What’s the best way for kids to enjoy the winter season? You guessed it: taking them outdoors for an adventure.
But before you head out, you’ll want to bundle them up in the warmest outfits you can find. Remember, kids are always at a higher risk when exposed to cold than adults because they have much smaller bodies, so they lose heat more rapidly.
If you don’t want your fun winter activities ruined, be sure to dress your children warmly. To help you, we’ve created a detailed guide on how you can keep your kids warm in winter. Read on to learn more.
How to dress kids for winter
Here are the best tips for keeping kids warm in winter:
1. The art of layering
The number 1 rule of dressing your baby in cold weather is to layer up. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends dressing children in 1 more layer of clothing than an adult would wear under similar conditions.
What’s the concept behind layering? Well, putting on several layers of clothes creates pockets of air that serve as insulation. Layering also makes it easy for your child to remove a few clothing items if it gets warmer.
Layers can be divided into 3 key categories:
This is the set of clothes worn closest to the skin. For this reason, they should have superb moisture-wicking capabilities so they can keep your toddler warm and dry.
The most suitable material for a base layer is merino wool. Whether you’re buying your kid a top, shirt, or bottoms, prioritize those that are made of merino wool. In the unfortunate event that you can’t access such articles, synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester will suffice.
The one material that you should never get your child to wear as a base layer is cotton. While it’s breathable, it also has a tendency to absorb moisture. This means that once your kiddo starts to sweat, the cotton fabric will retain all that moisture, making them feel extremely cold.
Middle or second layer
As you’ve probably guessed, these are the clothing items that go on top of the base layer.
The core function of this 2nd layer is heat retention, so you’ll often find this set of clothes to be fluffier and a little thicker than the 1st layer. However, be careful not to go for very thick clothes as they may restrict movement and proper circulation.
What are the best fabric choices for the 2nd layer? Materials like knit wool, polyester fleece, and down work really well.
The main purpose of this last set of clothes is to keep as much of the warmth in and the elements out. Simply put, you’ll be looking for garments that can stand up to windy, rainy, or snowy conditions.
Two things you should look for when choosing outer layers are waterproof abilities and breathability.
The waterproof feature means the clothing won’t allow any moisture from the outside to penetrate and reach the middle and base layers.
Breathability is another essential element to focus on. It allows the moisture wicked from the body to escape. This way, your toddler is not left feeling wet from the inside out.
2. Keep their feet toasty
If you intend to take your child on an outdoor adventure, then it’s crucial that you find ways to keep their feet warm and dry. Start by looking for a cozy pair of winter socks that will keep their feet toasty.
Since this makes up the base layer, go for socks made from materials like wool and fleece. Merino wool, in particular, is great at keeping the heat in while also wicking sweat away from the feet. Another bonus point of this fabric is its odor resistance.
Once you find the perfect pair of socks, the next thing to look for is a quality pair of winter boots for kids. Be very careful when buying this footwear. Consider factors such as:
Water resistance just doesn’t cut it here. You need to invest in kids’ boots made specifically of waterproof materials. This ensures that their feet stay dry even if they accidentally step into a puddle of water.
The winter season brings with it very slippery roads. If your kiddo will be playing in the snow, then ensure their snow boots have good traction.
Some manufacturers of winter shoes for kids provide temperature ratings for their products. This guides you on the specific conditions under which the boots can be used.
However, these ratings can sometimes be misleading. The surest way to know that the baby snow boots will offer warmth is to check the fabric used to make the lining.
In our opinion, synthetic liners are the best because they’re able to provide maximum warmth while still allowing ample circulation. Thick fabric choices like wool might be a little too bulky for your toddler, especially if they’re already wearing winter socks.
Have you ever wondered how to keep a toddler’s face warm in winter? Well, this is where the accessories come in.
Winter hats or beanies, mittens, and kids’ waterproof gloves are just as important as snow boots when it comes to keeping your child warm. They protect their head, neck, face, and hands from extreme cold.
When purchasing these accessories, don’t be tempted to use the “form over function” approach. Simply put, don’t buy something just because it looks stylish.
Instead, check whether it serves the purpose for which it was designed. For instance, if you’re buying a beanie, check whether it covers your child’s cheeks and ears.
How to keep your child warm during winter baths
When temperatures start to dip, you may be hesitant to bathe your baby because of the exposure to cold.
There are a couple of things you can do to minimize this exposure, namely:
- Always use lukewarm water to bathe them.
- Have your baby’s change of clothes ready.
- Wrap them in a warm, hooded towel as soon as you’re done bathing them.
- Start by drying their hair; wet hair leaves them feeling colder for longer.
- Turn on the heater while you dry them.
- Close all windows and doors as you dress them.
How to keep your child warm when traveling in winter
If you plan to take your baby on a road trip, you may be tempted to dress them in bulky clothes.
However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, doing so poses a safety hazard. Instead, you should have your baby wear thin layers so you can leave a little wiggle room under their harness.
