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Let’s be real. There is absolutely nothing we want more than a soundly sleeping baby, cozy in the crib, letting us get some good, restful shut-eye.
A big part of achieving that goal means getting little one comfortable in the softest baby pajamas that match the temperature and will keep baby cozy through the night.
We’re here to help with all the information you need: from fabrics to styles, to what to look for, we’ve got you covered with the best newborn and infant pajamas of 2021!
Why are Pajamas a Staple for Baby’s Bardrobe?
Honestly, pajamas are what most babies spend the majority of their time in.
I’ve seen newborns out in adorable outfits with jeans and precious tops. And while I won’t pretend I don’t oggle over them, I also feel a little bad for them.
Baby’s skin deserves to be comfortable, and while there are plenty of soft clothes out there, nothing beats a good pair of newborn pajamas.
When I talk new baby must haves, I don’t put a ton of emphasis on clothing. But when it comes to pajamas, there’s a whole different level of importance!
Tips for Choosing the Best Infant Pajamas
When you’re choosing newborn pajamas, there are a few key things you really want to keep in mind. Comfort is obvious, but also sizing (those little suckers grow so quickly), material, styles, what will hold up vs. shrink in the dryer, and–get this–safety!
Yes, safety with baby pajamas is a thing. No, I’m not kidding.
Here are all the tips you need for making the best choices for your little one:
1. Baby Pajama Materials
Fabric makes such a huge different in newborn pajamas because it’s what keeps baby comfortable. You want pajamas to be soft, breathable, and appropriate to the season!
We recommend avoiding pajamas with anything sewn onto the front. People adore cute animals sewn onto baby shirts, but are they really comfy for baby’s sensitive skin? I’m guessing no, and I care far more about my baby sleeping than the cuteness of the pjs they’re sleeping in.
The most common types of fabric in baby pajamas are:
- Cotton (comfy, soft, breathable, shrinks in dryer)
- Jersey (soft, breathable, more flexible than cotton, does not shrink in dryer)
- Bamboo (soft, great for sensitive skin, thermal-regulating, does not srink in dryer)
- Fleece (good for winter; moisture-wicking while keeping baby’s body warm, does not shrink in dryer)
2. Infant Pajama Styles
Serious talk here, y’all. Buttons and snaps make baby pajamas much harder to change!
Of course, we know it’s not a one-size-fits-all mold, so here’s the run-down on some different choices in infant pajama styles.
Snaps vs. Zippers
Honestly, why do companies still make pajamas with 12 different snaps on them? Do they know what fresh hell it is trying to get those things to snap in the right place? And once your kid gets squirmy and grows into a toddler, you lose the possibility for getting that mess on at all.
We love zippers. Soft ones that tuck in at the top so they don’t scratch baby. But still, zippers!
If you go with snapped pajamas, make sure they snap and unsnap easily around baby’s bottom. With multiple nighttime changes early in baby’s life, you want to access the diaper as easily as possible.
For zipper pajamas, we especially love the ones that have a two-way zipper that you can unzip from the bottom. That way, you can change baby’s diaper at night without making its tummy cold!
Footed vs. Non-Footed Pajamas
There are serious pros and cons to both, but for newborns, we much prefer footed pajamas.
Why? Baby’s feet need to be warm, and it’s really hard to keep socks on them.
We like to change to non-footed pajamas once baby starts pulling up and standing to decrease the risk of slipping.
Gowns vs. Onesies vs. Separates
This is a personal preference thing. I loved the idea of gowns when my baby was born because they seemed so breathable and easy to access.
But what I actually found was I couldn’t keep socks on his feet, they often bunched at the bottom, and they didn’t feel as soft under swaddles.
We found our way into one pieces and (mostly) didn’t look back. Separates can be adorable, but for the sake of simplicity, we always preferred onesies or one-piece pajamas.
Separates become much easier in toddlerhood.
I know it’s hard to resist, but try not to buy too many pajamas ahead of time. You want to match baby’s pajamas to the season, and it’s hard to know exactly what size they’ll be when.
For basic cotton and bamboo pajamas, you can buy a few different sizes to be sure you’re prepared when baby grows. (Just be prepared for the cotton ones to shrink with wash!)
But for fleece pajamas, lightweight materials, or holiday-themed pajamas, wait until you’re closer to needing them.
The National Sleep Foundation gives several guidelines for safe infant pajama practices:
- Don’t dress baby in loose clothing
- One piece pajamas with feet are a good choice for sleep
- Avoid clothing that can ride up near baby’s face
- Avoid anything with a hood
- Make sure your baby’s pajamas are fire retardant and snug-fitting
- Cotton clothing is good because it is breathable
Why are Baby Pajamas Snug?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, baby pajamas are snug because loose-fitting clothing can lead to suffocation.
You want to make sure your child’s pajamas are snug fitting and are not loose around the neck. The main thing to avoid is having pajamas ride up and cover the nose and mouth.
The other reason that pajamas made for babies are snug is because loose fitting pajamas are more likely to catch fire.
Legally, all pajamas made for babies and children age nine months to size fourteen must be flame retardant, but when they are snug fitting, this also decreases the risk of the pajamas catching fire.
Some parents want chemical-free pajamas for their babies (under age nine months), and we’ll certainly suggest some of these options. But be aware that chemical-free pajamas are not flame resistant, so if you choose this option, make sure baby’s pajamas are snug!
