'...in their jock strap... if you're lucky!': Why pyjamas are a necessity

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Teacher explains why pyjamas are a necessity
Teacher explains why pyjamas are a necessity

South Africans believe in sleepwear, according to a recent Parent24 survey where readers were asked if they would prefer sleeping in their day clothes. 

The saved laundry, the saved time and the saved effort where not enough to convince over 60% of respondents that the idea wasn't, frankly, disgusting.

Just 25% said that the practice was normal in their households, while a select few admitted they had thought about it. 

Must read: Pyjama drama! Turns out South Africans love their sleepwear 

While sleeping in day clothes and ditching PJs entirely might appeal to some, teacher Glynis wrote to say that as an early childhood educator she thinks it is good parenting to encourage a good early morning routine in pre-schoolers.

"It promotes self discipline and  prepares them for expected norms in dress code later on in life," she explained.

This includes healthy habits such as rising at a regular time, washing or showering and teeth brushing, she added.

"It goes without saying that kids are messy - even when asleep! As an educator in this new Covid area who wants to teach or hug a toddler in a t-shirt covered with dried up snot, last night's supper; yesterday's paint session?" she asks.

She encourages parents to clean their children's face, feet, hands and bottom: the '3F's', as she describes them.

Poor hygiene 

Glynis feels strongly about this, adding "It goes without saying they will soon slide into poor hygiene along with stale clothing.

Why bother to wash if you are still going to wear yesterday's clothes?"

Pre-schools who turn a blind eye to relaxed dress codes do themselves and their pupils no good service, she believes.

"Little girls and boys arriving with no tops on, bare feet, bed head hair, dirty hands, feet and faces... in other words 'in their jock strap and - if you're lucky - tekkies'!" she writes.

Related: Mom who ditched kids pyjamas slammed online, but is she actually a genius? 

Healthy role models 

It's not just a cleanliness issue, she continues, adding that these grubby children are "droopy, slow to react and their alert level lags for half the morning, compromising their education." 

"Will they expect the same slack standards when they head into 'big school' and must cope with stiff school uniforms, proper leather shoes... and heaven help them - socks!" she asks.

She also asks if parents think is okay to arrive at corporate jobs in their onesies and flip flops.

"Will they project an image of integrity and trust, looking like a beach bum? So it is not about good parenting or educating,"  she concluded, "it is about promoting good life skills, values and a balanced lifestyle." 

Pyjama protocol 

The biggest reason to wear pj’s is to regulate your body temperature, says Jolandi Becker, managing director of Good Night Baby.

"The ideal temperature for sleep is 19 – 21 degrees, and keeping your body temperature at this helps with the production of melatonin," she told Parent24.

This is why we sleep worse when it is really hot, and why it is better to choose natural breathable material as this will make sure you don’t overheat.

Sleepwear should also be comfortable and not too tight, she says, adding that we should consider pajamas without buttons that can irritate when sleeping.

"Lastly PJ’s can create a signal as part of routine that sleep is coming,"she says, and "good bedtime routines add to good sleep hygiene."

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