Penelope and mom

Penelope enjoys her cozy footie pajamas while making apple dumplings with mom. The pajamas have become a wardrobe staple. 

We’ve all gotten pretty comfortable in the confines of our own homes this year, and my toddler has taken that comfort to a whole new level.

When we had our first cold snap in early September, I unpacked a few articles of winter wear. Those included two pairs of footie pajamas for Penelope. I questioned whether we’d be able to use them now that she’s fully potty trained. I thought they’d be too much of a hindrance in a last-minute rush to the potty chair and I almost put them in the “donate” pile. That hasn’t been an issue, and thankfully so, because these one-piece wonders have become her uniform, night and day.

As soon as she was zipped from foot to chin that first night, there was no getting her out of them. They stayed on all weekend. She wore them at dinner. She wore them to the grocery store. She played in them at the park. They served as party wear for her sister’s birthday.

Getting ready for daycare on Monday was a nightmare. This usually agreeable little girl screamed and kicked and cried big tears as her terrible mother wrestled her into pants, a shirt and – oh the horror – shoes! Mean old Mom did not get to drop her off at daycare that morning. Dad had to take her, and he reported that she happily joined her classroom, unphased by the morning’s struggle.

We’ve come to a truce since then, and mornings have returned to the normal routine. She agrees to leave her footie pajamas behind during her time at daycare, but every day she reviews the terms of our pact: “And me can put them on when me get back home?”

And she does. Every day. It’s the first thing she asks when I pick her up at the end of my work day.

The cozy one-piece stayed a wardrobe staple even when temperatures returned to an unseasonable 80 degrees. One night she declared she was too sweaty to sleep. She had to change – into different footie pajamas.

We had to expand her pajama selection. The thrift store where we buy most of her clothes had just one pair of footies in her size. Luckily, she wasn’t turned off by the fact that they came from the “boys” rack. The green, stripey lion pajamas are now her favorite. We added some new fuzzy llama-footed pajamas from Costco. They came in a two-pack, but really the store could stand to sell them in a Costco-sized eight or 10-pack for the kid who goes through three or four pairs a day.

Call me a pushover, but I’ve decided it’s not worth the struggle to get her to wear anything else. It’s just a phase that won’t last forever. So I let her enjoy the cozy comfort of footie pajamas that is usually reserved for bedtime. In these uncertain times, we could all use some comfort. I have seen advertisements for adult-sized footie pajamas.

Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska. Reach her at or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor