When your baby is plagued with itchy, uncomfortable eczema, you'll try just about anything to make them feel better. My middle child developed the common (but difficult to treat) condition when he was a few months old, and before long I was willing to give every potential remedy anyone suggested a shot. Not only is it awful to watch your child suffer, but because itchy infants tend not to sleep very well, your baby's eczema is no picnic for you, either. That's what makes Mustela's new skin-soothing pajamas such a genius idea: Stelatopia® pajamas are designed to release itch-reducing ingredients on contact, so babies get consistent comfort throughout the night. (Where were these miracle jammies 13 years ago when I was slathering moisturizer on my screaming baby at midnight?)
Back then, constantly applying and re-applying some type of moisturizer was basically the only line of defense against eczema that pediatricians would recommend. "Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate," said my son's pediatrician the first time she saw his bright red, bumpy cheeks. Then she handed me a sample of Aquaphor, which she said I'd be buying "by the case" before long. Indeed, all that non-stop moisturizing can get pricey (as Romper reported in a previous article, a study from The Journal of Pediatrics found that eczema in kids costs the U.S. $3.8 billion a year (translating to 35 percent of parents' "discretionary income"). And the most frustrating part is that oftentimes, a dedicated hydration regimen still won't do the trick, no matter how diligent you are about regular application.
Mustela's new Stelatopia pajamas, on the other hand, are actually "clinically proven" to be effective. One study conducted on 66 babies and children with atopic-prone skin over 28 days found that the pajamas reduced itching in 81 percent of babies, according to a press release; 84 percent of parents also agreed that the pajamas "soothed the skin." Another consumer study conducted in partnership with the French Eczema Association found that the pajamas helped to improve sleep quality in just seven days; participants also fell asleep twice as fast. (The pajamas should be used in conjunction with a pediatrician-approved skincare routine.)
So how do these magic pajamas work? Their effectiveness has to do with the high-tech fabric: OEKO-TEX® organic cotton, which is free of potential allergens like fragrance, and has "micro-capsules containing natural skin soothing ingredients" built into the fibers. These ingredients are activated upon contact with the skin and then "steadily released onto the skin throughout the night" — so the relief is much longer-lasting than a petroleum jelly rubdown at bedtime. All you have to do is make sure the fabric is in direct contact with your baby's skin, "with the outer seams exposed" (Mustela smartly put the seams on the outside, knowing that even the seams on a onesie can aggravate itching for a baby struggling with eczema), and the healing action of ingredients will kick in. They can be worn alone or with other pajamas, and they even have super convenient snaps for late-night diaper changes:
And here they are from the front:
Speaking of healing ingredients, Stelatopia contains just five (the fewer ingredients, the lower the chance someone will be allergic or sensitive). Those five ingredients are powerhouses in the battle against eczema, however: Sunflower oil distillate has "soothing properties and provides lipids essential to maintaining skin's moisture barrier;" avocado oil and ceramides help to strengthen, protect and restore the skin barrier; and squalane (a plant-derived emollient) "supports healthy hydration and suppleness." There's also Vitamin E, a long-acknowledged antioxidant superpower for skin. This video explains it well, and it also features really really cute kids:
Naturally, your baby won't know or care about the lipids and emollients taking the itch away, he'll just be glad they're doing a good job. He will notice how incredibly soft the cotton is, though (another thing that makes the these pajamas less itchy).
The pajamas are available in two sizes: 6 to 12 months and 2 to 24 months, at Mustela.com, beginning on Feb. 28. And while the price tag ($35) might seem steep for what is essentially an organic cotton onesie, they're supposed to keep working for 20 washes (machine wash in cold water).
And aren't 20 nights of better sleep for your family worth $35?