Author Topic: Keeping small children warm in a cold house  (Read 5109 times)

ysette9

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2020, 03:49:45 PM »
Sorry, I wasn't trying to be insulting. You've gotten a very consistent answer here, which is basically, let it get as cold as you want, your kids will be fine.

-W
Just for the record, I am not in that camp

SisterX

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #51 on: August 29, 2020, 10:24:22 PM »
@shelivesthedream - We tend to keep our house at about 15C in the winter at night (~18C during the day) (60F at night, 65F day) and the kids are fine. The whiner is my husband. :) The Demon runs hot so she's in just underwear half the time no matter how cold it is. Although, she will complain and ask for something warm to drink, but not put on clothes. Little Miss gets chillier. She likes long pants, socks, a t-shirt, and a sweater. If they're sitting for a while one or both might have a blanket over their lap. At night they'll wear jammies of choice (including flimsy nightgowns) but we've given each a pile of warm blankets to choose from, with the rest folded at the foot of the bed in case they get cold and need another layer. They have thick fleece blankets and soft fuzzy (but less warm) blankets. The Demon also has a quilt that was made for her. We let the kids decide how many layers of blankets, and which ones, they want. Generally it's 1-2 layers for each. The Demon throws hers off the instant she falls asleep to sleep in flimsy nightgowns in the cold air and seems to love it. Little Miss will be curled up in warm jammies (usually with socks, even under footie jammies) under her two layers but she's perfectly content that way and sleeps really well.

We also have slippers and a bathrobe for each of them, so early mornings and evenings can be spent in jammies with warm layers on top. (I'm usually dressed to match.) In the morning this allows the kids to wake up properly before getting dressed, and at night it allows everyone to get into jammies early so there's no moment of freezing right at bedtime. Also, on bath day they get right into jammies, slippers, bathrobes to warm up. The little one will have her teeth chattering by the time she's dressed but the robe helps get her warm quickly. We do baths before dinner, so they get a hot meal after. That also helps. And then they don't go to bed with wet hair.

We have rice bags for every bed in the house. Heat it up briefly in the microwave and it holds the heat for a while. Both kids ask for their rice bags to be warmed up at bedtime because the warmth is soothing. I think there are ways to also add lavender to them for aromatherapy?

We didn't have any of the sleep problems over the winter that we've been dealing with this summer. I think the heat and light are big factors, among other things.

former player

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #52 on: August 30, 2020, 02:35:35 AM »
Sorry, I wasn't trying to be insulting. You've gotten a very consistent answer here, which is basically, let it get as cold as you want, your kids will be fine.

-W
Just for the record, I am not in that camp
Also for the record, I suspect that the "let it get as cold as you want" camp may be thinking of a cold dry climate.  In SLTD's location houses are designed to be heated as a means of keeping out the damp.  No child (or adult) of any age should be living in a cold damp house.  Houses differ greatly but SLTD should be able to find a fairly low level of heating, combined with airing out, that keeps the atmosphere in her house dry and the occupants healthy.  Layers of warm clothing and bedding take care of the rest.  Adults are more likely to complain than children, in my experience, so the question then is whether they are prepared to put up with it in order to save money and the planet.

I'm a big fan of the comfort of a hot water bottle at night as an aid to going to sleep.

Cranky

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #53 on: August 31, 2020, 06:45:19 AM »
My house is dry in the winter because I run the heat, but unless I want the house to actually get below freezing, I've got to run the furnace - the question is how much?

But I agree that it will bother kids more than adults. Kids will run around all winter in underpants. I will not.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #54 on: August 31, 2020, 11:14:07 AM »
Thanks for all the helpful replies so far. BabySLTD was kinda cold when she woke up in the night last night but I've got some ideas from here for different clothing combinations we can try as the weather really cools off.

I guess unthanks to those who think I'm making up the fact that our house gets cold and our kids might too? Awdry woke up absolutely frozen a few times his first winter, in our old house. He seems to run hot during the day and cold at night, and BabySLTD so far seems to go the same way.

I have to say, Awdry is NOT a kid who will run around in underpants and be happy. He only likes long sleeved tops, and introducing him to the concept of shorts this summer was a bit tricky. But he can also talk this winter, so there's that in his favour :) And he's always slept amazingly through heatwaves while we're tossing and turning.

