Last year, when Coraline was just a few months old, we didn’t spend any time outdoors from about December until March. It was too cold or too wet, and I was a nervous first-time parent. This year, however, I’m looking forward to getting her out on a sled (though I’m still a nervous first-time parent, worried that she’ll get frostbite or sick). How to dress her for our outdoor adventures has stumped me a bit. It’s tricky to dress a mobile little one warmly for the wintery cold while keeping her, well… mobile. (Ever see A Christmas Story? Remember Ralphie’s little brother waddling down the sidewalk like a poor bloated starfish?)
When you’re dressing a young child for some good old-fashioned snow play, the trick is to layer. A bulky coat won’t keep them as warm as a few thin layers in appropriate fabrics, which create a number of warm buffer zones (and keep tiny arms and legs in functional anatomical proportion). Look for moisture-wicking and insulating fabrics like polyester, microfiber blends, fleece, or wool. The outer layer should be, of course, waterproof and easy-on/easy-off if your kiddo is potty trained (or working on it). In addition to the obvious accessories — boots, hat, fleece or wool socks — consider mittens instead of gloves (warmer for tiny fingers) and a one piece neck warmer instead of a scarf, as scarves can pose a strangulation hazard in worst-case scenarios.
Here are some Hudson Valley retailers that sell everything from wool socks to long underwear for our tiny snow people.
Have fun out there, and happy New Year!