It’s starting to get cold at night, which usually means many parents buy new sleepwear for their kiddos. Don’t make the following mistakes when you’re ready to purchase. This may seem like an unimportant issue, but when you consider that your little one spends over half of his or her day in pajamas it’s worth making an informed choice. Many parents mistakenly choose:
Synthetic Fabrics – Parents unknowingly choose pajamas made completely from petrochemicals. Yuck. They forget to read the care tag, which states what material the pajamas are made from. If you see polyester, modacrylic, rayon, etc., it’s best to avoid these. Fabrics made completely from petrochemicals must be treated with flame-retardants which off-gas, disrupt hormones and contain cancer-causing chemicals. Not to mention they don’t allow the skin to breathe causing kids to overheat and get sweaty in the middle of the night.
Cartoon Characters – I know I sound like the Grinch, but if at all possible, avoid characters created by the media. After reading the book, Buy Buy Baby, How Consumer Culture Manipulates Parents and Harms Young Minds, by Susan Gregory Thomas, I wanted to protect my children from marketing rooted in television. Did you know cartoons are primarily created in order to get you to buy merchandise? Instead of those princess jammies, think safe, classic and functional. Kids are beautiful without the embellishments.
The Light Blue Hang Tag– The light blue hang tag says, “This garment is made of flame resistant fabric. Fabric and fit are important safety considerations for children’s sleepwear. Sleepwear should be flame-resistant or snug-fitting to meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Sleepwear requirements.“ This means that the garment has been treated with flame retardants, whether it’s synthetic or 100% cotton. Do not buy pajamas with this tag. Yes, that means the Carter’s polyester fleece blanket sleepers with the dinosaur print… Sorry.
PJs That Aren’t Warm Enough – The AAP recommends leaving all blankets and pillows out of the crib due to the risk of SIDS. This means the sleepwear your child is in must be warm enough to keep him comfortable all night. He won’t be warm enough if you dress him the way you’re dressed for bed. You’re covered up with a down comforter, he isn’t. Even if you set your thermostat at 72, he will wake if he’s cold.
Quantity vs. Quality – Subscribe to the “Buy Better, Buy Less” philosophy. It’s good for your family and the earth. More minimalistic thinking would be a step forward for American parents. Children do not need 7-10 pairs of pajamas. Instead, purchase 3-4 high quality items made from natural organic fabrics like cotton and wool that will really keep your child comfortable and warm. Follow Europe’s lead on this one.
This is just another small step you can take to keep your child a little safer this season. Fantastic options are out there, you just have to know what you’re looking for: Natural organic fabrics, like snug-fitting cotton baring the yellow hang tag or naturally flame resistant wool, classic designs (your kid is cute enough without those cartoon characters) and a few quality pieces versus overbuying the cheap stuff.