Kid’s Pajamas.. seems like a silly thing to research, doesn’t it?

New parents research everything, am I right? Everything from cribs and carriers to diapers and baby wash. But have you thought about sleepwear? Considering the amount of time children are in their pajamas this is something to consider.

You may have noticed special tags or warnings when buying pajamas and wondered what it all meant.

So, let’s take a closer look..

Flame retardants or no flame retardants, that is the question today!

First, we have to understand that pajamas for children MUST meet certain flammability requirements to prevent the risk injury from fires.

Pjs intended for children between the ages of 9 months and 14 years must meet specific flammability requirements.

Sleepwear for children under the age of 9 months is not subject to the requirement. This is because babies have limited mobility and supposedly are not as likely to be near an open flame.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) considers flame retardant treated pajamas to be safe.

The chemicals used on pajamas include chlorinated and brominated flame retardants, inorganic flame retardants such as antimony oxides, and phosphate-based compounds.


A little history about sleepwear.. in the 1970s, the CPSC banned brominated Tris and removed chlorinated Tris from being used on children’s pajamas after they were found to mutate DNA and identified as probable human carcinogens. Thankfully these chemicals were removed from children’s sleepwear after it was found that children were exposed from their treated sleepwear.
So, these two particular chemicals won’t be used, but what IS actually used on pajamas is difficult to find out!

Unfortunately, chlorinated and brominated flame retardants are contaminating the environment and accumulating in the human body adding to our body burden. For example, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been linked to damage to the nervous and reproductive systems and impairing thyroid function.

You may think.. “I’ll just wash my baby’s clothes to remove the flame retardants.”

It’s not that simple.

You can’t really wash flame retardants out. The regulations require that the fabrics demonstrate their flame resistance after being laundered at least 50 times!

Good news is if you want to avoid flame retardants, it’s a very easy swap. It is becoming more and more common and readily available in stores.

You CAN avoid flame retardants in pajamas and still have pajamas that are safe from the risk of fire!

(Disclaimer: Every parent has to make their own choice of what they believe will keep their child safe. I am providing options and label reading tips if you choose to switch to a chemical free alternative.)

So here’s the deal.. to meet the regulatory flammability requirements, children’s sleepwear must either pass certain flammability tests, OR be tight fitting and meet certain specifications as to dimensions. This means that your child’s pajamas either have flame retardants OR are snug-fitting.

If you are looking to ditch the questionable chemicals in your kids pjs, here are some tips!

  • Check the fabric. Look for natural fabrics like organic cotton or wool. Avoid synthetics, such as polyester and nylon.
  • An easy way you can tell if they are treated is a label that says, “To retain flame resistance..” or “Flame resistant fabric.” You want to avoid those labels.
  • Instead, look for a big yellow hang tag and “warning” label! They will say, “For child’s safety, garment should fit snugly. This garment is NOT flame resistant. Loose fitting garment is more likely to catch fire.” or “Wear snug-fitting, not flame resistant” This is the gold-standard in pajama shopping. This indicates that the fabric is not inherently flame-resistant and has not been chemically treated. It is a good idea to follow the “snug-fitting rule” since loose fitting clothing captures air between the fabric and the child and ignites much easier when exposed to a flame. This also reduces the risk of suffocation in younger babies.

You can find snug-fitting pajamas free of flame retardants at many stores including Costco, Target, Old Navy, Walmart and many more!

➡️ We love Hanna Andersson!  Here’s 20% off! They are high quality and hold up really well. We’ve had pajamas last through multiple children and still look new years later without being stretched and worn out. I highly recommend these!

➡️ Oliver & Rain

➡️ Pact 20% off! I love this company and they have a lot more than pajamas! Men’s, women’s, bath and more!

We may not be able to avoid every toxin in our environment, but choosing snug fitting, organic cotton pjs is an easy step we can take to limit our children’s exposure to toxins. I don’t know about your kids but mine LIVE in their pjs so it’s a no brainer for us!

Check our Toxin Free Masterlist for all different product recommendations!

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