One thing is that although we can preheat sleeping bags with hot water bottles (LOL, we're British, having one per occupant is pretty normal!) we haven't anything we could leave in bed with Awdry, whose room is particularly cold. (It's in a crappy extension on top of a garage with single glazed windows - worse construction than the original house!) I could easily make a rice bag but we haven't got a microwave and I don't want to fire up the oven just for that or, indeed, to cause a fire! Any ideas?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 11:20:46 AM by shelivesthedream »

Sibley

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #55 on: August 31, 2020, 12:22:55 PM »
Heated mattress pad. Assume they exist in the UK? Also have heated blankets, heated throws, etc but for a small child something they can't get tangled up in is probably a better bet.

Cranky

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #56 on: August 31, 2020, 01:05:08 PM »
So what temperatures are you talking about? I keep the house at about 16 at night in the winter and Im pretty warm under the covers. (And I despise cold and am pretty chilly in the winter.)

Are you using a blanket sleeper? Socks? Cotton long johns? A toddler can have a comforter to pull up, yes?

(My kids are grown, but I buy clothes for my grandson, so Im pretty familiar with tiny pjs again!)

ysette9

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Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #57 on: August 31, 2020, 03:13:57 PM »
Heated mattress pad. Assume they exist in the UK? Also have heated blankets, heated throws, etc but for a small child something they can't get tangled up in is probably a better bet.
Heated mattress pads are amazing. In the old crappy house we rented with single pane windows, no central heat, and plenty of gaps in the walls I got an electric blanket to pre-warm my bed before I got in. There is something mentally exhausting for me about being uncomfortable and cold. I make no apologies for cranking the heat up to something mildly warm, especially for stepping in and out of the shower. It is remarkable how much decent insulation and double paned windows do for comfort.

mspym

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #58 on: August 31, 2020, 05:59:04 PM »
Or a sheepskin underlay, that's really cosy.

GuitarStv

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #59 on: September 01, 2020, 08:02:24 AM »
Or a sheepskin underlay, that's really cosy.

I prefer cutting open and getting into a fresh taunton a la Empire Strikes Back.

joe189man

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #60 on: September 01, 2020, 08:47:52 AM »
how much money are you saving by keeping the house cold? Is it common to keep houses cold (less than 60 F) in the winter months for folks on this forum? What do you do in the hot summer, no AC ever?

we keep the house comfortable year round,

daverobev

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #61 on: September 01, 2020, 09:04:08 AM »
how much money are you saving by keeping the house cold? Is it common to keep houses cold (less than 60 F) in the winter months for folks on this forum? What do you do in the hot summer, no AC ever?

we keep the house comfortable year round,

Have you ever been to the UK? A/C not needed, though becoming more desirable with global warming in certain places... but really a luxury I'd say. There are gasps of shock and horror if we get to 30 degrees C...

Heating, eh no, I'd imagine most people turn the heat up to at least ~20 degrees C, 70 F in the winter... While it doesn't get "cold cold", it's pretty damp in the winter - you HAVE to heat your house else you'll get mold everywhere. Honestly I don't know why dehumidifiers aren't used more commonly, they make it hot and dry, just what you need.

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #62 on: September 01, 2020, 09:57:55 AM »
Thanks for all the helpful replies so far. BabySLTD was kinda cold when she woke up in the night last night but I've got some ideas from here for different clothing combinations we can try as the weather really cools off.

I guess unthanks to those who think I'm making up the fact that our house gets cold and our kids might too? Awdry woke up absolutely frozen a few times his first winter, in our old house. He seems to run hot during the day and cold at night, and BabySLTD so far seems to go the same way.

I have to say, Awdry is NOT a kid who will run around in underpants and be happy. He only likes long sleeved tops, and introducing him to the concept of shorts this summer was a bit tricky. But he can also talk this winter, so there's that in his favour :) And he's always slept amazingly through heatwaves while we're tossing and turning.

One thing is that although we can preheat sleeping bags with hot water bottles (LOL, we're British, having one per occupant is pretty normal!) we haven't anything we could leave in bed with Awdry, whose room is particularly cold. (It's in a crappy extension on top of a garage with single glazed windows - worse construction than the original house!) I could easily make a rice bag but we haven't got a microwave and I don't want to fire up the oven just for that or, indeed, to cause a fire! Any ideas?
Switch the bedrooms around?

shelivesthedream

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #63 on: September 01, 2020, 12:20:53 PM »
So what temperatures are you talking about? I keep the house at about 16 at night in the winter and Im pretty warm under the covers. (And I despise cold and am pretty chilly in the winter.)

