Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Helping the kids be happy in their clothes

When the kids can't stand their clothes - how to keep them happy in their clothes

Did you have one of those kids who wanted to spend their whole childhood.. umm... naked? Or did they insist on being wrapped up completely even on the hottest of days?  Maybe now they seem to be constantly fidgeting and fiddling with their clothes.  It might not just be a desire to be feral or ants in their pants, with my lot it's far more likely to be the way their clothes feel.

Both my boys are autistic and both of them are fussy about their clothes. Autism can affect the sensory system so that sensations can either seem dulled, amplified or oddly even both. It's the reason Anthony covers his ears when the vacuum cleaner is on or David has the iPad at maximum volume all the time.

When it comes to the sense of touch it's a similar story.  The boys can be very sensitive
to fabrics, seams, texture and even the smell of their clothes. Tags can feel like someone has put a sprig of holly down your neck or the baubles from fuzzed clothes feel like little scratches all over over tummy.  Some days David will pull at his cuffs and sleeves because the seams are irritating him and on others Anthony twists his clothes so the creases feel right. Along with their little sister they both also have eczema too.

If my boys are thinking about their clothes and feeling uncomfortable then they aren't thinking about what they are meant to be doing in class, at home, at the dinner table or even about feeling comfortable enough to have fun.  Here's a few things we've found that have helped us with their skin and their clothes.

Bathing
At the moment nightly bathing is part of our bedtime routine and breaking this routine would be a very bad idea for us.  However, you don't need to bathe your kid every night. Go with what works for you. If you are like us or however often you bathe your kids, the skin copes better with a bath that's lukewarm.  If I'm sharing the bath with the kids, I'll go at the tap end and add a bit more hot in my end of the bath before I jump in if I want a warmer bath.

Soaps
We try and use natural and chemical free soaps and try and do this at the end of the bath so the kids aren't soaking their skin in the soap.  Scrubbing will only irritate the skin so we try to avoid this too. A foaming soap can work well for this and again Jane needs to wash her hair with shampoo we try and use something natural. If we can we'll also try and rinse off any soap with new water before getting out the bath.

Drying the kids
Towels are really just to prevent a chill.  We try to add our unscented balm or emollient where it's needed after a the kids wriggle or shake.

If you kids eczema or dry skin is bad, red, multicoloured, itchy or hurts in anyway, then go to a medical professional for advice.

On clear days, we'll try and hang the clothes outside

Clothes
When you are buying clothes have a look at the seams at tags on the inside. If these seem to really annoy your kids we've bought some flat seam or seam free items.  Underwear in particular can be more comfortable when there are seam free.

Cotton seems to work best for our boys.  Anthony wears a long sleeve school shirt for most of the year. Despite this cuffs often getting dirty at school, the shirt acts as a barrier between his skin and his school jumper.

Some patterned tops have an impact on the inside of the fabric creating extra seams - have a look inside before you buy to see what's going to be against your kids skin.

Clothes care
Have a look at how easy it will be to remove the labels  and what they are like.  The plastic type labels are still quite rough even when they are cut off and I have to unstitch any like these.

When washing your clothes, try not to add an irritants back into them when they are in the machine. Use a non-bio natural washing liquid or powder.  We've been using Ecover recently.  Make sure any scent is good for your kids.  Our one is lavender and sandlewood and that's liked by our boys.  An extra or long rinse cycle will also help keep the clothes irritant free.

Sometimes there's no choice but to dry the clothes inside the home.  But if it's a clean, clear and warm day then Jane will help me hang up the clothes outside. A little breeze can make them a bit more fluffy or loose which seems to work for the boys too.

What other ideas do you have for kids who don't like the way their clothes feel?  How do you help take care of their skin?

This post is an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsored by Ecover

7 comments:

  1. Great to hear how you got on - commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

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  2. This is a fab post, I need to rethink my laundry detergent as I have been feeling quite uncomfortable myself lately..I think its the hyper sensitive pregnancy skin! My son can not manage wool...it really upsets him and now we stick to cotton and layers!#ablogginggoodtime

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  3. seams can be so uncomfortable for kids, and I think it is super important to use soaps or wash that are natural. Really enjoyed this post, fantastic tips for all parents Thanks for joining in #ablogginggoodtime

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  4. My girls and the Mrs. are all very clothes sensitive. Skin is sensative too. Bouts of excema from allergies and such. We found all natural and organic soaps, shampoos and moisturizers work the best. Beauty Counter is a line of products that really works for all of us. It is pricey, but worth every wonderful ingredient. #ablogginggoodtime xo

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  5. Great tips. Both of my children have issues with certain clothes and finding something they are comfortable in is so important to avoid those morning meltdowns x
    #TheListLinky

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  6. Truly amazed what a courageous woman and mother you are! I research for https://hitthegrade.com/ on motherhood and the problems mothers can face with. I hope that your material and experience will help me to shed light on the issue.

    ReplyDelete

I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

What is Autism?
It's so much I couldn't possibly try and explain. For us it's wonderful and heart-breaking. Joyous and truthful. But as far as diagnosis is concerned, why not have a look at the National Autistic Society for their definition of Autism.
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