Best Footed Pajamas for Babies
Without further ado, here are some of our favorite pajamas for babies! I’m including links to products that I have personally used with Jack and products from companies I know and trust.
Hands down, 100% my favorite baby jammies. Because they’re the only ones that don’t shrink in the dryer!!!! You buy them, they fit, and they continue to fit until baby truly grows out of them. Unlike Carter’s, who I love, but whose jammies shrink like nobody’s business.
They aren’t technically footed, but the feet fold over, so you get the best of both worlds!
These pajamas are the epitome of luxury, and the price tag reflects it, but I have to include them because they are THE SOFTEST PAJAMAS IN THE WORLD. I challenge you to find me softer ones. Please.
They’re made of luxuriously soft and breathable Pima cotton. Perhaps the best part about this company is that it’s run by a doting grandmother! Roxana Castillo makes sure that Kissy Kissy’s products are worthy of her own grandchildren. What could be better than that?
Leveret has pajamas for literally the whole family, including the dog! But I grew to love them long before I knew they offered matching sets (though, what could be more fun, really?)
Their pajamas are really comfortable, only shrink minimally, and come in super cute styles.
Also, they can grow with your kids–they get used to the pajamas, and then when they’re ready to switch from onesies to two-piece sets, they can stay in a brand they know and love. Another big win for this brand: cotton for summer; fleece for winter!
Soft, comfy, and cute, Burt’s Bees is a trusted name in baby care for a reason. These pajamas are made from 100% cotton, so great for kids with polyester allergies.
Their footed onesies have grips on the bottom to help baby walk, though the grips aren’t as good as the ones on Leveret. They do shrink in the dryer, though not as much as some pajamas, but probably more than any others on this list.
Best Newborn Sleep Gowns
For newborns specifically, these gowns are adorable and amazing! Solly Baby makes the most comfortable babywear you could ever want.
These sleep gowns tie at the bottom, giving super easy access for diaper changes, as well as being adorably photographable.
We’re obsessed with this gorgeous knotted gown for newborns, which is made of a soft polyester/rayon blend.
The fold-over mittens prevent scratching and the top snaps let you pull the gown down in case of blowouts!
These simple sleeping gowns have an elastic gather at the ankles to keep them from riding up and to make nighttime changes a breeze. They also have long-sleeves with pullover mittens to keep baby safe.
Softest Bamboo Baby Pajamas
Some brands have been around forever, while others feel like they’re the new, hot item. Kyte Baby may feel like the new thing, but it’s got definite staying power.
Founded with your baby’s comfort and safety in mind, this eco-conscious brand brings the softest bamboo sleepwear straight to your nursery.
We love the dual zipper on the pants, making night time changes so much easier. The one downside: it’s suggested you hang them to dry.
It’s hard to beat MilkBarn in comfort or eco friendliness. Their bamboo pajamas are as soft as you’ll find, and all their products are organic.
Each pajama set comes with a matching reusable drawstring bag–a great way to double up and have what you need for messy baby clothes on-the-go.
Post Peanut makes all sorts of adorable, comfortable pajamas for babies. But for infants, especially newborn, our favorites are the zipper one-pieces.
Available in a variety of designs, these super-soft, breathable bamboo pajamas will keep baby as cozy as can be. And of course, we love the two-way zipper!
Organic Baby Pajamas
Where organic meets luxury, nothing beats a MilkBarn product. They use soft organic cottons and bamboos (this design is cotton) to achieve ultimate comfort for your little one.
Because MilkBarn products are free of flame-retardant chemicals, they are made to fit snugly. And they’re so comfortable that you’ll want them to!
Available in tons of different styles, we loved this zip-up one piece from Burt’s Bees Baby. There’s a reason parents rave about this brand–it’s functional, eco-friendly, and oh-so-comfy.
The grip footies are great when baby starts learning to pull up, but I do wish they had a 2-way zipper. Still, they’re super soft and comfy for baby.
These adorable, super soft pajamas are pre-washed, so despite being made of 100% organic cotton, they won’t shrink too much over time.
They get rave reviews from mamas. And they don’t contain flame resistant chemicals, so be sure to let baby wear them snugly!
Best Cotton Baby Pajamas
I mentioned them earlier, and when I said the softest pajamas, I meant it. They use 100% Peruvian Pima Cotton.
Owned by a doting grandmother, their claim is adorable. “Every outfit feels like a kiss or cuddle on your baby’s skin.”
These 100% organic cotton pajamas are super soft and simple. They offer fold-over mitten sleeves, grips on the bottom of feet, and tagless comfort.
A win for the eco-friendly family, they’re azo-free, non-toxic, eco-friendly dyes.
Best Baby Pajamas for Winter
I know I said Carter’s pajamas shrink, and it’s true for their cotton ones. But for winter months when you need to keep baby warm, their fleece ones are super comfy and easy. Also, they just introduced a two-way zipper!
Also, they just introduced a two-way zipper! We LOVE this!!
These organic cotton sleep sacks are perfect for chilly winter nights. They have long-sleeves to keep baby warm, plus a Sorona fill for added warmth.
Made from 100% organic cotton, you’ll love this warm, comfy sleep sack with removable sleeves to keep the temperature just right. Oh, and it zips from the bottom, making nighttime changes a breeze!