Are you using a blanket sleeper? Socks? Cotton long johns? A toddler can have a comforter to pull up, yes?

(My kids are grown, but I buy clothes for my grandson, so Im pretty familiar with tiny pjs again!)

Well, we can't turn the thermostat below 10C (both physically and rentally contractually). Last night Awdry's bedroom got down to 17.5C and it's only 1st September. So... somewhere in between those two temperatures? That's kind of the point - getting a gauge of how low we can go and what we might need to change about our current setup to get there. It's been interesting hearing what temperatures people are keeping their houses - and that everyone keeps theirs cooler at night. We've always done the reverse! I find it much easier to warm myself up during the day if I get a bit chilly than at night.

We currently have available for baby: cotton vests, cotton sleepsuits, 2.5 tog sleeping bags, regular jumpers, regular socks. Though I need to look in our next-size-up box and see what's in there - because it won't be long!
We currently have available for toddler: flannel button-up pyjamas, 2.5 tog sleeping bag. I have also just bought him a fleecy dressing gown and crocheted him some wool bedsocks. He hasn't had a comforter/duvet so far but my parents have given us a an old lightweight one of theirs which will be perfect for an additional layer, although it's single bed sized so I'll have to figure out how best to arrange it in the cot.

Or a sheepskin underlay, that's really cosy.

I've heard awful things about these and SIDS so I don't want to go there.

how much money are you saving by keeping the house cold? Is it common to keep houses cold (less than 60 F) in the winter months for folks on this forum? What do you do in the hot summer, no AC ever?

we keep the house comfortable year round,

Have you ever been to the UK? A/C not needed, though becoming more desirable with global warming in certain places... but really a luxury I'd say. There are gasps of shock and horror if we get to 30 degrees C...

Heating, eh no, I'd imagine most people turn the heat up to at least ~20 degrees C, 70 F in the winter... While it doesn't get "cold cold", it's pretty damp in the winter - you HAVE to heat your house else you'll get mold everywhere. Honestly I don't know why dehumidifiers aren't used more commonly, they make it hot and dry, just what you need.

Yeah, I have NEVER known ANYONE EVER who has had air conditioning in their ACTUAL PERSONAL HOUSE. Shops tend to have it, but in your HOUSE? That's super-luxury-level practically-private-yacht-and-servants living.

I think 21C is "room temperature" for your average Brit these days. (Not your average forumite Brit, I expect!)

I don't know how much money I'm going to save. "Some." I mean, if my energy usage doubles in "heating on" months and I halve the heating I use over the course of the year, then 1/4 of my energy bill? (I know it's not that simple.) I'll have to see, but I do expect it to have a noticeable impact on my bill.

I do keep hearing people recommending dehumidifiers, and we did notice a slight tendency to mould last winter. However, is it not going to be the case that for the cost of buying and running a dehumidifier I might as well spend the money heating the house instead? Please do correct me if there are some benefits I am not seeing or if the cost is wildly non-equivalent.

Switch the bedrooms around?

We have three bedrooms: Awdry's in the crappy extension, then ours and BabySLTD's across the landing. We couldn't fit a double bed in Awdry's so we can't move in there. There's no point just swapping him and her around, and I don't want them to share while she's so young (for waking-up reasons and safety reasons).

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #64 on: September 01, 2020, 01:05:29 PM »

Switch the bedrooms around?

We have three bedrooms: Awdry's in the crappy extension, then ours and BabySLTD's across the landing. We couldn't fit a double bed in Awdry's so we can't move in there. There's no point just swapping him and her around, and I don't want them to share while she's so young (for waking-up reasons and safety reasons).
Bunk beds for you and Mr SLTD.  Sorted!

mlipps

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #65 on: September 01, 2020, 01:12:49 PM »
Heated mattress pad. Assume they exist in the UK? Also have heated blankets, heated throws, etc but for a small child something they can't get tangled up in is probably a better bet.
Heated mattress pads are amazing. In the old crappy house we rented with single pane windows, no central heat, and plenty of gaps in the walls I got an electric blanket to pre-warm my bed before I got in. There is something mentally exhausting for me about being uncomfortable and cold. I make no apologies for cranking the heat up to something mildly warm, especially for stepping in and out of the shower. It is remarkable how much decent insulation and double paned windows do for comfort.

