Dressing For Success This Winter

Dressing For Success This Winter
Winter is a hard time of year. The weather is unpredictable, as we know so well in East Tennessee. It gets dark way before bed time, and no matter what, it is cold. That makes it hard to get motivated to get out with or without your kids. One way to conquer the winter blues is to have the right winter clothes. When dressing yourself and your children for winter, make sure to think about your activity level, plan for layers and do not forget the accessories. There is no such thing as bad weather when you have the right gear.

Activity Level

Studies have shown how important sunlight is to our bodies as it provides important nutrients like vitamin D and improves mental health. Knowing that, we should aim to be outside for a little bit every day. When going out in the winter, it is important to assess the level of activity you and your kids will be doing. Going to the playground, your kid might not need a super puffy coat because most likely they will be constantly moving. Same with a hike or bike ride. With high activity, lighter layers like a fleece jacket might be the best option. Slower paced activities such as playing in the snow or sledding will require a larger insulated jacket due to the stop and go nature of these activities. Parents will probably need a warmer coat. From my own experience, parents are usually the supervisors and don’t move as much. Having a warm winter coat will help keep our bodies warm while our kids get all their energy out. Plus, investing in a good quality coat means it will last you for years to come. 

Plan For Layers

Layering is a great strategy to help keep yourself comfortable during winter whether you are inside or outdoors. The three layers are base, middle, and outer. Your base layer absorbs sweat, the middle layer helps manage your natural body heat, and the outer layer shields you from the elements. The base layer would be your regular clothes. You might also consider long underwear. Though it sounds old-fashioned, long underwear can serve as a great base layer, especially for outdoor exercise activities or as a base layer in place of other items such as tights. The middle layer is where you can play around with to help maintain your body heat. Sweatshirts, fleece jackets, cardigans, and vests are great middle layers to choose from. The outer layer will be a larger winter coat or raincoat depending on the weather. When picking those items, make sure to look for something that is waterproof, especially for your kids’ snow gear. Water resistant clothes will not work for playing in the snow. Water resistant items will still allow liquids to permeate the material making them wet and heavy, which will lead to being cold, which is what we want to avoid. When shopping for outerwear, make sure it is big enough to cover the extra layers.

Don’t Forget The Accessories

Our hands, feet, and heads will get cold first. The best way to protect them is to cover them with insulated hand wear and hat wear. As for our feet, thick or wool socks are the best way to keep your feet warm. Wearing multiple socks will actually not help. It might make your feet sweaty, which will make them cold. Having a pair of winter boots will make it easy to go from one activity to another. Even if you are only running errands, wearing boots from the car to the indoor space is so nice, especially when dealing with snow or ice. Great ways to keep track of these items for kids are using mitten clips and name stickers. I can attest to the usefulness of these items and have only had to buy one pair of gloves for my kids each year. Make sure to include snow pants/bibs for bigger kids and snowsuits for toddlers and infants in your winter box. Those items are game changers as they extend the outdoor playing time for everyone including yourself. Lastly, make sure you have the best winter accessories: a nice hot chocolate and a sled!
Mommas, enjoy winter with your kids! Being able to stay warm makes a huge difference in how we feel. Not being hindered by the cold and being able to continue doing your regular activities will make a huge difference in how you approach this season.

Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather when you have the right gear. 


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