Thursday, October 21, 2010

When Pajamas Attack

So I realized the other night just why they recommend close-fitting pajamas for young children. I woke up at around 1:30 a.m. to Ethan's cries in the other room, and headed in to do a status-check. Okay, it wasn't right away; I tried to wait it out for a few minutes first and see if he fell back asleep. However, he kept it up and in fact got louder, so I figured that it was probably a wet diaper or something and hauled my tired self out of bed. I went in and he was sitting up in his crib, crying actual tears. I picked him up, took him over to the changing table, replaced his soaked diaper with a fresh one, and then brought him back to the crib. I rocked him for a minute or so and was about to put him back in bed when he finally started talking. He said "stuck, stuck" and wiggled his left arm back and forth where it was resting against my back (he usually wraps his arm around me while I rock him).

I helped him move his arm in front of me and then noticed something strange. His pajama shirt seemed to be pulled up or twisted, so that his stomach was exposed. Hmm, that's not normal... but then this pajama shirt is a bit loose, so maybe it just got pulled up. Well, he repeated "stuck" a few times and thrashed his arm around until I realized that the shirt wasn't just pulled askew-- it was wrapped so tightly around his shoulder that he could hardly move his arm. We sat down on the chair so that I could see more clearly what was going on, and that's when I figured out what happened. He had somehow stuck his left arm down the front of his shirt through the collar opening, then lifted his arm up and out, effectively pulling the shirt into a sort of tourniquet around his shoulder.

I can't believe I didn't notice that right away! And there I was, being tired and lazy and not even wanting to check on him. Would it have cut off circulation to his arm, if left there long enough? Thank god we'll never know! Either way, it convinced me of two things: (1) no more loose-fitting pajamas, and (2) check on children when they cry. Sure, it might only be an attempt to get attention and avoid having to go to sleep, but then it just might be a cry for help. And I'd far rather get up and change a diaper or say "it's time to sleep" and toss them back in bed, than not get up and find out too late that it was something I should've paid attention to right away. By the way, we're putting that shirt out of commission as a nightshirt, and moving it to the closet for daytime use only. And no more twisting in your PJs, Ethan!


  1. Oh! I'm so glad you got that figured out! You're so right, it's better to check on them than to take a chance on this being "the one time" that something goes wrong. If theres nothing wrong, you can just leave the room, but at least then you know.

  2. Yeah, I know this definitely made me think twice about that old advice to just let them "cry it out"... not that I was very good about that before! ;)