Summer doesn’t last forever, and unless you live at the equator, you won’t be able to send your toddlers out to play in shorts or sundresses all year round. The time will come when outdoors is simply cold: too cold to be out in without preparation.
Of course, the exact definition of that cold will depend on where you live. In Southern California, the definition of winter includes chilly, bone-soaking rain, and appropriate winter gear is sweaters and a rain coat. In Alaska, raincoats are summer attire, and in winter no one is going to catch your child outdoors without snow pants, a parka, warm mittens, and thick socks and winter boots. The important thing is that, wherever you are, you have appropriate clothing that will allow your child to be out in all weather.
Every child ought to experience the joy of the rain: splashing in puddles, feeling the raindrops dropping on their faces, feeling the water stream off their hands. On a sweltering hot summer day there’s nothing wrong with letting your toddler run out into a rainstorm with nothing on but a shirt and shorts. But what about winter rains? Toddlers need to be kept warm and dry, too, so you need to have proper toddler rain gear if you live where there is cold, soaking rain more than once or twice a year.
Your toddler’s rain gear may include:
• Toddler rain suits, or rain pants that go with the rain coat
Toddler rain boots come first, because there’s no way you are going to let your toddler run around in sopping sneakers. Toddler rain coats are also pretty basic rain gear. Toddler rain suits or rain pants are for the most serious rain-players; if you have an extensive rainy season, they will be a wonderful investment, but if you’re looking at a handful of rainy day play sessions a year may not be worth while.
What other toddler winter clothes do you need when he weather is temperate year round? Sneakers can usually be made to work all winter, rainy days excepted, but you can also buy your toddler a pair of warmer boot-style shoes. Long pants, long sleeved shirts, and a collection of sweaters—fleece, knits, and sweatshirts are all nice—will finish off your winter wardrobe.
What about if you live in a place where the temperature really drops—to zero perhaps, or below? Well, your child doesn’t need to be stuck indoors 6 months of the year, which means you need to get a good winter wardrobe in order! Basic toddler winter clothes for snowy climes include:
• Toddler snow pants or toddler snowsuits
• Toddler hats
• Toddler scarfs
• Toddler mittens
And then, of course, everything that goes underneath that: warm sweaters, warm socks, long thermal underwear, and nice thick pants.
The first two on the outdoor list—toddler snow boots and winter coats—are a must for any place where winter means snow and cold. If your cold isn’t severe and there isn’t a lot of snow to play with you might be able to skip out on the snow pants or snowsuit; but otherwise, they’ll certainly help make keeping your toddler warm when he’s playing outside a thousand times easier. And hats, scarfs, and mittens keep those heads, necks, and little hands comfy and warm.
What is your favorite toddler winter gear, and why? We’d love to hear from you!