Good sleep-wear that keeps your child warm and dry throughout the night is a good investment in the child’s sleep. But did you know that one of the best things for that purpose is wool?
Is your child moist from heat one minute and freezing cold the next after having kicked off the covers? Then your child is like most children. But factors such as noise, light, being cold or sweating can actually interrupt one’s sleep quite a bit. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to help your child to a better sleep. An easy place to start, says nurse Elise Haubjerg Winther, is getting the right sleep-wear for a child.
– Both hot and cold children sleep best in a room temperature below 18 degrees with no direct draft. Furthermore, it is a good idea to focus more on the sleep-wear than duvets and blankets. Because most children kick off the covers during the night, and then it is important for their sleep-wear to cover their arms and their legs. Socks or tights can also be a good idea, according to Elise Haubjerg Winther.
A child’s body temperature and well-being in general means a lot for a good night’s sleep, so it is important to make sure that the child can achieve that – with or without a duvet. A good night’s sleep means better days and better learning for the child, Elise explains.
CREATE THE BEST CONDITIONSMaybe you think wool is something you only wear on really cold days to stay warm. But, according to nurse Elise, a thin layer of wool clothing can help the child maintain a comfortable body temperature and thereby avoid the child waking up.
– Wool pyjamas are a really good idea for children who have a tendency to be quite warm, as well as to those children who have a tendency to be slightly cold. Wool has the unique ability to keep children warm and to simultaneously also keeping them dry, because it wicks moisture nicely, says Elise Haubjerg Winther.
WHY WOOL PYJAMAS?In the same way that a dog’s fur insulates and thus helps the dog maintain a comfortable temperature no matter the weather, so can a thin layer of wool base layer help do the same for our children, nurse Elise explains.
It is the airy structure of the wool that lets it regulate temperature. The air in the centre of the wool fibre makes sure that the wool insulates the child from the cold. When the child is hot, it helps the moisture evaporate. The wool fibre can even absorb a large amount of moisture without feeling wet, so it is great for keeping children dry.
5 tips for pyjamas and a good night’s sleep– Go for long sleeves and long legs, so the child does not get cold, when the duvet is kicked off.
– Remember socks, if you do not use a onesie with feet. Warm hands and feet help the body maintain a comfortable temperature, while cold hands and feet send a signal to the brain that it is time to crank up the temperature.
– Use one layer of sleep-wear, preferably wool, which warms and helps keep the child warm and dry, instead of sweaty and cold.
– Feel your child and adjust. The seasons and temperature changes, so always feel the back of your child’s neck in before you go to bed, to see how the temperature is.
– Trust your own experiences with your child. There is no right and wrong for how to dress a child, and remember that you are the expert when it comes to your own child.
Source: Elise Haubjerg Winther
SLEEP-WEAR IS MORE THAN JUST COTTONCotton is one of the most used materials for sleep-wear, but sleep-wear can also be made from other materials – sometimes other materials are even preferable.
– Cotton is excellent if a child has a comfortable temperature. But be aware that cotton gets pretty moist if a child sweats, and cotton doesn’t dry quickly. That makes it cold to wear. And a thin layer of cotton will not insulate against the cold if the duvet is kicked off during the night, Elise Haubjerg Winther points out.
But, it is important to emphasise that one can easily switch back and forth between different materials, she says.
NOT: ONCE A WOOLLY, ALWAYS A WOOLLYOne of the more persistent myths surrounding wool is that if you start to dress your child in woolen underwear, you cannot go back to using other materials without causing the child to freeze. But that is simply not true.
– You can of course always change between materials – both when it comes to sleep-wear, underwear and any other clothes for your child. Wool has some excellent abilities in terms of temperature regulation, but it does not affect the child’s own ability to regulate the temperature. It is simply an effective material, says Elise Haubjerg Winther.
SLEEP-WEAR FOR BABIES, TODDLERS AND OLDER CHILDRENDo you having doubts when it comes to deciding how much clothing your child should wear to bed? Take a look here.
Babies– In Denmark we love to let our kids sleep outside in the pram. If you do too, make sure that your child is always wearing a thin hat of either wool or cotton. The head releases a large amount of heat and it is therefore important to keep it warm, but not too warm, otherwise it becomes sweaty. It is also better to use warm cardigan than a onesie, since this makes it easier for you to adjust the temperature of the little one, if it gets hot in the pram.
– It can be a good idea to dress the child in a thin base layer of wool, so the child can maintain a comfortable temperature without getting sweaty. If it is a warm day, supplement the base layer with a thin blanket. If it is cold, add a warmer shirt and a duvet.
– A onesie is great for indoor sleep-wear. Look for a light, soft and sweat-wicking material.
Toddlers– A onesie for toddlers is not easy to get your hands on, since they usually only go up to 2 years old in size. But if possible, they are excellent for small children who move a lot during their sleep.
– Alternatively, a body and tights can be used. Then the child will not have a bare tummy or feet.
Older children– A two-piece outfit is great for older children, but look for a material that both keeps the child warm and dry. Even older children sometimes kick off the covers during the night.
– Remember socks. If the child takes them off in his/her sleep, that is ok.
Source: Elise Haubjerg Winther
Elise Haubjerg Winther is a nurse who has worked with children’s health and well-being for more than 20 years. In addition, she is a mum to two children herself.
Organic merino wool from DILLINGAt DILLING we have more than 100 years’ experience with manufacturing wool underwear for all members of the family. We are a family-owned company that takes pride in manufacturing underwear that is sustainable, durable and comfortable to wear. The products are all dyed at our own eco-friendly dyehouse in Denmark.