Baby pajamas are a staple item, especially with newborn babies. There are certain things to consider though when you're buying it as not all baby clothes items that appear to be sleepwear are actually classified as such.
Avoid Over-sized Sleepwear
Do not purchase over-sized sleepwear, regardless of how comfortable you think it might look. Whether it's flame retardant or not, sleepwear is the one baby clothes items that should fit snugly. This is one occasion you should ignore the rule of "buying big."
Your Baby Should Only Sleep in Actual Baby Pajamas
Seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it? But you'd be surprised how often parents will put their baby's down to sleep in loose t-shirts, sweatshirts, or other clothing because they've fallen asleep in the car and it might be a hassle to get them changed.
The problem with this lies in how loose fitting these clothes often are; if there is too much air space between the baby's clothes and their skin, it increases flammability and the risk of suffocation. While it is tempting to often put the baby to bed in whatever he dozes off in, it's simply not safe due to an increased risk of suffocation and the increased risk of the fabric catching flame.
Look for the Yellow Label
If baby sleepwear is NOT flame retardant or resistant, it will bear a yellow hang tag that says, "for child's safety, garment should fit snugly. This garment is not flame resistant. Loose-fitting garment is more likely to catch fire."
There is much controversy over the safety of baby pajamas treated with flame resistant or flame retardant chemicals, so this particular verbiage is often found on tight-fitting cotton pajamas. These are completely safe to let your baby sleep in.
If baby sleepwear IS flame retardant or resistant, the hang tag will indicate that it has been tested and it is flame resistant.
Remember, although baby sleepwear will seem to be quite snug - in fact, it will fit similarly to a pair of long underwear - it is meant to stretch for comfort. If your baby is obviously uncomfortable or their circulation is obviously being cut off, then you know without a doubt that the sleepwear is too tight. Outside of these two circumstances, your baby sleepwear should always fit snugly.
To learn more about the governments rules and regulations surrounding baby and childrens sleepwear, visit the CPSC website and review the Children’s Sleepwear Regulations, 16 C.F.R. Parts 1615 & 1616.
To read up on safe baby sleep practices, learn how to reduce the risk of SIDS.