Any parent knows the relief that comes when your children start to sleep through the night. Sleeping seems to be one of the biggest areas of difficulty for many children and of course their parents. As parents we’ll do anything to help our little ones sleep through the night. Without sleep their development will be impaired, they are more likely to be cranky and difficult, their concentration can be affected and the whole family will suffer the consequences of sleep deprivation. One of the key elements in ensuring that our children have a comfortable and refreshing night’s sleep is buying them the best available sleepwear. Something that keeps them cosy, maintains an appropriate temperature and will keep them allergy free.
In the Spring & Summer
You’ll want to choose light-weight fabrics that breathe beautifully. Natural fibres are best for those that suffer from allergies and skin conditions. Nylon, polyester and other manmade fibres can really irritate and make conditions such as eczema and psoriasis much worse. You’d be better off picking cotton or bamboo fabrics that are ideal for allergy sufferers. Not only are they low in irritants (especially the organic options) but they are also soft, cool and comfortable making them ideal for sleepwear. When you consider the number of hours that a child spends in bed each night, it is essential that you find the right fabrics for their sleepwear.
In the Autumn & Winter
During the cooler months you’ll want to ensure that your child is warm enough. Low temperatures will not only keep them awake but could cause health problems too. Many parents opt for fleecy sleep suits, but these synthetic fibres will only make allergies worse. It is really important to stick to 100% natural fibres, and ideally organic fabrics that are free from pesticides. Although wool is great for keeping warm, it can be itchy and may irritate delicate skin. You are better opting for something more delicate and soft such as merino wool. You could also consider layering organic cotton or bamboo items or finding sleep suits that are tightly woven to maintain the body temperature.
Silk is also a wonderful fabric choice. In fact, studies show that organic cotton and silk are the least likely of all fabrics to cause irritation or allergy.
If your child has sensitive skin or is prone to allergy or skin conditions such as dermatitis then you’ll want to be vigilant about what fabrics you dress them in. You have to be especially aware with sleepwear as you won’t be aware of any rashes or irritation until the morning. If your child has a rash that is being irritated by their daywear then you will no doubt notice them scratching or showing signs of discomfort.
Many children are allergic to fabrics themselves, this is more likely to be the case with manmade fibres though occasionally sheep’s wool has been shown to be an irritant. Children can also develop allergies and intolerances to pesticides used to treat natural fibres as well as the coating used on some fibres.
Many cottons and poly-cottons are treated with formaldehyde. It is used to help prevent creasing and make the clothes easier to care for. The idea of not needing to iron such clothes sounds like a godsend to a busy parent, but in reality these coatings can cause severe irritation in both children and adults.
Sometimes the dye used to colour clothing can cause reactions too.
It is best to stick to simple, ideally organic fabrics and avoid easy-care or synthetic dyes. Fabric conditioners and softeners can also cause allergic reactions, and are often unnecessary, especially if you buy organic cotton that is already beautifully soft. Nowadays people are understanding more about the importance of natural fibres, organic fabrics and avoiding allergens. There are plenty of options available to ensure that your children have the perfect sleepwear to see them through the night in comfort.