The best sleepwear for children: An age-wise guide
The rules of sleepwear for your child change according to his age. Find out more about this important topic in this article.
Just look at your precious newborn looking so cute in those itsy bitsy two-piece pajamas, all snuggled up and cozy in bed. But have you ever stopped to think that perhaps those pajamas are not the most appropriate sleepwear for your little angel?
Sleepwear for your baby shouldn’t just be about looking adorable or being comfortable. Safety needs to be factored in too – and in a big way. Taking all this into account, experts recommend that children of different ages be dressed in appropriate sleepwear that ticks the two main boxes of comfort and safety (okay, it’s a bonus if they’re cute, too!).
If you’re wondering exactly what you should be dressing your little one in at bedtime, we’ve done the legwork for you and come up with this handy guide for appropriate sleepwear for children of different ages.
It’s really important not to dress newborn babies in sleepwear that is too loose, too warm, rides up and over their faces, and/or has ribbons or ties. This is in order to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which newborns are most vulnerable to in the first four months of their lives.
Experts indicate that loose clothing as well as ties and ribbons could pose the risk of strangulation or suffocation while your baby is sleeping. And while you think your little one needs to be kept really cosy while he is sleeping, sleepwear that is too warm, especially in our humid climate, can also increase the risk of SIDS.
The best sleepwear for your newborn are footed “onesies” and sleep swaddles/ sacks. Remember to not have any pillows, soft toys or blankets in your newborn’s cot.
If your newborn is in a footed romper or onesie, swaddled or in a sleeping bag, the ideal temperature of his room should be between 23 – 25°C. If you like the idea of a sleeping bag or swaddle, then dressing your baby in a short onesie (underneath the sleeping bag/ swaddle) should be adequate and will ensure he doesn’t overheat.
The same newborn sleepwear rules apply to your infant as well, at least until the age of one, after which the risk of SIDS is greatly reduced.
Continue to dress your baby in comfortable, safe sleepwear, such as a footed onesie or a sleep sack. Since your little one will still probably be needing at least one diaper change in the night, a onesie with snap-buttons will make change time convenient for you.
When choosing your infant’s nightwear, it’s best to always go for clothes made out of cotton. Such clothes are soft and breathable and this helps keep your little one’s body temperature at an ideal level while he is asleep.
Another point to keep in mind is to choose sleepwear that is either flame-resistant or snug-fitting (or ideally both). This is because loose clothing is more likely to catch fire and of course, you want to eliminate that risk. Good sleepwear for both newborns and infants will almost always have a label indicating that it is fire-resistant.
Sleepwear rules get more relaxed as your baby grows into a toddler. Some moms still like the convenience of a onesie for bedtime, but as your child grows older, finding rompers that will fit him might be a bit challenging.
Still, stick to cotton for comfort and body temperature regulation. If your child sleeps in an air-conditioned room, then long pyjama pants and a long sleeved top will work. Otherwise, you could opt for comfortable cotton short pajamas.
- It’s so important not to overdress your baby for bed, risking overheating. If you’re co-sleeping, remember to factor in your body heat too, and appropriately dress your little one with this in mind.
- Learn how to “feel” your baby’s body temperature. Medical experts say that “cold hands and feet indicate the need for more warmth, while hot, sweaty skin indicates the need for less clothing and/or a cooler sleeping environment.”
- Avoid blankets whenever you can, especially for infants under the age of one. Instead, create an appropriate sleep temperature through the wise choice of sleepwear.
- Always lay your baby down to sleep on his back (especially if under the age of one) in order to avoid to risk of SIDS.
- Your child’s cot should be placed in an area that is smoke-free and has good ventilation. If mosquitoes are a concern, use a mosquito net or attach a mesh screen to your window to keep them at bay.
- If you don’t use a swaddle on your newborn, don’t forget the mittens! Your little one’s fingernails can be quite sharp and can scratch his face during sleep.
Now that you have the knowledge to appropriately dress your sweet angel for bedtime according to his age, hopefully it’s sweet dreams to all and peace of mind for you especially, mommy! Do share this information with your other mommy friends too, especially those who are first time moms.
Moms, what are your tips and tricks to get your baby to sleep fast? And how do you ensure sleep safety for your little one at home? Do share your valuable knowledge with us by leaving a comment below.
Republished with permission from theAsianParent Singapore