I wear them often on cold days. I wear them when I slide between my flannel sheets and when I sneak between my kids on a beanbag to snuggle — and once I’m settled, sometimes, I’ll try to stretch my legs out and realize my toes have become horribly cramped.
Sometimes, sliding into position, the back and bottom of my pajamas grab onto the furniture, shortening the legs of my pajamas. Luckily, it only takes a moment to lift my butt and back and adjust my comfy jammies so I can stretch out all the way.
How are babywearing and footed pajamas related?
Babies spend a lot of time in footed pajamas or similar kinds of clothing. Babies also spend a great deal of their day being slid into or out of assorted baby holders — swings, car seats, baby wraps and other carriers. So it’s not just babywearing and footed pajamas that are related, but really footed pajamas and anything you might use to hold your baby, including your arms.
Just as my favorite pajamas sometimes ride up and crunch my toes when I slide into place, baby’s pajamas do the same thing. And luckily, just as I can easily adjust my own jammies, I can adjust my baby’s clothing with minimal effort.
To be honest, I never thought much about how babywearing and footed pajamas were related until a recent conversation with Angelique Geehan, a master babywearing educator and founder of BWI of Greater Houston, but listening to hear speak, I realized it’s one of those small tips that can be surprisingly helpful to a new parent!
Check your baby’s toes
The plantar reflex is my personal favorite baby reflex. It’s the one that causes your baby’s toes to grip your finger when you poke the ball of their foot. So I tend to naturally reach for my baby’s feet after I settle him into a carrier.
It takes only a moment to check your baby’s toes when you settle him into a carrier or baby holding thing. Babies are born with two relevant reflexes here that makes this even easier. When you run your finger along the outside of your baby’s foot, his toes naturally stretch out, and you can feel through his pajamas if his toes are straining against the fabric. This is called the Babinski reflex.
You can follow this with the plantar reflex check, mostly because it’s wonderful. Stroke your baby’s foot from their arch to their toes, and they’ll press back against your finger and grab you with their toes. Give your baby’s toes a little squeeze and check the status of his jammies.
You may also notice that if his toes are squished, he tends to straighten his legs, stiffen his body, or arch his back — this is your cue to check his positioning and clothing for comfort.
What if baby’s pajamas are squishing her toes?
Reach between your carrier and your baby with both hands, through the leg holes (or “leg-hole area” — where her hips are) and grasp baby’s clothes near her armpits. Likely, you’ll feel some slack or bunching here. Tug it down toward her hips, gently removing the slack.
Do this again at the hips, pulling the fabric down over her diaper and toward her hip joints, as if you are pulling the slack out of a pair of stockings.
From here, it’s easy to tug the fabric again down the legs toward the knees, and then to grab the toes of baby’s pajamas and tug the slack out, freeing her toes for wiggling.
So — what do you think? Have you encountered this problem before, or another similarly surprising situation? What was your solution? Tell us in the comments! And don’t forget to share this post with their friends so you can save their babies from toe crunch.
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