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.
It’s just starting to get cold where I am, and my three-month-old hates jackets! It’s going to be a loooong winter!
If you’re traveling abroad, because I don’t think you can get it here (except maybe Alaska), we’re fans of Joha (http://joha.dk/en)
Erin, would you recommend sizing up in the Misha & Puff booties? Baby is due any day, and ideally, I’d love them to get her through the entirety of the winter. Do you think size 3-6 months would be too big since she’ll only be 0-4 months through the coldest stretch?
So exciting Kayla! A little hard to say because Faye is always on the tiny size. Still, I think I would say that you might as well size up? She won’t be really scooting around so even if they’re roomy that will be ok?!
Not sure if you’re familiar with the site but I recently discovered http://www.noblecarriage.com for organic baby/kids clothes. The brands they carry are pricey but really nice.
I wish we had the chance for it to get cold enough for winter gear. It was 85 degrees here in LA yesterday (crying emoji)! That doesn’t stop the comments about my baby’s comfort level though. You would think we were going through a blizzard based on my mother’s concern over my daughter being too cold.
Then there is the gender neutral clothing. I feel like I have to send my mom a picture on the rare occasion my daughter wears pink so she will stop bothering me about it. I have to field questions like ‘when are you going to pierce her ears?’ and ‘why don’t you put barrettes in her hair?’ As you’ve said, gender neutral is just more practical and also my preference. People will get the sex of your baby wrong no matter what he or she wears and I really don’t mind it or feel the need to correct them.
I did not mean for this comment to get so long or for it to be a rant about my mother. I really just wanted to say that I feel you! Thanks for the recs! You always have the best.
In Noway we swear by wool-everything for winter, several layers if needed. Over that the kids wears wind and waterproof overalls. This is a must, as they are out playing every day in any kind of weather.
Love the stroller muff, so warm and cozy!
I highly recommend La Collegien tights! They last forever and seem to fit forever! My now 2 year old has been wearing the 18month pair we have for a year and they’re still going strong. And we bought them secondhand! They sell them at fawnshoppe and have great colors. I think we’re going to invest in another pair. Love your other reccos! And happy to know I’m not the only one who puts such thought into keeping things simple.
I second tights from Collégien. After my admittedly non-scientific testing last winter (my daughter is a few weeks older than Faye) they emerged the clear winner and I ordered a few pairs direct from France at the start of the fall. Since then, I’ve noticed that Fawn Shoppe and Misha and Puff both carry them. I also like the knee socks and ankle socks from them as well, and we’re on our third pair (the feet keep growing!) of their slippers. If it helps, my daughter is on the tall side (33″ at 18 months) and the 18 months size in tights still has plenty of room left. Hanna Andersson tights also hold up and wash up pretty well.
When our daughter was Faye’s age and she kept pulling her mitts off we ended up duct taping her mitts to her jacket each time we went out to play in the snow. We got a few odd looks but it truly worked . After a few attempts the first time she gave up trying . We just wrapped tape around the cuff and on to the jacket being careful not to do it too tightly least we cut off her circulation! It came on and off without leaving any residue and she was happy with warm hands and no frost bite after playing in the snow for ages – well worth it 🙂 ( we did use up a lot of duct tape that winter though)
Not quite tights, but we love these overalls with feet: http://www.novanatural.com/collections/baby-woolen-clothing/products/babys-wool-overalls-with-feet?variant=1040143913
Erin, first I wanted to let you know that your blog posts are something I always look forward to during the week and that you have been an inspiration to me. Your writing is lovely and I love the tone of your blog.
I agree with Linds that the nova naturals overalls are so nice for a second layer. I bought a pair for my first baby and now the second is using them. I also like the Hanna Andersson tights. I included the tights and a similar Misha & Puff hat in a post on my ideal Ten-Item Wardrobe for girls. I thought you might like to see. 🙂 http://cedarandbloom.com/2015/11/girls-10-item-wardrobe-autumn-winter-2015/
Thanks so much for your kindness, Heather! Thanks for the tights reco, too!
I have to agree with the others: wool is where it’s at! I just ordered the Disana Wool Overalls, which are on the expensive side but I’ve heard from lots of people that they last for years. As we live in the city one of the benefits I was looking for was something that my little one could wear that would not result in her overheating as soon as we step inside but also keeps her comfortable for long stints at the playground! Can’t keep her cooped up inside our small house, plus I want her to enjoy the simple fun of spending time exploring nature!
Could talk about this topic for hours. Next year when she’s a bit bigger, I have to recommend the jacket from J.Crew’s crewcuts. They are the best. Fully down- insulated (side-eye at Patagonia for running a little light on that) and fleece-lined, as well as going down past their knees, with wrist cuffs to keep the snow out. Usually they go on sale right about now!
I second hannah anderson for organic cotton tights. Also this company, Little Spruce organics has some great organic wool footless tights.
Our little one has these in Hazelnut. Plus they are a small family business and have been super helpful. I know. Expensive. But organic wool means alot to me and wool= less washing too!
Where o where are those mustard bloomers from? The link did not work 🙂
Oh, darn it! They’re from Mabo. Link updated!
I hope you do another post like this soon! I especially need some baby snow boot recommendations.
You can buy the Kaiser stroller muff for around 100 € on German amazon.
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