Winter Wear: Tips For Kids
It’s time to unpack your favourite muffler, sweater, coat and socks because winter is finally coming. What clothing is ideal to keep your little one safe from the forces of nature? Here are some tips.
By Sherine Paul Solomon • 12 min read
Winter in India can either be a chilly affair or a mildly cooler day all depending on which part of the country you live in - from bone-chilling temperatures of -25 degrees in the snow-capped mountains to a balmy 30 degrees in the plains. Despite the varying temperatures, how do you prepare for winter, particularly keeping your child in mind? The most important and common rule to follow is to layer yourself. Here are some simple tips to follow for your child and you this winter season.
Winter clothing options for kids:
Dressing your toddlers need not be a stressful affair during winter. All you need to keep in mind is to layer your child appropriately and can relax. The rule of thumb is simple, dress your toddler in one layer more than what you are wearing.
Focus on quality instead of quantity as a good base layer will help regulate temperature while simultaneously drawing moisture away from your child’s skin. Ideally opt for one base layer, one mid-layer and one outer layer as the bare minimum during winter. For colder climes with strong winds and chilly days increase the base layer by one or two, mid-layer by two and one outer layer. Wool and polyester are the perfect base layer material.
Always carry a jacket on hand with you to combat fluctuating weather; you can always remove it off your child if it gets too warm. While choosing articles of clothing; look for items that could act as a deterrent for your children like detachable hoods or reflectors.
An all-in-one outfit is a great option as it also provides you with the ease of changing your child especially infants. There are a variety of woollen options to choose from now including light-weight and super warm polar fleeces, yak wool coats are also a great option and are highly water-resistant. Merino wool is probably the softest woollen options as it has a finer fabric. If you are headed to a really cold place on vacation opt for a soft shell that is breathable, waterproof and light. It also blocks out the wind and moisture while being breathable.
Always keep your child’s head, face, ears, hands and feet covered as they are the most susceptible to frostbite and cold exposure. Signs that your child is feeling cold could include chattering teeth and red and tingly skin which is the start of frostbite.
Socks, mittens or gloves, earmuffs, hats or beanies, mufflers, waterproof boots are all great items to invest in to protect your child from the cold. Covering your child’s hands and feet will see that that core body temperature is maintained. Keeping your child’s head covered will also save you a lot of trouble. Drink plenty of warm fluids and have hot food.
You can also create fun activities like making a cup of hot chocolate together. While layering your child also make sure that you don’t smother them with too many clothes. Always avoid tight clothing and make sure they have ample breathing room. Tight clothes could lead to cold limbs and reduce circulation. Make sure your child has dressed appropriately while travelling as cars can heat up quickly. Cover them with a blanket if they are feeling cold or let them wear a light jacket. Avoid clothes with zips and anything they can get stuck in for younger children.
Learn layering 101
● Purpose: Wicks moisture
● Materials to use: Wool or polyester which is a synthetic fabric
● Fit: Snug
Human bodies sweat often, even in winter. It’s nature’s way of regulating body temperature. While playing outdoors we tend to perspire even more, which is why the base layer is the most important in winter clothing. The two words to remember are ‘Wick’ and ‘Keep’.
Think of the base layer as your second skin, this is the layer which touches your child’s body and needs to wick all the moisture away from the body while retaining body heat. Cotton is the worst fabric to opt for as a base layer as it absorbs moisture and will just make your child cold and damp leading to them catching a chill easily.
Your main goal is to regulate your child’s body temperature while moving sweat away from their skin. While choosing the base layer, pick something soft, breathable fabric, not itchy, comfortable, made of natural fabric like Marino, which is a snug fit. Wool is the most appropriate option but based on the climate you could also dress your child in synthetic wool blends or purely synthetic materials.
● Purpose: Insulates
● Materials to use: Wool, fleece or down
● Fit: Close to the body without restraining movement
The second layer also serves the same purpose as the base layer – to retain heat. Both the layers together wick away any excess moisture while retaining body heat within. Good clothing options include a woollen jacket or quality fleece jacket. Again avoid using cotton for this layer as well.
