Gear Up: Late Fall and Winter Must-Haves

Our annual round-up Read more

cold weather faves

Once again, it’s quite suddenly cold outside, and once again, the onset of late fall/early winter has caught me (and my poor, un-mittened, hatless children) unprepared. Also, I meant to run this post two weeks ago,  before this moment was upon us, but — well, here we are. Shivering, and ready to discuss the best cold-weather kid stuff to have on hand now, as the weather gets chilly, cold-and-flu season kicks up and we all want to get cozy. It’s a list we’ve accumulated over about 6 years of parenting, asking other moms, and reading your comments, and there’s so many good gift ideas here, too.  

Zutano booties
This one will become a total obsession if you have kids who aren’t yet walking: They’re cozy fleece; they cover the ankles; they have snaps so that they stay on in spite of tiny prying fingers; they’re super washable; they come in the cutest colors and patterns; they fit newborns on up through 18-month-olds. And hey, if your kid’s out of the bootie years, you might still check out the Zutano site — they also make mittens on a string and super-warm hats!

No-slip socks
Warm little feet, without the danger of your kid biting it on your hardwoods. Pals, in the link above, are a local company. (And so cute!) There’s also thicker slipper-style socks, like these and these. And OMG, these. Old Navy has good ones, too — and they’re a deal.

The Zojirushi Coffee Canister
Okay, this is for you, not them, and it’s probably overkill. (But it is so great!)

All manner of nose care.
Specifically, the Nose Frida for tiny clogged noses;Boogie Wipes for gross, crusty, sensitive winter noses (truly, it sounds insanely unnecessary, but trust: They work better than just tissues — they break up crusted boogies and they make it easier to wipe noses gently but effectively); and saline drops for stuffiness.

A hats that stays on
Time for my bi-annual shoutout to REI for their little hats, which I LOVE. (They come in a variety of weights, and a bunch of them have strong velcro so that they don’t end up on the side of the road. Also, squeee!) Another popular fave of several moms I know: The adorable, stylish, multi-season slouch beanie from Childhoods Clothing.  

California Baby Everyday Lotion (Extra Sensitive)
It’s dry-skin season and this stuff is amazing. It’s good for all sensitivities (read: free of gluten, soy, oat, dairy, nuts — save for some coconut — and made with cold-pressed vegan oils and a blend of pesticide-free oils.) Works well for your dry hands, too, and it doesn’t have that weird waxy smell so many “healthy” lotions have. I’ve also grown to be a mega-fan of Mustela products, including the emoillient balm baby cream for “dry to eczema-prone” skin. There’s barely a scent at all, and it’s thick but utterly ungreasy. Another favorite of several friends: Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Balm. (Anybody else have problems with winter eczema? I’m contantly looking for the best non-steroid treatment that is effective, and more than one pal swears by this stuff.) Lastly, of course, is the old go-to of coconut oil: A tiny bit on the face and lips is ultra-moisturizing and simple as can be, and I dab a little around chapped noses, too. (I even use it around my eyes once the wind gets cold.) Aquaphor does the job well, too.

Leg warmers
Nothing cuter, cozier or easier than a baby in a onesie (or a dress, or leggings) with leg warmers. I like the BabyLegs brand.

Baby/toddler sunglasses.
The morning sun is glorious these days (the single upside of Daylight Savings), and also extra blinding. Baby Banz is great (the strap is helpful for little ones) and Babiators (which also have the option of a band) — if they get lost or broken in the first year, Babiators will replace them! We like it keep it under $10 a pair — Rivbos for kids are cheap, and they’re so flexible that they’re basically unbreakable.

A warm-mist humidifier
I think general wisdom has that cool-mist humidifer are better for kids because there’s no danger of burns, but I’ve always liked the warm one for this time of year: 1) It’s runny nose/congestion season, and the humidifier helps and 2) We don’t turn on our heat until we absolutely have to, and it makes the room a lot cozier and warmer. It is not, of course, hot to the touch, but we are still quite careful to keep it out of reach. I’ll admit that I can’t even tell you what brand we have, but the model that several people have raved over is Crane.

Winter weight sleep sacks
If you’re still in sleep-sack stage, then Halo makes really great warm cotton ones, and also cozy micro-fleece versions. Also good: Aden and Anais cozy muslin sleep sacks.

Lands End Squall Jacket
This is a tip from a friend and mom of two: “They’re long in back, so it keeps your butt warmer, and has little cuffs for your thumbs, which also helps keep the snow out. They’re lightweight and not puffy, which is helpful.”  


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