With the winter weather keeping us indoors and the holiday spirit wafting through the house, I started thinking about keeping my kids warm while they are home for the holidays.
I wondered what kind of options there are for kids' pajamas. I started looking at the favorite traditional sources of warm clothing—L.L. Bean and Land's End. I also looked at the most popular children's clothing companies—Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh—and then started searching in other eco-friendly companies. I found a variety of products.
Some companies say only that their clothing is imported. I’d rather know a little more about where the clothes come from, so this is a selection criterion that filters out some companies for me. If you would rather not have your child sleep in fabrics that are chemically treated so as to be flame retardant, this will filter out some products, but there are definitely options for you.
The Carter’s Web site explains that the company's polyester is in itself flame resistant so it does not have to be treated, and the 100 percent cotton pajamas are snug-fitting so they meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission requirement that snug-fitting styles do not have to be flame retardant.
All of the brands I looked at did meet the federal child safety requirements. There was a jersey knit polyester that was described as flame retardant, micro-fleece and polyester that were said to be flame resistant, and snug-fitting styles in 100 percent cotton.
Another feature you might want for your kids' pajamas is fabric with a print that has a positive, relaxing design or decoration. There are many choices with flowers, sea shells, cuddly animals, or simply solid colors. You don't have to settle for monsters or sharks or skulls printed on their sleepwear. So very quickly you can find some good options, depending on how many requirements you have.
With a little more searching, I found baby sleepwear that advertises not just organic cotton but also nontoxic dyes, from Newbornmom.com. A company named Bamboosa sells American-made, soft, organic bamboo-blend sleepwear, baby blankets, and socks.
And finally, looking on the Fair Trade Federation Web site, I found a company in Vermont called Kusikuy Clothing Company which meets just about every responsible point you could want. The clothes are hand-knit from alpaca wool, machine washable, 100 percent fair trade, carbon neutral, animal friendly, and hypoallergenic.
This company sells woolen pants and night pants for babies and toddlers as well as sweaters, jackets, hats, and scarves for kids and clothes for grownups, too. The Web site said that the owner is on leave, finishing he doctoral degree, so there is a limited selection right now, but I'd keep an eye on this company for upcoming inventory.
If your kids are teenagers, there are some responsible companies offering sleepwear for women but not for children. From Gaiam, you can get organic cotton gowns, robes, and pajamas, even some with lace trim, as well as fair trade silk lounge wear. International Princess Project uses Indian sari fabrics and makes some cotton pants with polyester trim borders.
This year I noticed a lot of matching family pajamas, especially in holiday themes, which would add some fun to your festivities. And if your little girl likes the American Girl series, she can have sleepwear that matches the doll and the story. And finally, as a money-saving idea, try an outlet store. You can find a good selection of items at good prices.
Again, there is a wide selection to fit different standards. So have fun shopping, and may your purchases keep your kids warm now and bring you many warm memories over the years.