I also endorse the heated mattress pad. I live in an ancient apartment in Chicago (see prior posts about how to reduce my horrific drafty windows...) and it's gotten down below 15C on the worst nights. It's a bit too chilly for me no matter what clothes I put on, but buying a heated blanket made a huge difference. That being said, I've also slept on a heated mattress pad & I think it's way cozier, as the coldest part of my bed is always under my pillow near the exterior wall. My gas bill does seem to fluctuate quite a lot based on how much I run my furnace, but my electric bill doesn't seem to take much of a hit at all from the blanket, so it's been a great way to save money.

Also agree w/the recommendations that wool is more comfortable than synthetics esp. for sleeping. That said, unless you need it for other purposes, you might not break even on your heating bill buying wool clothing every year for growing kids unless you find a good source for it used.

SisterX

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #66 on: September 01, 2020, 02:38:04 PM »
With heated blankets and mattress pads you don't even have to keep them on for very long. We've used an electric blanket to warm things up before getting into bed, then turning it off to save electricity. That worked out quite nicely.

dabighen

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #67 on: September 02, 2020, 08:04:28 PM »
There is a saying in our house, "there will be no hear until trick or treat"....we live in New Hampshire.

Chris Pascale

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #68 on: September 02, 2020, 09:47:11 PM »
My house is dry in the winter because I run the heat, but unless I want the house to actually get below freezing, I've got to run the furnace - the question is how much?

But I agree that it will bother kids more than adults. Kids will run around all winter in underpants. I will not.

I'll say 62 degrees, but everyone needs a robe, slippers, and a large selection of tea and cocoa beverages.

What do you think?

Cranky

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #69 on: September 04, 2020, 02:55:00 PM »
In the winter the thermostat is at 67 during the day, and I get a bit chilly sitting around though I do dress warmly. Once I get into bed, I warm up to the point that I need to take my (hand knit) wool socks off during the night. We have sheets, a thin quilt, and a down comforter. The down comforter is what really makes the difference. I never got out the flannel sheets last winter because I thought theyd be too warm - it was a pretty mild winter. I dont think we had any sub 0 days.

I would not call NE Ohio a dry climate.

Anyway, Id experiment with lowering the thermostat a degree/week and see how it goes.

Villanelle

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #70 on: September 04, 2020, 03:15:17 PM »
Is there a reason you can't just leave the hot water bottle in the bed?  Get one with a thick cover of some kind (or sew/make a cover), hopefully fleece.  You can leave off the cover to quickly warm the bed, then put it on and tuck it in bed with the kiddo.

I sleep with my hot water bottle in bed with me most nights in winter.  Why would it only be for pre-heating?

And once you own the cover, this would be basically free since it sounds like you already heat the water to pre-heat the bed anyway. 

Cranky

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #71 on: September 04, 2020, 07:31:34 PM »
My hot water bottle cover is made from a nicely felted sweater from the thrift store.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #72 on: September 05, 2020, 01:25:24 AM »
That's exactly how we have our hot water bottle (complete with homemade cover!) but tiny fingers like to fiddle with things in the night and I'd also like to not be woken up by third degree burns. I don't know when I'd put a hot water bottle in with him all night. I guess when I think he understands and can reiterate my firm instructions about not opening the cover or hot water bottle - which is not yet.

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #73 on: September 05, 2020, 02:27:48 AM »
Would he leave it alone if it was at the end of the bed and under the sheet?  Or you could start off with it hot to warm up the bed and then expose it to the air while you are putting him to bed so that it is still warm but not burning.   I'm sure there must be some sort of answer that will make a hot water bottle work.

MayDay

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #74 on: September 05, 2020, 05:46:07 AM »
Definitely just get heated mattress pads. They are amazing. We did ricebags for ages and this is so much better!

Imma

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #75 on: September 05, 2020, 07:07:16 AM »
I grew up in the Netherlands (so similar climate to the UK) in a post-war 2 up 2 down on a council estate with single glazing and no central heating. We didn't have any permanent heating upstairs, just two gas heaters in the kitchen and living room. You can probably picture the type of home.

