Essential Snow Gear For Your Toddler

The snow is a wonderful thing to explore for a child, but when packing snow gear for your toddler, make sure you have the essentials together before you head out into the winter wonderland. This could mean the difference between a day full of smiles and a sopping-wet, upset toddler who may not want to go into the cold again.

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Golden Rules…

no cotton

dress in layers

sun protection

have fun

#1 Cotton-based clothes gets cold when wet and is a poor insulator. Getting wet is the enemy of a fun time in the snow. Instead, use fabrics like wool, down, or synthetics like polyester. These types of fabrics insulate much better even if they get wet.

#2 You’ll want a base layer of next-to-skin pants and longsleeve shirt. A good fleece mid-layer works perfect. The outer layer should be waterproof. Layers also are key to regulate temperature since you can easily add or shed layers.

#3 Protection for the skin is equally as important as for the eyes. The sun’s brightness reflects off the snow and can cause blindness after long successive exposures. Also, be sure to wear sunscreen, even if it’s overcast because nearly 80% of the sun’s UV can pass through the clouds.

#4 Always ensure you and your kids are having fun. As parents, we really want them to enjoy the snow. They will. Avoid the temptation of getting one last sled ride in if they are all done. You want their snow memories to be all positive, whether or not they accomplished all you had planned.

The Essential Snow Packing Kit…

Snow pants

I’ve always been a proponent of investing a little more on good equipment so that it lasts longer and performs better. Plus, with kids clothes, you can always resell them online afterwards and get most of the money spent back. That said, the North Face Snowdrift Bib Pants are perfect. They are waterproof and lightly insulated, and are the primary snow gear for your toddler. If you want to get a couple seasons out of your toddler’s snow pants, these are the ones. It’s adjustable on the shoulders and also has a hemmed seam on the pants that can be extended next year. The bib section is fleece and prevents snow from going down their back. The pants have an elastic cuff which keeps snow out of their boots.

Fleece mid-layer

Polyester fleece is great because it insulates well and resists snow and water. Nearly any old fleece jacket will do.

Down Jacket

The North Face Moondoggy Down Jacket, or similar down is perfect because its insulates incredibly well and is packable. You can easily get away with a size or two too big since you can roll up the sleeves.

Mittens & Hat

Make sure you get some waterproof mittens and a beanie. The hands and feet are the first to get cold, so protect them. And most heat escapes from the head, so get a small enough beanie for your toddler.

 

Socks & Boots

Wool socks are essential here, and with the Smartwool socks there is no substitute. They are full calf-length and have a nice coushin to them. The boots need to be waterproof and tall. Rain boots work, but insulated boots are best. Boots with an enclosure at the top is smart, like these Northside boots. These are the best types of snow boots for toddlers.

Sunglasses & Sunscreen

Sun exposure is the other element you need to protect from, besides the cold. Don’t forget to pack a good pair of sunglasses and kid-friendly sunscreen. Also throw in SPF-rated chapstick too if your toddler will allow you to apply it.

Hand Warmers

Who ever invented hand warmers was a genius. These can easily prevent your kid’s hands from getting cold for the whole day. You’ll want to open the package and shake them up before you get to the snow. Then slip packet into each mitten (one reason not to get gloves with fingers). This little hack will keep your toddler’s fingers toasty for 10+ hours. You might even want some in your pocket.

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