It’s (slowly) getting chilly. I know this partially because I am a human walking around outside and partially because I’ve gotten a flurry of emails related to cold-weather baby gear.
It will surprise no one that everyone and her mother has an opinion about the ideal temperature of your baby. Bundle too much, and you’re suffocating her. Bundle too little, and you’re leaving her out to freeze. Allow a hat to droop over tiny eyelids and, well, that’s tantamount to neglect. I try to trust that I know my child’s preferences and my own gut. And of course, having done this a whopping one time, I’m no expert.
But since many of you have written asking for specifics about what worked for us, here’s my list, for what it’s worth:
Last winter we found a Patagonia Down Sweater on sale and bought it for Faye. At six months old, the 6M baby sweater was quite a bit too large for her, which really worked out perfectly. With long sleeves, we could keep her tiny hands warm just by pulling the sleeves down over them. Even better, the jacket still fits this year. Done again, I might opt for a hooded version of the same coat for maximum cozyness (or even a plumper version like this or this), but we’ve been super pleased with Faye’s tiny red coat. (Here’s a shot of her in it from last winter.)
We also snagged a pair of Misha and Puff knee-high Day Hike Booties on sale last winter. They were the best, the best, the best purchase we made. We slipped them on over socks and then never had to worry about the little gap of skin that would inevitably get exposed when we put her into the carrier without them. She wore them on her daily subway treks from January through March and I never had to think twice about her being warm enough.
For a hat, we had a hand-knit cap from a dear friend. When she outgrew that, I bought a little pompom hat at a local shop. This year, we bought this Pointy Peak Hat that ties under Faye’s chin since she’s firmly in the chuck everything overboard stage of life.
For our stroller, we did a little bit of searching to find something that was made of natural materials that would be cozy for Faye. A stroller muff falls into the nice-to-have category for some folks, but as a city baby living in a cold climate, Faye spends a great deal of time getting strolled from place to place and it’s nice to know she’s warm and snuggly even when we aren’t.
We found a Kaiser Stroller Footmuff in the 0-36 month size. (Before you die of sticker shock, trust that we didn’t pay nearly half of the price of many of these current listings.) Affordable options do exist, but sheepskin stroller muffs are admittedly not a dime a dozen in the US (and they do get some headturns). If trolling the internet for sales on elusive stroller sheepies is not your idea of a good time, 1) thank goodness and 2) a warm quilt tucked underneath tiny legs would also work just fine. Also, fair warning: having your child wrapped up in sheepkin will both make you incredibly jealous and make you feel a little bit like the humble servant pushing around the queen. (Which, well ….)
We also, of course, had a selection of things for dressing Faye underneath all that outerwear. A larger roundup of baby clothes is here, but here’s a special shout out to some of our very favorites: these cozy leggings, these roomy pants (and last year, these ones), and this cheery sweater (and this one, currently only available in Europe). (We’ve also loved the little mustard bloomers that Faye’s wearing in these shots, but so far we’ve only got one pair of tights. In anyone knows a secret spot for great baby tights, I’d love to know it.)
We didn’t need a snowsuit, or snow boots, though we might have opted for those had Faye been more mobile last winter. (And we definitely didn’t need a heated stroller pad. Ha?) Since Faye spent all of the winter months last year in a pre-walking snuggly state, we kept her extra cozy by wearing her whenever possible and wrapping our own jackets around her. James did an embarrassing scarf-wrapped-around-her-legs thing whenever he felt like frostbite was imminent, which was often. Mostly we kept our wits about us. (Gratuitous shot of baby-wearing parents here and here.)
The jury’s still out on whether she’ll need little snow boots this year. (The boots in these photos are hand-me-downs from our Canadian cousins!) She’s so far boycotted her mittens, but we have them ready should she decide she’d rather not have purple hands.
One last note: When it comes to shopping for babies, I generally ignore the recommendations for gender and choose what I like instead. For Faye—and especially for her more expensive wintry items—I’ve opted for colors that feel like they won’t go out of style and will be wearable for any manner of future children (or cousins or friends.)
More baby proof posts, RIGHT HERE.