How To Dress Your Toddler For Cold Weather

With the Winter season and Winter holidays approaching, how do you help your toddler deal with the cold weather? Whether you’re dressing them for outside play or daycare, here are some tips on dressing your little one for the Winter weather!


How Cold Is Too Cold?

No matter the season, it is good for your children to go outside and get some exercise. Since infants and younger children aren’t able to regulate their body temperature as well as adults, it is important to check the weather before planning to go outdoors. Infants are especially susceptible to cold weather and can lose body heat faster. If they are exposed to extreme cold or are in the cold for too long, it can cause hypothermia and frostbite. So how cold is too cold and when should you bring the activities indoors? 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, playing outside in temperatures or wind chills below -15 degrees Fahrenheit should be avoided. As a reference, if the wind chill is 32 degrees Fahrenheit and warmer, it is safe to be outside. If it is 15-31 degrees Fahrenheit, your children can play outside but should have indoor breaks every 20-30 minutes to warm up. 


Weather & Temperature Guidelines

This is a simple base guideline of how to dress your little ones for the weather temperature. However, it is important to note that every child is different where some toddlers run warmer and others colder. You can just this as a base to go off of but should add layers and cater your child’s outfit to their needs!

60°F and Warmer: Short sleeves are okay.

50-60°F Weather: Long sleeves are needed. It can be layered on top of a short sleeved top,

40-50°F Weather: Both a long sleeve layer and outer layer are needed.

30-40°F Weather: A base and mid layer are needed along with a thick winter jacket, hat, and mittens.

Below 30°F and if Snowing: Base and mid layers are needed along with a winter jacket, winter hat, mittens, and boots.


Layering Kids Clothing For Cold Weather

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants and toddlers should wear one more layer than adults. However, the best cold weather layers for babies and toddlers can be different. This is because they will have different needs. For babies, they will most likely not be running around and be sitting in a stroller or carrier. For layering toddlers for Winter, you have to keep them warm while allowing them movement to run around and play. 

For toddlers, you should avoid bulky sweaters that will prevent them from moving around easily. It can also make them too hot. Instead, it is better for both infants and toddlers if they are dressed in multiple thin layers. These help to trap in body heat and can be easily taken off if they get too hot. It is also important because it is supposed to keep kids warm during car rides when jackets, puffers, and snowsuits are taken off. Bulky clothing should not be worn in the car seat because it can create extra space under the harness and in a crash, it can cause a child to slip through and thrown from the seat.  


Basics To Layering

So what are the best cold weather layers for babies and young children? And how do you go about putting together a comfortable, yet warm outfit? Here are the basics to layering clothes for your children. Feel free to adjust and add or reduce layers depending on your family and kid’s needs!


Base Layer

The base layer is the layer that touches the skin and is the first layer to trap in warmth. It should be a snug fit, but also be stretchy and comfortable to move around in. A toddler base layer can include tights, leggings, and a long sleeve top. A baby base layer can include tights leggings, and a long sleeve bodysuit.

WithOrganic carries both baby bodysuits and toddler’s long sleeve tops made of organic cotton. Our organic certified kids clothes are not only gentle and soft on your little one’s delicate skin, but is also durable and stretchy to keep up with your toddler’s playing. They are also great for indoor activities to keep them warm and comfortable!


Mid Layer

The mid layer goes on top of the base layer and also helps to trap body heat and warmth. It includes both an added pants over the base tights or leggings and a warmer top. It also should be a slightly thicker material than the base layer. It can be a sweater, thermal, fleece, or wool top. Just like the base layer, it should fit close to the body but not restraining movement. Depending on how cold is it and if your child runs hotter or colder, you can always add multiple mid layers such as a thinner thermal top and a sweater over it.


Outer Layer

The outer layer is what protects your child from the weather elements like snow, wind, and rain. It is a winter clothing essential for both infants and toddlers. Look for something that is waterproof but still breathable and allows for movement. It is also important that you get an outer layer that is not too snug, but has room for layers underneath!


Other Tips

Now that we’ve talked about the basics to layering your toddler for Winter weather, here are a few other important tips to help keep your little ones warm!


Hands can easily become cold, especially if you live in a snowy area and your kid likes to play in it! Go for mittens rather than gloves because with gloves, you need to put each of their fingers in the correct spot, which is definitely not an easy task. Look for mittens that have a warm, soft inner lining, and a waterproof outer lining. You can also have a string or clip attached to the mittens to keep them from getting lost!

Warm Hat

A high percentage of body heat is lost through the head so a hat is essential for your little one. You can look for cotton or wool hats with flaps and is even better if it fastens under the chin. Make sure the hat is close fitting and not too loose. You can also add a hood on on top of the hat for extra warmth!

Socks & Boots

It is important to keep the feet warm and dry. So make sure boots your toddler is wearing is waterproof. As for socks, go for thick and warm ones but make sure it fits comfortably into the boots. In addition, long socks can be better than short ones as it covers more and pants have a tendency to ride up and expose bare skin.

Clothing Features

Try and go for clothes that are easy to take on and off. Not only will it make it easier for toddlers to dress and undress themselves, but can make it easier on you if you need to adjust their outfit or change diapers. Look for zippered jackets, snap buttons, or stretchy waistbands rather than small buttons. Also avoid loose strings or ribbons that can be a choking hazard for both toddlers and infants, such as on a hood.

Pack Extra Dry Clothes

It is always good to be prepared! Toddlers can play hard and sometimes accidents happen like splashing in puddles or losing a mitten. Changing out of wet clothes immediately is also important so be sure to bring an extra set of dry clothes to avoid potential frostbite from happening!

Now that we’ve tackled how to appropriately dress your little ones for the upcoming colder weather, we hope you and your family have a safe and fun Winter season! 

WithOrganic carries organic cotton clothing for both toddlers and infants for all your indoor needs and outdoor base layer needs!

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