It's that time of year again, the nights are drawing in and the days are getting colder. It's really important that you know how to keep your little one warm during these colder months. Toddler winter wear should both keep your little one cozy and allow for movement. A child who’s mobile (or soon to be) needs to be able to move easily, so they shouldn’t be so bundled up that they can’t climb the playground ladder or stomp around in the snow.
One thing’s for sure. Your toddler’s energy and enthusiasm for getting outdoors and letting off steam won’t wane in winter, even if yours does. Here are our tips for keeping them warm in the cold.
The layers underneath your toddler’s outerwear trap in warmth. Opt for tops made from cotton, merino wool, or lightweight polypropylene, choosing ones that feel good on your child’s still-sensitive skin. Steer clear of bulky sweaters, which will make her too hot and prevent her from moving around easily. Make sure socks aren’t so thick that your toddler's snow boots don’t fit comfortably over them.
Choose a wind- and water-resistant outer shell — nylon is ideal — and a chill-chasing material on the inside, such as down or Polartec. The zipper should run all the way down to the knee or ankle to make taking it off easier — especially when it’s time for a diaper change or potty break. And check that cuffs fit tightly around ankles and wrists to prevent the cold (or snow) from creeping in. Elastic works, but Velcro tabs that let you adjust for a not-too-loose, not-too-tight fit are even better.
If you’ve ever tried to put a glove on a toddler’s hand so every finger's in the right place, you know it’s about as easy as putting a nappy on a goldfish. Stick with mittens, which are easier to slip on and are warmer because they keep fingers (and the heat they produce) close together. As with snowsuits, mittens should have a warm inner lining and a weather-resistant shell. And if the mitts don’t come with short strings attached, consider purchasing clips to attach them to the sleeves of your toddler’s snowsuit. (Tip: Slip on mittens before you put your child’s snowsuit on; that way the cuffs will help keep the mittens in place.)
A huge percentage of body heat is lost through the head, so a hat is a vital item in a toddlers winter-weather wardrobe. (This is especially true if your sweetie has yet to sprout a full head of hair.) Even if her snowsuit has a hood, a close-fitting hat is a better head-heating bet (you can always pull the hood over the hat). A fleece-lined cotton or soft-wool knitted cap with ear flaps is best, and even better if it fastens under the chin.
Snaps and zips are really good choices for toddlers, who will likely need constant wardrobe adjustments. If your little one isn’t potty-trained, this also makes nappy changes easier. Also avoid ribbons and strings that might unravel or possibly be a choking hazard, especially on loose-fitting hoods.
Even if it’s freezing cold, take off your toddler's winter jacket in the car seat: It can compress in the event of an accident, creating a dangerous amount of space underneath the harness. Thin layers, mittens and hats are still fair game for keeping them comfy and cozy in the car. If your toddler still chilly, you can also drape a lightweight blanket over them after they're buckled in.
At nursery we still like to go outside during the colder months (when it is safe) so please make sure to dress your your child appropriately so they can still go outside and play with all their friends!