Winter is coming (Vetted edition)
The temperature on the east coast is fluctuating between 80 and 50 degrees, so that can only mean one thing: Winter is Coming. And, as if having a tiny wiggly baby were not difficult enough during the summer (thanks, swim diapers), winter baby gear can be serious stuff. In partnership with my Facebook group, Vetted, which is about all of Amazon's "best of", I've compiled this list of my favorite winter baby gear.
How I roll: First things first, if you commute a lot in a stroller, you're going to want a sleeping bag type thing to keep your little one warm. Because you can dress them in as much cold gear as you want, I PROMISE you will lose mittens or hats or even a shoe (BFF, I'm looking at you). JJ cole makes these great stroller bags, and you can zip them up and be done with it. Frankly, I want one for myself.
Alternatively, if you don't want to push a stroller through the snow, I highly suggest a hiking backpack for truly snowy days. You'll need to move a bit slower to make sure you don't trip, but I honestly feel much more sure-footed on really snowy days with this rather than pushing a stroller. We have an older model of this one, but any model with a kickstand (for setting them down once you're inside) and a waist support strap should be great. Bonus if you can get a hood cover for the snow.
Hats (aka reasons for pure adorableness): I tried about 18 different hats that Chewie has ripped off his head before we stumbled upon this one from the Gap. Frankly, I have no advice other than 1) it's a trial and error thing 2) softer appears to be better and 3) once you have one, buy a lot of them. I own 4 of these hats. Not an exaggeration. He will be wearing these until he's in college.
Minimize loss of things: For mittens, my main goal is don't lose them. That comes in two strategies. For itty bittys, I suggest these that are tied together and string along their coat. For older kids, the best I've found is the ones that go up to their elbows. They're tough to get on, but super worth it because they stay on.
Frosty Feet: If you've got a tiny baby that's not going to do much walking, Zutanos are my go to. They're like baby kryptonite for removal. For larger kids or more substantial snow involvement (that sounds weird, but basically I mean if they're going to be playing in actual snow while walking), I have a deep love affair with Kamiks because they open up super wide to get fat toddler feet inside. I seriously bemoan the fact that they only go to a size 10.
For the rest of their body: I'm a fan of onesie snow suits. They're easier to zip them into all at once. I should say, this is only for when they're smaller and complacent and will somewhat help you with dressing. Once they fight back and pull an alligator death roll * anytime you try to dress them (aka-toddlers), forget it. But so long as they still assist with dressing, I suggest a ZIPPABLE onesie (who has time for buttons on a baby?!) something like the below from Columbia.
Bonus warmth: And finally, my other parenting hack in the winter is to use extra long socks that go up to their knees just to give them some double warmth. We have these and while they only lasted a couple of seasons since my kid's chunky legs stretched them out, they were great for the winter.
That's all the advice I have. That and buy your street salt now so you don't run out in March (ugh).
*I will have you know that Alligator Death Rolls are real things and that link takes you to a peer reviewed .org site about them. Because I am nothing if not responsible in my alligator research. You're welcome.