Infants & The Sleepwear Regulations
You've probably heard me talk about the children’s sleepwear regulations and flame retardants quite a bit. And you’ve probably seen me write “over the age of 9 months” about 50 times throughout my articles. It’s true that the standards focus primarily on children’s sleepwear designed for kids over the age of 9 months, but there are still some considerations when it comes to sleep garments for infants.
Infant Sleepwear and the Children’s Sleepwear Regulations
In short, the children’s sleepwear regulations are in place to protect children from burn injuries that could occur if they were to come in contact with small ignition sources like a candle, lighter, or space heater. They focus primarily on kids over the age of 9 months (since they’re little adventurers) and in our opinion, snug fit pajamas are definitely the way to go for these older kiddos.
But why is the CPSC so obsessed with kids over the age of 9 months? Because infants younger than that aren’t really mobile yet. Around the 8-10 month mark, infants start to scoot and crawl, but because they’re not cruising around too quickly, it’s unlikely they’ll get far from mom or dad and come face to face with an open flame. Come 9-12 months and it’s a different story! At this age, babies are learning to walk and they’re eagerly exploring their surroundings, so it’s possible that they could come into contact with an open flame.
Because of this, the CPSC determined that it’s unnecessary for infant sleep garments to meet the same rigorous standards as those intended for older kids. Infant pajamas do NOT need to be tight fitting, although they can be (our two piece sleep sets are designed to be tight fitting, even in our infant sizes).
Even if the garment is loose fitting, like our baby sleeper gown, it does NOT need to be treated with dangerous flame retardant chemicals (because, again, an infant meeting an open flame is unlikely). We should all be excited about that because flame retardants have been linked to myriad health concerns for children.
Buying Safe Infant Sleepwear
Although sleepwear for this age is NOT required to be tight fitting or meet the same flammability standards as toddler and kids' pajamas, there are still sleepwear standards that all infant parents should be aware of (because, unfortunately, not all companies abide by them). Infant sleepwear must meet certain length requirements AND must be tested for compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act.
1. Length Requirements
To ensure safety of infant sleepwear, the CPSC requires that the garment meets certain length requirements. If it's a one piece garment (like a sleep gown or onesie) the length CANNOT exceed 25 3/4" when laying in a relaxed position. If it's a two piece set, neither piece can be longer than 15 3/4".
Unfortunately that means many of those cute knotted baby gowns you see on the market don't actually comply with the regulations because they're quite a bit longer than 25 3/4". Lookin' at you, knotted gown. Don't worry, if you're a gown lover (like me) we have a better, safer sleep gown!
2. CPSA Testing
Infant garments must still meet the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). This act requires that all children's clothing, including sleepwear for children of all ages, be tested at a third-party laboratory to ensure that they meet the requirements for lead content/surface coatings (think: painted snaps or zipper pulls) and phthalates (a group of chemicals often used as a plasticizer).
All kids’ sleepwear brands must also maintain a third-party issued children’s product certificate stating compliance with the sleepwear flammability standards as well as the children's clothing (CPSA) standards. The certificate must be presented if asked by a customer, so if you’re ever unsure about the safety of sleepwear, just ask to see the CPC. If the company's compliant, they'll have no problem getting them for you! We have ours - If you'd like to see them, visit our CPC request form!
I hope that’s helpful! In a nutshell:
- Infant sleepwear does not need to meet the same flammability standards as sleepwear designed for kids over 9 months because infants are insufficiently mobile and will not find themselves near an open flame.
- Infant PJs do not need to be tight fitting, although they can be (like our two piece sleep sets).
- Even if the garment is loose fitting, like our baby sleeper gown, it does not need to be treated with dangerous flame retardant chemicals
- Infant sleepwear must meet certain length requirements in order to be considered safe: If it's a one piece garment (like a sleep gown or onesie) the length cannot exceed 25 3/4" when laying in a relaxed position. If it's a two piece set, neither piece can be longer than 15 3/4".
- All children’s sleepwear garments, including those designed for infants, must be tested at a third-party laboratory to ensure compliance with the CPSA regulations for lead content/surface coatings and phthalates
- Children's sleepwear brands must maintain (and present, when asked) third party issued children’s product certificates (CPCs) stating compliance with the sleepwear flammability standards as well as the children's clothing standards. As a customer, you can request to see a company’s CPCs at any time.
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