the real story behind snug fit baby clothes


Here's the real story behind flame-resistant pajamas and how to select the very safest PJs for your little one. This article was adapted from a blog post from our friends at Babylist. We explain why Magnetic Me jammies in sizes 9-12M & up must be snug-fitting.

A first time parent is shopping online for newborn pajamas. Pausing to smile over an adorable pair pajamas, on a big yellow rectangle tag they are taken aback to read, “For child’s safety, garments should fit snugly. These garments are not flame resistant. Loose-fitting garments are more likely to catch fire.” This mysterious and alarming warning is a bit confusing to understand without the historical and legal context behind it. Even if stores appear to be full of warnings about your baby catching fire, that’s the last thing you need to worry about. In fact, the non-flame-resistant PJs are actually the better option!

Why? It’s a long story. In the 1940s, they made sweaters and children’s cowboy chaps out of rayon fabric that would ignite easily and flash burn, and there was a scandal over the tragic deaths that resulted. So in 1953, they passed the Flammable Fabrics Act which required children’s pajamas and a number of other items like mattresses to be made from flame-resistant fabric. (There were state-specific laws as well.) Many people believe that the tobacco industry was behind all this because they wanted clothing and furniture manufacturers to be blamed for fires–rather than cigarettes.

For years flame-resistant chemicals were added to children’s pajamas, carseats, and other items. In 1977, when researchers discovered that two commonly used fire retardant chemicals (brominated and chlorinated tris) were very dangerous.

Luckily, in 1996 the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to introduce a loophole in the law: pajamas didn’t need to be made of fire-resistant fabrics if they were tight-fitting! Tight-fitting pajamas are less flammable because fires need oxygen to burn. So if there is no air between the child’s skin and the fabric, the fire gets less oxygen.

So the pajamas with the “not fire resistant” warning are actually the ones you want. Consult with your pediatrician to see which PJs are right for your little one. You may want to search for “must be snug fitting” and/or “not flame resistant” when you buy your child’s pajamas. Also, as one BabyList mama remarked, tight-fitting pajamas are the cutest kind because they show off your child’s chubby limbs. There’s other good news: smoke alarms and increased fire safety standards have made fires one of the LEAST likely ways for your baby to be injured. 

Ensuring your child’s safety can sometimes feel complicated and stressful, when there is so much conflicting and confusing information. We hope this information helped.

Magnetic Me's fabrics are all eco-friendly and ultra gentle on baby's soft skin, whether it's our Modal made from Beech trees or our GOTS Organic Cotton. We do not use any flame retardant chemicals in our clothing and instead follow the government's tight-fitting standards. Please double check our size chart and order one size up if your child's height and weight fall in the middle of a size.