One thing that many people don't know about me is that I used to work for a non-profit called Hike it Baby as the Campaign and Partner manager. Which means that I spent a lot of time outdoors with a small child trying out gear and figuring out what works for Sky. Sky has spent a large portion of her childhood outside whether it's been hiking, backpacking or canoeing. Sky has gone backpacking with me and we woke up to 30-degree weather as the high for the day. One thing I never skimp on is outdoor gear for Sky. I mean, she runs around all fall with knee holes in her pants but her outdoor gear is usually amazing.
Last year, I chatted about the three-layer system to stay warm. This includes a wicking layer, a warming layer, and a weather layer. I highly suggest popping over to that blog to read about these different layers.
- Base or wicking layers are critical. You want these to wick moisture away from the skin. If kids are sweating, we don't want that moisture sitting on their skin and cooling down making them cold. So having a layer that wicks moisture away from the body is important. I usually use wool or bamboo as this layer. For wool, I really like the Chasing Windmills brand. This year, Sky will be in bamboo as she hasn't been enjoying wool. I'll be using her Little Sleepies jammies as her base layer.
- Boots are critical as cold toes make for unhappy people. For little babies and kids, I love the Stonz brand. This is a Canadian company, so you know they are built for cold weather. I also love how lightweight their boots are so when Sky had to be up in a carrier, I wasn't worried about the weight pulling her feet downwards. Now that Sky is a little bigger, I've been putting her into Bogs and Bogs-style boots. My friend Sandy found a great knockoff at Target one year. Also, for us Milwaukee folks, we normally get a blow out sale once a year. So stock up then!
- Gloves that stay on?! This is another shout out to Stonz as their gloves have two points that toggle so you can tighten them as needed. Also, they are long so no snow in the gloves.
- Waterproof outer layers make a huge difference. One thing that I've often repeated to Sky is that wet equals cold. So I've put a waterproof outer layer on Sky since she was a wee babe and walking somewhat well. I've tried a few brands and by far, my favorite has been Oaki. I've kept Sky in an one-piece for a long time. It was really interesting during potty training for sure and we had our fair share of accidents but overall, I think it was a great decision. My child really explored nature and didn't get any wetness in. I would layer this over a coat as well so she would be extra snuggly depending on the weather.
Another important factor for having fun outside this winter is your gear, Momma! I highly suggest picking up a few pieces that are few you as well. So you can follow my same advice for wicking, warming, and weather layers. By far, my favorite piece of gear is my Mountain Marsupial 4 in 1 Jacket. It's perfect for maternity, babywearing, and now without a child attached to me.
Those are my recommendations for a fun winter, drop your favorite brands and must have items in the comments!