Apparently, if the Daily Fail and so on are to be believed, we’re about to be hit by the worst icey-snowball-blizzard EVER known in the UK. Or something. But, who can stay inside in frosty conditions? Not us – we go mad if we’re cooped up too long, and I’m sure we aren’t the only people who need a run in the fresh air even if the weather is undesirable.
We managed to keep both boys (and us!) warm even in -36’C Chicago in February, so hopefully you’ll think I know what I’m talking about!
A good base
We use thermal underwear – it really does come in tiny tot sizes and makes all the difference in keeping little bodies warm.
Several t-shirts are better than one thick sweater, and the reason is all that lovely air trapped between the layers gets warm and stays warm. Plus, if you put too many thin layers on, you can just take off one and still be warm, and not hot. Whereas one thick sweater might make you too hot, but if you’ve nothing underneath to speak of, you’ll struggle to get cooler.
Also, light layers are exactly that when it comes to carrying them around.
We found in Chicago that the outside was very cold but the buildings were all heated very well, so we did have to carry our layers or check them in the cloakrooms.
Fill in the gaps
When I look down at James I’m very conscious of the back of his neck. The coat doesn’t snuggle into his neck and I worry that he’ll get a chill there. We have tried a scarf on a number of occasions, but they’re not for James, and nor was a snood from Tiny Vikings (how ever cool the fabric) and so it was a brilliant day when I found these in H&M.
They fit everyone and they’re super comfy and warm. They’re knit on one side and fleece backed, with a polo-neck that keeps still, when scarves can roll around and come loose.
Hands and Feet
Depending on the age of the child, the items you’ll use for hands and feet will vary. Again, the layers advice is key.
On our boys we use tights, then socks, and then for Noah fleecy boots or welly socks. We haven’t tried them, because Noah’s feet were too big when I discovered them, but you can get Thinsulate fleece lined booties from H&M which would be ideal for non-walkers or cruisers in the cold weather. James wore fleece-lined snow boots when we were in Chicago and his toes were lovely, warm and dry.
James prefers mittens, not gloves, and we struggled to get them on his lovely fat hands, so this method is a really easy way of keeping arms, wrists and hands warm, and helps to keep mittens on too. Just cut the crotch out of a pair of tights, and pull it over the head. You’ve then got an extra layer on the shoulder and arms, and it makes the hands a little bit grippy for slipping mittens on. Or else, you can just leave the tights as mittens – your call.
Without a doubt, most of your body heat comes out through the top of your head (is it 80%?) and so keeping all that warm in is a good idea. A hat with ear flaps is recommended, because it keeps everywhere just that bit toastier.
And finally, over the top, we put a coat or two. Honestly, if it’s that cold, I’m quite happy to layer up with coats as well, and will put a fleece jacket first, maybe a sleeveless body warmer and then a coat. I’ve also been known to slip a thin rain coat over the top to keep the showers off. Better to be warm while outside than miserable and have to turn around, I say!
When the boys were small enough, I zipped them inside my coat too, so they’d have my body warmth and the same outer layer as me. When winter gets hard core I switch to a Peekaru Soft Shell coat, which is very fleecy and soft inside, and weatherproof outside, with two neck holes for baby and me. It’s not the coat to be wearing if I’m popping in to places, however, as I can’t just un-zip it for a while – it’s all or nothing, due to the under arm zipper. But, boy, is it warm in there!
What do you do to keep little ones warm in the winter? Do you still go for a play outside even when it’s cold?