the making over bedtime the latest and greatest registration for whenever you catch this episode is always up there and I do it about every six weeks. So it’s kind of five days of breaking down the basics. We talk about the biggest challenges how to set yourself up for success designing the ideal day what the bed time should look like, you know how you get over things like sleep regressions, how you teach independent sleep, and it’s free. It’s a it’s a session that I do my families that attended love it and you know honestly find so much success with it that they don’t need to hire a sleep consultant. And that’s my goal is to provide you with the tools knowledge and resources to try to figure this out. And if you can’t, you always know I’m here to help. So I would say start there if you’re sort of scratching your head going alright, well we’ve tried the blanket. We’ve tried the pillow when it’s not working, right? Those things tend to just be a nuisance. They get annoying. They get in the way, your kids like to move about freely, especially in a crib, and you’re gonna find that they gravitate to a specific spot in a sleep space. Typically, whether it’s on a specific cheek, whether it’s a specific part of the crib, oftentimes for kids that are still sleeping in cribs, they will,
you know, push themselves against something because they like the pressure, they spent nine months in your belly with looking for that pressure, right seeking that pressure. for toddlers. Sometimes they’re looking for sensory input, right? So I know that you know, for parents who are listening to this with a toddler, and you may be thinking, hey, should I invest in something like a weighted blanket, first, you have to be very careful with weighted blankets and make sure that you’re measuring the weight of the blanket against, obviously, their current weight to ensure that the proportions are proper. They have some really nice ones on Etsy that I’ve seen for parents who are looking to explore weighted blankets. They can’t help because some kids do seek additional sensory input, right. And a lot of kids have different sensory thresholds. And what I mean by that is for example, if if somebody sat in the front of a classroom today, and they basically drugged their nails on the chalkboard, my husband would probably pee his pants if that happened. I would be sitting next to him laughing because it doesn’t bother me. Right so that noise of nails on a chalkboard I could care less about it doesn’t bother me my husband would be himself so your sensory right in your senses and what you process is different for everybody your threshold to yelling and noises and banging and all music you know all that different stuff. My daughter loves dance parties in the car. She is five my son hates the music being loud, right? So whenever mommy and daughter go on a little date, we’re jamming the music right when my son gets in the car and it’s loud, he’s like, Oh my gosh, please turn it down. So again, everybody’s got different thresholds. Same with sensory right, you may find that your child likes the pressure. They like the cuddling they like the feel of closeness and tightness. They may be a good candidate for something like a weighted blanket that could in fact help them I know that weighted blankets are used a lot with children who are on the spectrum because they are typically sensory seeking. However that’s not the only case right and so you know, you can have a child who just seeks that input and the blanket will certainly solve for that. Also taking a look at different pillows, blankets, and frankly even mattresses so my kids all have purple mattresses, they’re amazing. It is something we use as a family we have a purple mattress, the kids have purple mattresses, because the quality of sleep and the space in which they’re sleeping is super important. Right? You know, I think we’re always quick to just throw them in whatever hammy down we have from somebody else or what cheap mattress we can grab from, you know the marketplace or a store around us and it’s not to say that the cheap mattresses are bad but we want our kids to sleep where they’re comfortable. Right so it does make sense that the first year of life they’re on a very hard flat surface, you know, but as they grow and jump into the toddler beds and such, you want to make sure that they’re sleeping somewhere comfortable. You know we have a place down at the beach and we bought memory foam mattresses down there about a year ago and for the kids they’re nice, they’re about a 10 inch memory foam. Nothing fancy their bunk beds up on the wall you know, and my sister in law slept on them the other day she’s like these mattresses suck I’m like man maybe we should upgrade the ones at the beach but we’re only there like 12 times a year so you know my husband I go back and forth about it but we’re like you know what, as we spend more time there it makes sense. So we’re actually going to buy new and more comfortable mattresses, probably purple twin mattresses for down at the beach too because we want our kids to get the right amount of rest in a place where they’re comfortable man nobody wants to get into a bed and go oh this sucks. So it’s similar for your children as well whether it’s the mattress, the pillow, you know the blankets that they’re using, always just making sure you’re creating that sleep sanctuary because kids are going to find comfort. You know in the sheets like I try to buy really good quality sheets so my kids are cozy, they like flannel sheets all year round. I do change them out to cotton probably in the next two three weeks once the sun starts to kick in. But right now they’re still got their winter sheets on because they just love the softness and the comfort of that feeling getting into bed right and it creates that sleep sanctuary so definitely assess the child’s sleep space. If you have a baby in a crib and you’re looking for something comfortable but they can’t use you know obviously a blanket or pillow I recommend Shami sheep
Shami sheets are like the same material as a lovey but they are soft and super comfortable. So I’ve definitely recommend checking out the Shami sheets on Amazon a Chanel is another word for them. They’re Chanel sheets and they are super soft. They’re about 1215 bucks for a crib sheet and it will feel like your child is sleeping on Alavi the materials nice and soft, but it is safe because it’s just a sheet. So I definitely recommend that since they can’t have pillows or blankets as another way to recommend support and comfort. Okay. So the long and short of it today is no a pillow or blanket isn’t necessarily going to help with sleep, could it make the environment better as a sleep sanctuary? Sure. But if you have underlying sleep issues, you definitely want to assess that you’re getting the right amount of sleep at the right time, that your child has the independent skill set to fall asleep, and that they’re not seeking a behavior response. Like knowing that if they call for you 75 times, you’re eventually going to bring them into your bed or come in and play with them to sleep because that behavior is something they’re seeking, right? So we got to flush all that stuff out, build a healthy positive sleep environment where they can settle independently, and they recognize they have the ability to do it. And if they don’t, and you’re still struggling join me in my facebook group slumber Made Simple or out on my next making over bedtime training, which again, you can find at tiny transitions comm forward slash tools, and you will see the latest registration for making over bedtime, five days, lots of free advice and I’m out there live teaching it every single day. So hopefully you found this episode to be helpful. Everybody have a beautiful rest of the day, and I look forward to 10 soon. Bye for now. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleeper not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable fun tips and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community that’s tiny transitions.com forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.

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