It is getting colder and colder for most of us, and the thought of dressing toddlers for the cold strikes fear into the bravest heart! Last year’s clothes certainly don’t fit, and unless you have hand-me-downs, you’ll probably be looking for some new stuff. Let’s band together and share the wisdom in our collective consciousness: what works? What doesn’t? I’ll share some of my experiences with you, and I’d love for you guys to share some of your favorites (or things to avoid) in the comments, as well.
Jackets: Young kids hate feeling bulky, but it’s really important to keep them warm because their skin is so thin and their organs are so small. I’ve found that a fleece vest with a lighter jacket overtop can work really well. If you pin the vest into the jacket, then you won’t double the time it takes to put them on; you just have two zips. Also, it can help to ‘build up’ to jacket weather by starting to put on an extra sweater each time you leave the house. If putting on extra clothing becomes part of your habits, there will be fewer objections when the clothing bulks up.
What jackets have you found that work really well?
Hats: For kids under 3, I really prefer hats that tie under the chin. However, kids like it best if you tie them to one side (under an ear) so the bow doesn’t feel bulky on their necks. Some kids do really well with wool, but others will be sensitive to how scratchy it feels on the sensitive forehead. I like hats that cover the ears, and have a soft lining.
What hats do you find stay on?
Mittens: Oh, mittens. I hate toddler mittens! The vast majority of them are too short, and snow will get between the cuff of the mitten and the cuff of the jacket. Most are also too bulky, so kids can’t do anything with their hands. No wonder they end up getting torn off! If it’s not too cold, I actually like those cheap dollar-store-type mittens the best, because they’re flexible and not too bulky, and kids will keep them on after they get used to them. Even doubled up, they’re less bulky and more flexible than most toddler mittens. If those aren’t enough because it’s too cold or too wet, then my favorite thing to do is put a pair of Smartwool socks over their arms (all the way up). They don’t come off, they’re warm, they’re less bulky and constricting than normal toddler mittens with all the stuffing and stuff, and kids can move their hands around inside of them. And no snow will creep into their wrists.
More mitten tips: I like the old-fashioned mittens-on-a-string-through-the-sleeves. That way mittens never get lost, and it’s easy to tuck mitten ends into the sleeve cuffs. If you do use clips, clip the jacket side onto the sleeve itself instead of the cuff, so that you can tuck the jacket cuff into the mitten cuff.
What specific type of mittens have you used, that work well?
Snowpants: If it’s not too cold, I prefer lined rain-pants for kids. You can use them for muddy spring and fall as well. Get them a size or two bigger than you think, so that they can pull up high and not make a gap between the snowpants and jacket.
OK, now it’s your turn. What tips to you have? What brands are your favorites? Feel free to put in links to actual items you like.