Your children will need pajamas for night time use. Pajamas can affect your child's sleep and yours. Soon after the birth of your first child or when your child first joins your family, nights will never be the same. You don't want pajamas to make bedtime more complicated. Even if your child is a wonderful sleeper you will probably be sleeping less as you wake to feed or to simply check on them. In Sleep -Bedtime Routine we talk about things you can do to help ease the bedtime routine and have a better night's sleep. Sleep problems in children are one of the biggest cause of a parents lack of sleep. Here we will discuss the pajama angle; choosing pajamas and how children's pajamas affect their sleep.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of pajamas is comfort. One of our staff members remembers the trouble she had in finding pajamas for her youngest son. As an infant his night clothes had to be just perfect. Not only in terms of materials but patterns and colors too. Plus, he would not sleep if he had on footed pajamas or a footed blanket sleeper but instead needed to wear socks with his footless pajamas and footless sleepers. Five years later he is still particular about his night clothes and he still wears socks to bed. Some children will be very particular from an early age so take note as to your child's sleep patterns and the clothing worn at night. If your young child is having trouble sleeping and you've eliminated other causes try changing style and or fabric of pajamas and even the color of the pajamas. It just might help.
There is a huge selection of pajamas available, from 2 piece sets to just bottoms or tops to mix and match. For your infants and very young child experiment to find what is best for them. Let your older child select their own sleepwear. As long as they are warm enough, comfortable and safe you'll all sleep better.
For many children, pajamas that are 100% cotton will be the most comfortable though some children will prefer polyester-cotton blends. The more important feature is the fit and style of the pajama. Older children will be able to tell you what they like from fabric to style to design and characters. Usually a minimum of 3 sets per season will allow them to have at least one change in their drawers at all times. An infant or older baby might need more pajamas or sleepers, 5-6 sets because of diaper leakage or spitting up at night. Infants, older babies and toddlers may also need blanket sleepers because a blanket or quilt use might not be safe or practical. Some toddlers move around at night and it can be very difficult to keep a blanket on.
Be careful to inspect the pajamas to make sure there is not a safety concern, no loose appliqués or iron-ons. Make sure pajamas are comfortable and fit correctly. Some pajamas are designed to be worn tight, others are to be worn loose depending if the material is flame retardant, check the label to be sure. It is also very important that your child is comfortable. Some children find buttons annoying, others dislike zippers on blanket sleepers. When using zippered blanket sleepers be sure to tuck the zipper tag in so it does not jab into your baby's neck. Make sure elastic around ankles and wrists is not too binding and constrictive. It is much easier with older children because they can tell you what they like or dislike but with infants and toddlers you might have to experiment. Some girls may like to sleep in a night gown or sleep shirt others may find the twisting of clothing at night annoying.
It is always a good idea to have a robe and pair of slippers for toddlers and older children. Perfect for after bath during reading time and also for when they are not feeling well and are laying on couch. Robes can be bought in a bigger size and used for a couple of years. Just be sure the robe is not so big they will trip when walking.
If your child is having trouble sleeping what is next? We suggest that you read our section on Sleep Problems and the Bedtime Routine. Evaluate your child's bedtime routine and try choosing different pajamas.