Are Polyester Blends Good for Newborns?

Pregnancy is a time of patient waiting. To occupy those moments of anticipation, furnishing your baby's bedroom and buying your newborn’s first wardrobe can fill days, weeks and even months. Picking and choosing the right colors and the most comfortable, wearable and safe fabrics is an important process. Many options are available, and polyester blends come in high on the list.

About Polyester Blends

Polyester is made from petroleum, the same material plastic is made from. It’s the manufacturing process, and the fabric that it’s blended with, that makes the end product wearable and much more comfortable than its cousin of origin. Research on the Auburn University website explains that polyester fibers are often woven with different types of fabrics, including cotton, wool, rayon and nylon 1. Cotton adds absorbency and comfort to the polyester’s ability to hold its shape and resist stains; wool adds elasticity to polyester's properties; rayon contributes absorbency and a draping quality; and nylon gives strength and abrasion resistance to polyester's wrinkle resistance.

Flammability

Safety is a very important consideration when choosing your newborn’s clothing. The flammability of a fabric depends on several key factors. The two most important factors are the fit of the clothes and the types of fabric used. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, children’s sleepwear over size 9 months must be flame resistant and self-extinguishing when removed from a flame 2. If the sleepwear is neither, it must be tight fitting and state such on the label. If your newborn is a big boy or girl, this may be a consideration. Polyester is a flame-resistant fiber that is slow to ignite. When blended with wool, a natural fiber that is relatively flame-retardant, it may produce a safe polyester blend fabric for newborn clothing.

Newborn Clothing

The National Network for Child Care at Iowa State University Extension recommends soft, lightweight fabrics for your new baby’s sleepwear, undershirts and other clothing, with comfort being of main importance 3. A breathable fabric allows baby’s skin to breathe and moisture to move away from the body. A cotton/polyester blend with a higher percentage of cotton does the trick nicely. A nylon/polyester blend also works well.

Outerwear

When choosing baby’s outerwear clothing such as:

  • blankets
  • sleeping bags
  • buntings
  • sweaters
  • caps
  • the NNCC suggests considering fabrics that give warmth but are still lightweight

Polyester blends with wool or cotton can fit that bill. The natural fibers of wool and cotton provide warmth and softness for your newborn’s delicate skin, and polyester provides durability.

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