Someone wise (American photographer Bill Cunningham) once said, “fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life”.
And we couldn’t agree more.
It’s a way to express yourself, protect yourself.
But have you ever stopped to think what it means for little ones?
What you clothe your child in as they set off into the big wide-world is extremely important – especially when it comes to daycare.
In this blog post we’ll explore why the garments you dress your little one(s) in matters, before covering off why merino is great for daycare.
Tailor-made; why clothes matter
We’re not going to harp on about how clothes allow individuals to express personality –that’s obvious. We’re going to put that aside, and instead discuss a little-known truth.
When it comes to children, clothes help the development of independence and self-help skills.
The act of getting dressed develops skills such as thinking, remembering, learning and being aware.
Cast your mind back to when you were a wee one. Do you remember the thrill and pride you felt the first time you laced up your own shoes? The author behind this blog post sure does.
That’s just one example of how it can aide development and foster confidence.
StartingBlocks, a government website, elaborates on this. But it also provides a list of factors parents should consider when shopping for clothes for childcare.
These factors include:
- Temperature: Smaller children overheat easily, so it’s important to keep them comfortable throughout the day.
That’s easier said than done and we get you may not want to start layering them to the brim, as they’ll probably lose items. Instead, invest in fabrics that regulate body temperature.
- Clothing fabrics: Hands up if your child has ever thrown a wobbly over being forced into a “scratchy” jumper?
We’ve all been there.
To make dressing a breeze for yourself and teachers, look for soft, yet durable fabrics. Seems an impossible ask we know, but we promise there’s a fibre out there that answers the call (more on that soon).
- Sun protection: Hats are obviously essential here, but you should also look at t-shirts with long sleeves and long trousers. This will offer the maximum protection against that harsh Aussie UV.
- Footwear: Invest in shoes with good grip that offer ample support for the foot. This will give kids the best protection when running/jumping around like the cute chaos agents they are.
- Designs and accessories: Don’t get swept up in “what’s cute”- you need to be practical when buying for kids. Things like necklaces, hat toggles, and ribbons can get caught on things, so they’re a “daycare don’t”.
- Dressing sensibly to support play and learning: Above all things your kids should go to childcare in clothes that will help them thrive, not hinder them.
For instance, trousers that have an elastic waist are better for mobility…not to mention going to the toilet. Big buttons are easier for them to do up, while tops with large necks are easier to pull over the head.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed after reading that list, we don’t blame you. It’s a lot for busy parents to consider when shopping with toddlers and kids in tow.
So, let us tell you a secret – a hack – if you will.
Merino wool clothing checks off most of the bullet points on that list.
And it’s time for us to explain why.
Merino; The miracle fibre
Merino is a wonderous all-natural fibre that’s simultaneously ultra-soft and durable. Oh, and it can also regulate body temperature and is quick drying.
All of this makes it perfect for active little bodies as they put clothes through the rigmarole of daycare.
Because merino can regulate body temperature, it can be worn from summer through to winter.
It does this through a process called “heat of absorption”; it’s why merino sheep can live comfortably in temperatures ranging from -10C to 35C.
To sum it up quickly, in summer the fine fibres draw moisture from skin and evaporates it – thus keeping a body cool.
When the cool winds blow in winter, merino fibres absorb moisture from the air. It does a bit of science magic to transform it into heat, which is then “trapped” by the fibres’ loft-like structure. This generates that precious toasty, warmth.
The wool itself is also one of the finest and softest on the market, meaning it’s perfect for kids that’re sensitive to “itchy” fabrics.
If you don’t believe us, believe science. On a microscopic level, merino wool is between 17 and 23 microns. To compare the “scratchy” wool, oft found in vintage clothing stores or Christmas sweaters, sits at around 28 microns.
It gets better.
Merino wool is also very sturdy, which makes it perfect for active kids.
In fact, if you stretch it to 20 per cent of its length it will bounce right back to its original shape. It also cuts drying time by up to one-third, due to that process of heat of absorption.
Finally, the wool is UV resistant, and offers considerably high protection when compared to cotton.
Depending on thickness, the UV factor sits at around 40 to 50+.
What’s not to love about that?
If you’ve found this blog post useful please check out our previous article, “how to dress your little ones for the snow”.