We slept in warm flannel pyjamas with a vest underneath. We also wore socks when it was cold. We had 4-season duvets with a cotton summer duvet and a woolen winter duvet and we also had 100% wool blankets on top of the duvet. We also had special flannel winter duvet covers. Of course back in those days no one was aware of SIDS. I know that when the babies were really small my mother used to let them sleep under a light weight blanket tucked in around the stomach and had special knitted sleeping cardigans that baby wore on the top half of the body. If it was really cold, the baby slept with my parents.

When it was freezing, my mum had an electric space heater that she dragged upstairs and ran for an hour before we went to bed. Back in the days those things were pretty dangerous and consumed a lot of energy. We also had hot water bottles for the younger kids. My mum was using a type of bottle that was impossible to open for us, put it in the cover upside down and she didn't fill it with boiling water, but with water the temperature of bath water. It would have been a mess if any of us had been able to open it but not dangerous (no one ever managed to as far as I recall).

As an adult my first flat was even colder (no central heating, single glazing and no cavity walls) and it was really just a matter of layer upon layer upon layer. That's when I started quilting! We now live in a pretty warm house where we don't need to run the heating a lot. I notice that as an adult, I can still tolerate the cold a lot better than Mr Imma, who grew up in a house with central heating. Our normal day temperature is 18C but for me 16+ is enough. If I turn on the heating I get hot quite quickly so I prefer to put on a sweater. We don't generally turn on the heat during the night, it's programmed to automatically turn on when it's 13C but that hardly ever happens. It's usually 15/16C when we wake up. For sleeping I prefer a crisp, cool 14-16C but Mr Imma likes it warmer.

Last winter we bought an electric space heater. These days they are pretty safe and cheap to run (1/week or something if we run it for a few hours every night). I turn it on before we go to bed and it turns itself off after 3 hours. Ours is programmed to heat the room to a certain temperature and then keep it that temperature so it doesn't just run and run and run. I think it cost about 80 new. It's way more efficient than heating the entire house all night long. Our central heating runs on gas and can easily cost 10/day to run.

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #76 on: September 05, 2020, 01:45:39 PM »
That's exactly how we have our hot water bottle (complete with homemade cover!) but tiny fingers like to fiddle with things in the night and I'd also like to not be woken up by third degree burns. I don't know when I'd put a hot water bottle in with him all night. I guess when I think he understands and can reiterate my firm instructions about not opening the cover or hot water bottle - which is not yet.

I don't put boiling hot water in mine (in my case simply because I don't like to wait that long for the kettle, and because it can feel too hot for me if I do).  Opening it would make for an unpleasant surprise and a wet bed, but no burns. 

Luz

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #77 on: September 05, 2020, 08:48:36 PM »
What about a 3.5 TOG? They're available in infant sizes and also 2-4T for toddlers who haven't yet mastered keeping the covers on at night. If you go below 14C, you can experiment with other layers besides the standard cotton jams underneath (fleece jams, wool socks, hat, etc). Most sleep bags (or sleep sacks as we call them in the US) come with a chart for recommended underclothes. I follow those for my kids and add different layers according to forecasted low temps (in F: below 40, 40-50, 50-60 etc).

For my olden days story: I grew up in Alaska with hippy parents who lived in a dry (no running water), uninsulated cabin when we were preschoolers. We basically lived in our snow gear day and night (long underwear, wool socks/sweaters/hats/mittens, down snowsuits). Plus lots of down comforters (pre-safe sleep). My husband grew up in a hot and humid climate without AC and said on really hot nights, he and his siblings would sleep on the ground.


Jon Bon

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #78 on: September 07, 2020, 09:47:45 AM »
I feel like you are going about this the wrong way.

Sure you can wrap your kid up like a mummy in blankets and put hot water bottles under their bed to save a few bucks. But that seams like a huge PITA. What about when you have to change them in the middle of the night? They are going to be cold and PISSED when you take all those clothes off.

The solution, insulate your house, set the temp to whatever is conformable and be happy. No need to worry about all this. I did blown in cellulose in the attic and walls. Turned the heat up, and used less energy year over year.

Guilt free heat is nice!

Cranky

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #79 on: September 07, 2020, 10:54:20 AM »
I dont think thats a viable solution when you rent.

dashuk

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #80 on: October 15, 2020, 02:52:39 AM »

I do keep hearing people recommending dehumidifiers, and we did notice a slight tendency to mould last winter. However, is it not going to be the case that for the cost of buying and running a dehumidifier I might as well spend the money heating the house instead? Please do correct me if there are some benefits I am not seeing or if the cost is wildly non-equivalent.

