June 28, 2016

The Art of Dressing Your Kids for the Cold

By Verena Barthel
The Art of Dressing Your Kids for the Cold

There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

Growing up in a place like Germany always required a fair amount of preparation time, before heading out into a frosty & cold winter day. From a very young age on, we had to learn to dress ourselves appropriately and it was always about the layers!

Bringing up my own children in Australia is not such a serious business as the temperatures aren't as extreme. Even though, there can be some frosty nights and mornings but the days are more like a beautiful Autumn day in Germany.

Yet, it is still important to follow the same rules to ensure your baby & kids clothing will keep them warm & dry through the colder months of the year!

It is safer when you and your children are dressed properly. Remember, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing.

In winter, the best idea is to stay warm and dry. Being too hot makes you sweat creating moisture. When it is cold outside, being damp is uncomfortable and can be a danger as you will lose body heat more quickly.

Here are a few pointers that will help dress your kids for winter:

Be aware of the weather

When the temperature is just above or just below freezing, the chance that you will get wet increases. This is because the air holds more moisture at the freezing point than when the temperature is very cold. When it is very cold it is easier to stay dry.

Take a minute to check the weather forecast.

  • Is there precipitation expected?
  • What is the humidity and temperature?
  • Will the weather be changing while you are out?


Think about what activities you are going to be doing in the cold:

  • Are you going to be very active all the time or on and off?
  • Or are you moving at a steady, leisurely pace?
  • Will you be standing around or sitting a lot?

The answer to these questions can help you decide what clothing to dress your kids in and how much you will need to be able to adapt their clothing to changing activity.


Dress in layers:

  • Layers allow you to be more flexible to changing weather conditions and your own activities.
  • Layers create an air space between the skin and the cold and this space is what insulates best.
  • Layers are also looser, allowing for better blood circulation which helps to maintain body temperature.


Three layers:

The skin should be covered in a thin layer that helps to move moisture away from the body.

Keeping your skin dry helps keep you warm and comfortable.

Kids clothing made from wool and silk are the best as well as organic cotton.


This is the insulating layer.

Wool and fleece and thick double layered organic cotton work best.


This is the water and wind protection layer, if necessary.

Get a long coat so that you can sit comfortably.

Coats should have high collars and a hood.



Layering also applies to hands and feet & head?

Boots should be comfortable and not too tight.

Tightness will constrict blood flow and make your feet colder.

Boots should also have a good sole for grip and stability on slippery or uneven surfaces.

You can also wear a thin pair of gloves if the weather is cold & windy.


Scarf & hat:

These accessories are a crucial part of your kids clothing in winter.

Your head and neck are major sources of heat loss.

A hat and a scarf are a must in cold weather.

If you are worried about your child wearing a scarf, try a tube scarf.

A beanie or similar cover for the head, ears and face may be best in very cold weather.


Adjust your kids clothing for activity:

Remove a layer of your kids clothing just before starting an activity.

You will be cold for a moment but as you start to move you will warm up.

This will help you to avoid overheating and dampening the clothing with sweat.

Put layers back on when you have finished the activity.

If you are standing outside for long periods, try not to stand directly on the snow or cold ground.

Even a piece of cardboard under your feet will help keep you warm.

The same applies with sitting. Also try to stay out of the wind and you will stay warmer.


Key Points:

  • Be aware of the current and weather forecast
  • Dress in layers
  • Adjust kids clothing for your activity level
  • Enjoy the colder weather.
  • Outside time is important for a healthy upbringing of your children!