I’ve live somewhere that has winter my whole life. Never in my 33 years have I had a year without it. In 2019 I moved to Northern Maine for a couple of years and that’s when I truly learned the most important lesson about cold weather….cold weather is only uncomfortable if you’re not dressed for it. Most of us underdress for the cold and then complain about being cold. But I have found if I’m properly dressed, the cold is just fine and you can quite enjoy the time outside
Alfred Wainwright wrote a book called, “A Coast to Coast Walk” outlining a walk across England said it best when he stated: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”
That being said, let me share some of my favorite pieces I use for my baby, toddler, and myself to keep us comfortable in the cold months.
Cold Weather Must-Haves for Baby
1. Columbia Snowtop Fleece Bunting – This is hands down one of my favorite items for babies in the colder weather. It’s just simple and easy. It’s a one-piece fleece suit that has fold-over mittens and fold-over bottoms for the feet and a hood. Easily throw them on top of any clothing, if it’s colder I’ll layer something even warmer underneath. But it’s also super easy one easy off. Overall just super versatile. Both my kids used these. I always size up because I usually layer it on top of other things. (Only big con is it’s not waterproof.)
2. Columbia Powder Lite Waterproof Bunting -When it’s much colder OR wet/snowy, then I love this thing. Usually, I layer it on top of the Snowtop for cold. It’s waterproof so keeps the dampness out. Like the Snowtop it has fold-over mittens and feet.
3. Balaclava Hat – This little hat is sherpa-knit fleece and goes right over their head to also over their neck and sides of their face. I find it super easy and super cozy! Good for babies and toddlers. Finley wears the XS as 11 months.
4. Stroller Bunting – Basically a sleeping bag for the stroller. Again, didn’t get this until baby 2 and it’s a real game-changer. No more messing with a blanket and the sherpa is all around keeping them WAY warmer and cozier.
5. Hudson Booties (or Zutano Booties) – The easiest way to keep your little baby feet warm in the house. They slip on and stay on and are a warm cozy fleece.
6. Baby-wearing Jacket – I splurged on this 3-in-1 maternity/baby-wearing jacket when I was pregnant with Finley and it’s been SO WELL WORTH IT. I was able to wear it all through my pregnancy, which was great since I had a Janurary baby. And then, it has an insert so I could wear it over a baby carrier, so I would baby wear Finley and have my jacket on keeping us both warm. Lastly, when you remove the insert it can be used as a normal jacket and I wear it postpartum all the time. Motherhood Maternity has a less expensive option if you want to price compare.
Cold Weather Must-Haves for Toddlers and Kids
1. Well-Insulated Winter Jacket – A well-insulated jacket that also keeps the cold out is a must. The past two years I’ve gotten Miles this one from Gap. I love that I can wait until Gap does one of their sales and get it at a discount. For general outdoor play in the cold, it’s been great. I usually layer a warm sweater or fleece underneath it if it’s really chilly. Now that Miles is a little older, though, and can usually get two seasons out of a jacket (and since we’ve just been spending so much time outside doing the 1,000 hours outside challenge) I’ve been doing A TON of research to get him a little bit of a higher quality jacket for this winter and next. The top contenders right now are the Reima Veli Jacket or the Reima Ski Jacket.
2. Waterproof Snow Pants – This is my third year buying these Arctix Snowpants and I’m very pleased with them. It’s a great price point and they wear great and keep Miles dry and warm. We use them for snow but also just to layer when it’s cold.
3. Waterproof Gloves – The thing about toddlers and mittens and there’s a high probability one might get lost some day. I’m pretty diligent about getting ontop of them, but you know…toddlers. I bought two pairs of these winter snow mittens (a spare is always a good idea) and we’ve been super happy with them. Easy for Miles to wear and super warm and waterproof.
4. Waterproof Winter Boots – There are a lot of great options but the two I gravitate towards are Mucks, Bogs and Stonz.
BOGS – We had Baby Bogs for Miles when he was 2, and I loved them because they were warm and easy on/off, really great for early walkers so like 1-2 years. Then, they have the Bogs Neo-Classic (insulated ones) for when your kid is a tad older. Still easy on/off and they are 100% waterproof and very lightweight. They are also comfort-rated to -35°F. So overall just a really great “get out there and play” boot.
STONZ- This year we’ve placed an order for Stonz as our winter boot. They are super well-designed, comfort-rated to below -22ºF, and very lightweight for a winter boot (toddlers hate heavy boots.) The reason I went with Stonz this year is because of the adjustable closure at the ankle to make it easy to get on but then to keep snow out when they play.
5. Fleece Gloves & Hats – Along with the nice waterproof gloves for snow I mentioned above, I like to just have some simple cheap fleece gloves to throw in the car, in the diaper bag, whatever. Basically, nothing fancy but just extras to have just in case and the ones that are a little more lightweight for if it’s not wet or snowy. (I have some of my favs linked on my Winter Gear Storefront.
6. Warm Socks – We bought these on Amazon and are loving them. I’m usually very strongly team WHITE SOCKS ONLY because then if you lose one who cares. But, I had to finally give in for warm socks and really happy with these, and Miles loves them. Fingers crossed we don’t end up with too many mismatched ones.
7. Neck Warmers – I love neck warmers for me and littles. Miles isn’t huge on hats so these keep his neck and ears warm.
8. Wool Base Layers – Merino Wool base layers can be amazing for outdoor cold play. Merino wool is super warm but also helps move sweat away from the body. Basically keeps you warm and free of sweat. They are pricy, but are insane in quality and can grow with your kids. These aren’t an everyday wear for me, but something for if I know we’re going to be out in the cold for awhile. Great for anyone doing winter sports, too. The other thing that’s great about them is you can wear them unlayered, too, and they keep you warm.
Cold Weather Must-Haves for Mom
1.Wool Base Layers – Again, like for kids, wool base layers are amazing. I like the Smartwool top and bottoms.
2. Snowpants – I have the Arctix women’s snow pants and love them. I wear them for snow play but also just put them on if it’s really cold out to keep myself warm.
3. Neck Gaiters – A good neckwarmer can be the difference between being cold and being warm when I’m out in the winter. I love these because they keep my neck area warm but you can also pull them up over your face and ears if the wind starts blowing.
4. Winter Boots – There are a lot of great winter boots out there. I’ve been wearing my Sorel Carnival boot for about 5 years now and very happy with them. Michael has Muck boots which are also amazing, and they do make a women’s version, too.
5. Stroller Gloves – WOW these things are so smart I don’t know why I didn’t have them before. As someone who walks with our stroller a lot, they are a game-changer. These just clip right to the handles of your stroller and then you can easily slide your hands in when you’re pushing the stroller to keep your hands toasty warm! But then if you quickly need your hands free you just pull them out! I often was taking my gloves on and off and on off on walks because I’d need my fingers free to open a snack pouch or respond to a text or whatever. This eliminates all that.
6. Other: Obviously you need a proper winter jacket. There’s a lot of choices and lots fo good options. Look for something with good insulation (you can check where it was temperature rated for) or down insulation. Also things like “water resistance and wind resistance” are good factors to consider. A good winter jacket can be an investment, you’ll likely spend $180+, but trust me a good jacket can be the difference between enjoying the cold and hating it. I also linked a lot of my favorite jackets, hats, mittens, etc. on my Amazon Storefront under Winter Gear for the Family.