Don’t mix fabrics like polyester and cotton as they negate the effects of wool. Also, avoid layering with synthetics as they will just leave your child feel extremely uncomfortable and stuffy. If you choose quantity over quality you will only compromise your child’s health as it won’t give them the required warmth and comfort.
● Purpose: Protects your child from natural elements
● Materials to use: Waterproof jacket or shell; breathable outerwear
● Fit: Doesn’t constrain your child and has room for more layers
This is the layer that you can have absolute fun with and dress up your child in different styles and patterns. This layer forms the shell or shield for your child and protects them against the wind, water and snow that could be present in your area.
Invest in a waterproof layer as this will prevent the cold air from entering your child’s body. A hood is also a welcome addition as it will protect your head from getting wet and the chill air. Jackets with zips that reach up and cover your child’s neck are also ideal. If you want to compliment the outfit you can dress it up with a colourful scarf, neck warmer or balaclava.
Make sure you invest in a quality jacket for the outer layer and ensure it is flexible and durable. Ventilation is extremely important where this layer is concerned as if you don’t have enough breathing room you will feel like you’re stuck in a sauna with no way out. This will be because the perspiration can’t evaporate and hence will condense on the inside making you too warm. A common mistake people make is to assume that bulkier the garment is, the warmer it will keep you. This is, in fact, incorrect as wool will keep you warmer than a poly-filled coat. Don’t rely exclusively on the outer layer for warmth and always layer up according to the weather.
Winter trends 2019 for kids
You can never really go wrong with denim. From jackets to pants, shirts, skirts, dresses and dungarees, sneakers the options are numerous. Jeans can either be baggy, flared, skinny or straight-legged. If you would truly like for your child to stand out from the crowd and be unique you can pic up embroidered denim which is all the vogue. Dress your little one in style with this timeless classic.
Keeping yourself warm can be done stylishly by picking the right designs. Traditional argyle trends are back in vogue, cable knit patterns are simple and classy, knitted pullovers and turtlenecks while in style also double up by covering your neck and keeping you warm. Sweater dresses with leggings are another trendy option.
Monochromatic colours are always a great option too as you can liven up the rest of your wardrobe with accessories. Melange or mixed colour knitwear will brighten up your child and compliment the overall look of the outfit.
A dash of colour can brighten up your child’s outfit in an instant. It could be anything from the jacket to a multi-coloured beanie or bright boots that make them stand out in a crowd. As is the case with children the sky is the limit as they can carry off any colour with no care.
If it’s too warm to dress your child in a sweater, the other option to consider is a jacket. The perfect utility-style outfit is a hoodie as it protects your child against the wind and cold. Bomber jackets are popular and durable as well. A windcheater is a perfect foil against the wind and rain in a country like India.
Stunning scarves and mufflers
What better way to protect your child’s neck and keep them warm while also being a trendsetter at the same time. If it’s not too chilly and all you want to do is protect your child opt for a scarf, they are small, thin and extremely chic. If the weather is colder a muffler is the safer bet though parents are not short on choices here either.
Gloves and mittens
As is the case with mufflers, you have to make sure that your child’s hands stay warm as well. Gloves and mittens are available in different colours, shapes and textures to suit your needs.
Bodacious boots and striking shoes
If your child is a lover of boots, winter is the time to flaunt them. If you do stay in warmer clime shoes with shoelaces are the perfect fit, team them with a pair of colourful warm socks and they are set to take on the town with warm feet.
So there you have it; follow these simple rules and you and your child are sure to enjoy the final season of the year. While you’re at it dress your child in style to beat the winter blues. Wear your cosy clothes, read a book together, drink some hot cocoa and enjoy the beautiful weather. Remember a healthy family is a happy family.
About the author:
Written by Sherine Paul Solomon on 4 November 2019.
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