Snug-as-a-Bug Toddler Sleep Sack

With a few remnants and a little old-fashioned ingenuity, you can help your child stay warm this winter in a toddler sleep sack.

| January/February 1981

Like many of MOTHER EARTH NEWS' readers, my husband and I try to conserve energy by using so-called "alternative" methods to heat our home. A while back we installed a large heat grabber (built from MOTHER EARTH NEWS plans) and a small wood burning stove. In combination, the two devices go a long way toward keeping our home toasty in daylight hours.

But at night (when the solar heater is "off duty"), the house can still get a mite nippy. So we were faced with the problem of finding an economical way to sleep comfortably during those times when the cold midwinter night air works its way into our house.

Of course, the big folks in the family were able to simply pull on lots of warm comforters. But I needed to come up with a way to keep our youngest son, Andy, securely snuggled. Because—with the exception of his tattered but beloved "Blankey," which adequately warms only his cheek (and heart)—the lad doesn't hold much fondness for blankets, and always used to kick off any covers during the course of the night.

Andy does wear some heavy, commercially made pajamas (the piece of clothing is called a blanket sleeper), but the "nightsuit" isn't warm enough to ward off the chilly temperatures common to the Midwest. So I came up with the idea of fashioning Andy's own private toddler sleep sack from an old quilt ... a "cover" that would remain snugly on him with the aid of shoulder fasteners, and yet would be roomy enough to accommodate the boy, his heavy pj's, and "Blankey."

The sleeper sack worked very well, and was so easy to make that I decided to share my pattern and instructions to help other folks' youngsters stay cozy during the long, cold winter. You'll need to locate an old discarded quilt or blanket and a cotton fabric scrap (measuring 16" X 22"). You can probably finish the project in less than two hours!

Begin by cutting two rectangles (mine were 23" X 40") from the old bed cover. (To determine the exact size for your tiny tot, measure him or her from shoulder to shoulder and from shoulder to toe ... then add another foot or so to each dimension to allow for "kick and grow" room.)

Carol Hinkley
8/31/2008 1:47:15 PM

Keeping the babies warm can be a challenge. This seems like an easy solution. I used to merely use the old diaper pins (safe ones), and pin a wooly blanket to the baby's back, so when they moved, and turned it followed them around the crib, safely. One tip, put layers of newspaper between the crib mattress and the springs - this works on adult beds too - to insulate the bed more. In the coldest days in Cambridge MA, during college, with no $ for heating, I also used newspapers between my sheet and blankets! It worked. I'm 'here.' Don't forget a warm cap for baby and kidlets, either - adults benefit from holding in 'head-heat,' too. There's nothing like a toasty warm bed on a cold night. (not from Texas!)

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