We bought one this time last year. It's handy for occasional use - drying things out after a few days where it's been especially wet/we've done a lot of laundry/we've not been around at the right time of day to air out by opening windows. But they do use a lot of power.

The first couple of months we had it and we're using it more often than that (in particular running it in the spare room when laundry was drying) but still not all the time by any means, it put about 30% on our monthly electricity usage - normal is about 170kWh, we hit about 230kWh.

Gut feel would be that airing the house out as best you can with the windows, judicious use of a dehumidifier, and running the house a bit colder would be considerably more efficient than cranking the heat up to achieve the same internal relative humidity. Especially if you have bad windows or other localised cold spots.


havregryn

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #81 on: October 15, 2020, 03:10:53 AM »
I grew up in a chronically underheated house (due to terrible building standards, not for the lack of trying) and I remember it with horror.
I don't know what your budget looks like, but saving on heating the home in a meh climate and decent quality food are the last things I'd go after.
Especially as I have a feeling it can't be that much money to save, I'm not sure where you live and how you heat but around here (Luxembourg) most sources of energy for heating have been getting cheaper (electricity, heating oil, gas, all of it).

I'm not sure that shenanigans to avoid feeling cold wouldn't end up costing you more than heating (like these merino wool thingies, I feel equipping your family with those will cost more than a winter of heating unless you're heating with some super expensive thing that I'm missing), can you post an overview of what numbers we are talking about here?

Imma

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #82 on: October 15, 2020, 05:51:50 AM »
I'm not sure about the UK but here in the Netherlands, heating is a very large bill every month, so I totally understand trying to save on that. I know a lot of people that pay 200-250 a month. Those are average, non-mustachians with a dryer and a second freezer, but not people who heat their home to 25C in the middle of winter.

We pay 100/month (35 for electricity and 65 for natural gas) for our I think very modest energy consumption of 1500/kWh and 600 m3 of gas every year + 25/month for 90 m3 of water every year.

We are due to renew our contract so I hope I can get a better price soon, I've also heard that energy prices are getting lower, but I'm not sure if that will change anything to the bill. It seems like every time prices get lower, the government raises their taxes. No matter how much effort we put into increasing energy efficiency of our home, our bill has only ever gone up. We are still focusing on energy efficiency because of our green ideals, but financially it makes very little sense.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #83 on: October 15, 2020, 07:05:05 AM »
A quick Google suggests that an average energy bill for a family of four in a 3-4 bedroom house might be 125/month. We've just switched energy supplier a few months ago so I don't have data on kwh, but I do know that we previously paid about 100/month. Our new supplier suggests a direct debit of 80/month but they are known for being off with their estimates so we will see. Also, we have switched to cloth nappies, so are obviously doing more washes a week, and the 100/month didn't really cover the general existence of our second baby (slight uptick in laundry, mainly, otherwise we all smell of rancid sick).

Our income has recently been cut by 40% cuz pandemic reasons so yeah, 20/month could make a difference for us in comfortably breaking even vs just squeaking by. I'm not sure why people feel the need to keep questioning whether saving any money at all on heating is going to be worth it for us. (Mumble mumble forum going soft mumble mumble consumer sukkas) This is not the only expense we are trying our hardest to minimise right now but it's the one I felt I could do with some advice on.

I do, however, agree that buying expensive extra things to cope with serious cold is not likely to be a good investment. Wool undercrackers are not in the budget for us right now.

Things we have actioned:
- Decided to keep toddler in cold bedroom and baby in sunwarmed bedroom - at least until March, then we can reassess. The cold bedroom faces the front anyway and he likes watching cars out of his window. This probably means keeping him in the cot until March - either as a cot, or doing the conversion to toddler bed - and keeping her in the travel cot. Otherwise it would be a squeeze to get a single bed into his room.
- Made what I feel is a sufficiently toddler-proof hot water bottle cover out of materials I already had and put the fear of God into him about opening it. Filled it with not-boiling water. Great success so far, and I've got mine back!
- Decided not to put any blankets into the cot while the sides are up because of irrational fears on the part of both parents.
- Allocated both children bed jumpers.
- Knitted bedsocks and legwarmers for toddler and purchased second-hand dressing gown. He is delighted with all three.
- When my parents came round and asked me to turn the heating on for the afternoon, put toddler to bed afterwards in 16.7 degree room and watched him on the video monitor throwing all his toys and hot water bottle out of the cot, pulling his sleeping bag off and putting that out of the cot, and then sprawling out fast asleep in just pyjamas and jumper. Felt a bit silly. Then he woke up crying at 2am cold as ice because it was 12 degrees again... but Mr SLTD dealt with it and gave him a Stern Talk.