So, rather than dress them in snowsuits and puffy winter jackets, opt for a simple fleece sweater and some leggings or tights. For infants, investing in a bunting bag compatible with a car seat is an excellent idea. It’s not heavyweight, yet it keeps your tot warm throughout.
Another helpful trick is warming up the car before bringing your child in. This reduces the need to dress them in bulky clothes during the drive.
Potential health risks for kids in winter
Prolonged exposure to cold poses major health risks to your toddler. Examples of the problems they may encounter include:
- Frostbite: If an area of the body becomes frostbitten, the skin turns waxy, white, and numb. In case your child suffers frostbite, take them indoors immediately. If it’s their feet that are frostbitten, carry your child so they don’t have to walk on them. You’ll also want to place the frostbitten area in warm water and seek medical attention. Do not attempt to thaw the affected area as this will only exacerbate the condition.
- Frostnip: This is similar to frostbite, but it’s not as severe. It causes areas exposed to extreme cold to become numb and turn red. The best remedy is to place your kiddo’s chilled areas in lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes. Avoid using heating pads, radiators, and fireplaces because the numb skin can burn easily.
- Hypothermia: This occurs when your baby’s body temperature falls below a certain threshold. If that happens, they’ll begin to shiver. They may also be a little clumsy and have slurred speech.
If you notice such signs, bring your kid indoors and keep them warm. You can wrap them in a blanket and give them something warm to drink.
Best winter clothes for kids
Here are some top-rated winter clothes that you can buy for your toddler:
1. Merino wool thermal top
This thermal top, which is made entirely from pure merino wool, would make an excellent base layer. The fabric not only helps to wick moisture from the body but also regulates temperature.
It feels very soft against the skin, making it comfortable to wear. It’s available in an array of sizes, so you’ll be able to find a suitable size for your kiddo.
2. Arctix unisex-baby snow pants
When it comes to winter wear for kids, reinforcement is a crucial factor to consider. Your toddler will spend most of their time rolling around in the snow, which can take quite a toll on their outfits.
Arctix understands this, which is why it has incorporated extra layers in the knees and seat of these snow pants. Not only will they keep your child warm, but they’ll also double up as protective gear.
3. Patagonia Baby Furry Friends bunting
If you’re looking for something that will keep your newborn or infant warm when they’re indoors, this furry one-piece suit works perfectly. Featuring a full-length zipper, it provides coverage from head to toe.
It’s made from recycled polyester fleece to keep your little one warm. We particularly like the 3-panel design of the hoodie, which helps to provide a snug fit.
4. Columbia girls’ switchback II waterproof jacket
Are you shopping for girls’ winter clothes? Then be sure to add this gorgeous hot pink winter coat to the list.
It’s available in a wide range of sizes and is made of a proprietary Hydroplus nylon shell that’s completely waterproof. The fact that it’s nylon also means it is light, making it perfect to layer on top of other clothing sets.
5. Eocom children’s winter warm wool socks
Designed for both boys and girls, these wool socks are the perfect winter socks to keep your little one’s feet warm.
They’re made from a blend of wool, polyester, and spandex. The wool provides warmth while the polyester and spandex help to keep them light. This makes the socks comfortable to wear with winter boots.
6. Dream Pairs faux fur-lined ankle winter boots for girls
A best-seller on Amazon, the Dream Pairs girls’ winter boots come in multiple sizes and colors. What you’ll love most is the toasty layer of insulation made of faux fur lining.
The rubber sole provides a decent amount of traction, ensuring that your munchkin won’t slide on slippery surfaces. The reflective accents are also a nice addition as they improve the wearer’s visibility.
7. UOVO winter boots for boys
If you’re looking for the best snow boots for boys, consider this offering from UOVO.
These boots feature a high-quality upper that’s designed using wind- and water-resistant material. The outsole is made of rubber, providing good traction on slippery surfaces, and the interior is lined with soft velvet for maximum warmth.
8. T WILKER 3-in-1 winter set
An easy way to save a few bucks on kids’ winter clothes is to look for bundled items, such as this set by T WILKER. The package comprises a neck scarf, beanie, and touchscreen gloves.
All 3 clothing items have a soft Sherpa lining, keeping your little one cozy and warm.
We were particularly impressed with the gloves, which come with 3 conductive fingertips. It means your kiddo can still operate their gadgets even when they’re wearing gloves.
9. Patagonia Hi-Loft sweater hoody
Before you head out on that winter adventure you’ve been planning for your kiddo, invest in the Patagonia sweater hoody. Available in sizes starting from 3 months to 2 years, this is the perfect winter coat to keep your child warm when they’re outdoors.
The exterior sports a wind- and water-repellent shell to protect your munchkin from the elements. The interior is lined with soft polyester fabric, offering maximum warmth. We also like that it’s quite long, enabling it to provide a decent amount of coverage.
A warm outfit is imperative when it comes to winter outdoor play, but figuring out how to dress your kids for the cold weather can be tricky.
The most important rule to remember is that you should always layer up. Not only does this help to keep your toddler warm, but it also makes it easy for them to take off some items once it gets warmer.