Have you Winterized your KIDS?

With my first child starting real-life preschool this year, things that I didn’t worry about before are now on my mind more than ever. (see Sara’s post yesterday for more on that!)… Is he ready to go out into the big bad world all by himself? Have I taught him everything he needs to know to be prepared? Can he stand up for himself? Is he a good friend? Will he be comfortable and happy, inside the school and out? Wait…outside the school? Oh yeah…. They have recess. In the Winter. What will he wear…in the WINTER?!!

I hate to be the one to bring up the dreaded W word here but now is THE best time to get these kiddos prepared for cold days that are indeed ahead of us. Where I grew up, our recess was cancelled if there was snow on the ground or if it was too cold to go outside. Here in Iowa…different story (at least so I have heard). Kids go out to play, and they WILL play…all bundled up!



So, I ask, how do we keep those little hands and feet warm and dry? Will they need more than one coat? What is definitely worth splurging on, and what is a waste of money? Should I just go to Target, browse the winter section and buy two of everything?

Well, since I am new to this myself, I went out and asked some friends and local moms what they do to winterize their children in this lovely {and frigid} state of Iowa. Here is what I gathered, starting from the top down.

1)      Hats: The warmer, the better. My mom always said “you lose the most heat from your head.” Whether that’s true or not, the more covered you are, the warmer you are. My recommendations for hats ranged from “buy the furriest, thickest snow hat you can buy” to “any kind of fleece beanie will do just fine.” This one is your call. My advice, buy more than one. Buy two at least, but probably more like three or four. This is one thing that I have found gets lost, wet, and sometimes sweaty. The last thing you want is your kids hat to be in the wash or worse, lost, when it’s snowing, windy, and negative 30 degrees outside.

2)      Scarf: This one is not on my “required” list because I know from experience that kids just don’t like scarves. They fall off when they bend over, they drag on the ground through the snow and slush, they are more of a nuisance than a help for kids most times. I have found, however, that children’s neck warmers work wonders in place of a scarf. Same idea, but no long hanging and dragging going on. You can find cute ones on etsy for a very reasonable price!

3)      Coat: The obviously most important item for winterizing your kids. However, one thing I have realized is that a thick, large outer layer isn’t always the answer. It’s all about the layers. Lots, and lots of layers. Especially if your kid is an overheater like mine. Insulated thermals, under armour, and even a pair of tight jammies will do the trick. Lots of thin to medium layers and a decent coat. You don’t need to invest $150 in a coat that your child will wear for one season. You can find decently priced coats at stores like Old Navy, Target, Costco, and even Wal-Mart. If you are comfortable with consignment, you can occasionally score a great deal at places like Goodwill and Stuff, etc for coats as well. My son’s was from Old Navy and he was able to wear it for two Winter seasons!  He survived Iowa’s heinous Winter last year without any problems, so that’s saying something!


4)      Gloves: Similar situation as the hat. Always have lots of pairs of mittens/gloves on hand. These get wet fast with snowball fights and snowman making, so grab at least 2 or 3 pairs of these. The warmer the better on this one.

5)      Snow Pants: The general consensus on this one was that snow pants are something you can buy at Target or Old Navy and not worry about spending a lot of money on. Since kids grow so quickly, I can see how they would grow out of snow pants fast, so save your money and buy the cheaper ones. You can always go the layers route with the pants too.

6)      Boots and socks: For this one, I would definitely recommend waterproof, heavy duty, made for snow boots. And ALWAYS double up on socks. I can’t think of anything worse then my kid going out to play at recess, and going back inside with wet feet for the rest of the day. Try to find boots that are easy on and off. Also, if you can find the ones with the cinchers at the top, those are the best. Educating your child on how to properly wear snow pants and boots together is going to be key in keeping little toes warm. As an adult I still struggle with the whole tucking in the inner layer of pants into the boots/pulling the outer layer over the boots trick. But we all know how much that helps!

And there you have it. Fully winterized from the top down. We don’t want our kids looking like Ralphie’s little brother from the Christmas story, but we don’t want them shivering in the cold either! Get out now while it’s still warm and while there are still things left on the shelves. Oh, and don’t forget the hot chocolate and snuggles. LOTS of snuggles.

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Ali lives in the Carmel Mountain area of San Deigo, with her husband Josh, and three little boys Boston (7), Nixon (4) and Ryker, (2). She is currently a stay at home mama but graduated with a degree in Dental Hygiene. She was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is one of four girls. She met her husband in college and they have been happily married for almost 10 years. Together they moved to North Carolina for his medical school training and fell in love with the East Coast. Their medical journey then relocated them to North Liberty, Iowa where they loved and enjoyed the beautiful Midwest for five years. One last year of training has now brought them to sunny San Diego! They have enjoyed their coast to coast adventure that has brought so many friends and memories into their lives. Ali devotes the majority of her time to her kids but has been known to escape the crazy for a day of retail therapy. She loves being a boy mom, they are her greatest achievement in life! She loves photography, traveling, and a good fountain Diet Coke. Her favorite thing is spending time with family, whether it's at the beach, or at the Costco food court. She is excited about her new adventures with the San Diego Mom's Blog!


  1. this will be my first winter with a soon-to-be nine month old (crawling and maybe walking in the not-too-distant future). Any tips on winter prep for an almost toddler?


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