Still wondering about a solution to all the condensation. Opening the windows helps a bit in our room but it's still there two hours later when I close them. There's no good time to open the windows in the toddler's room cuz naps.

Imma

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #84 on: October 15, 2020, 07:40:32 AM »
Good to hear the hot water bottle worked out! That's nearly free and it really works. As long as he keeps it in bed of course.

former player

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #85 on: October 15, 2020, 09:53:18 AM »
I think you just have to keep on wiping the condensation away with a window scraper and cloth each morning it appears.

Cranky

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #86 on: October 17, 2020, 11:33:20 AM »
I forget if youve said - are the windows single paned/one layer of glass? When we had old windows like that, there was nothing that kept condensation from forming on them, and our house wasnt damp in the winter. Plastic over the windows helped.

brycedoula

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #87 on: October 17, 2020, 01:15:10 PM »
Still wondering about a solution to all the condensation. Opening the windows helps a bit in our room but it's still there two hours later when I close them. There's no good time to open the windows in the toddler's room cuz naps.

My first apartment had terrible windows that iced up all winter. The only way I was able to solve it was by pointing a small fan at them continuously.
Would that be a solution? Bonus points of the fan acting as white noise...

ysette9

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #88 on: October 18, 2020, 07:58:31 AM »
We had condensation on the inside of the windows in winter when we lived in the crappy rental house. Single pane windows that fit poorly and the whole house leaked and wasnt insulated, so heating it was an exercise in futility.

I would wipe the windows down sometimes but really, I found no solution because the cause is the temperature differential across the pane of glass.

former player

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #89 on: October 18, 2020, 02:52:22 PM »
Perhaps it would help to think of the glass as a dehumidifier?

daverobev

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #90 on: October 20, 2020, 07:59:34 AM »
We had condensation on the inside of the windows in winter when we lived in the crappy rental house. Single pane windows that fit poorly and the whole house leaked and wasnt insulated, so heating it was an exercise in futility.

I would wipe the windows down sometimes but really, I found no solution because the cause is the temperature differential across the pane of glass.

Anything over the window to prevent air circulating helps. I've used clingfilm (saran wrap?) before, and it does make a difference.

kanga1622

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #91 on: October 21, 2020, 12:50:35 PM »
Merino wool sleep sacks. Get the sort that fasten over the shoulders like overalls and can be unfastened at the bottom and then the smalls can womble around the house all sleepyhead in the morning until it's feasible to dress them. Also that design lets you change nappies by pulling up the bottom half far enough.

We used this with our kids and LOVED it. It is like a wearable wool blanket. Both my kids get too hot in anything but 100% cotton pjs even now. Any "fake" fibers meant they were drenched in sweat.

I am not one to turn down the heat much as I get chilled easily, but I can be layered under a couple blankets and my kids are walking around in their underwear. Their bodies just produce more heat.

I'd suggest dropping it 1-2 degrees for a few days to a week to see how everyone reacts. If everyone is fine, drop it again. You will find your point where it affects the sleep patterns or is just too miserable for the adults.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Keeping small children warm in a cold house
« Reply #92 on: November 04, 2020, 12:07:35 AM »
Just wanted to swing back here for an update.

Our sitting room and BabySLTD's room are on the sunny side of the house with good windows. They have had a lot of solar gain and minimal heating. We allocated her a bed jumper in addition to vest, sleepsuit and bag. She's been fine.

Awdry's room is on the shady side of the house with shitty windows, above the draughty garage. I crocheted him some bedsocks, knitted him some legwarmers, bought a dressing gown, allocated him a bed jumper and made him a hot water bottle cover. We blasted the heat while they were in the bath and turned it off when they got into bed. A few times he took his bag and socks off and slept OK until 2am when he woke up cold in a fourteen degree room.

HOWEVER. We haven't *really* pushed temperature because the house started to grow mould. Ew. Lots of mould. So the thermostat in the hall is now on fifteen and that seems to do OK on the mould front. The rooms we spend time in get sun, so on good days they get up to twenty anyway.

We as humans could be comfortable colder, but ew, mould.