Fall is in the air, but outdoor fun with baby or toddler doesn't have to stop just because the temperature drops. In fact, without the bugs and sun of summer, you may find you get more mileage out of your adventures in the colder weather. Here are some of our favorite resources for planning cold temperature adventures and gear recommendations.
A good base layer will fit easily under other layers and keep moisture away from little one's skin. Wool is an awesome choice, but there are other less expensive materials that work well. My favorite base layers double as jammies, keeping kiddos snug in bed and making it easy to layer up and head out in the morning. A footed option, like wool tights, is particularly nice for babies.
Warm toes can make the difference between happiness and sadness on the trail, and wool socks are definitely worth the investment for both you and your kiddo. Costco reliably cares adult wool socks that I wear 24/7 in the winter months. (For baby and toddlers, I've had the best luck hunting for deals online.) And, I keep extra adult socks in the car - they are great over baby hands or mittens or as an extra layer on little one's feet in the carrier or stroller.
Because my littles can't pass a puddle by without stomping, boots are essential for us year round. While standard rain boots work in warmer temps, I find the heels wear out much faster than other options and aren't likely to make it past one season's wear with how much we adventure outside. Because shopping for footwear can be tricky, here are some of our favorites that have held up well over time.
MyMayu - These are my pick for babies and little walkers. Lightweight and cinching high on the leg, I love these from the moment my little explorers start crawling and scooching around (paired with a coverall). The option to add a liner gives them much more mileage than your standard rainboot.
Stonz - I love that these can go on over socks or baby's shoes. Like MyMayu, adding a liner allows you to uses these across several seasons.
Bogs - Baby bogs are easily for little ones to get on and off all on their own, which is hugely important as my kiddos enter the "do it myself" phase. My youngest loved hers so much that she wore them for any occasion and with any outfit.
Keen - Once my toddlers start racking up the miles on their own, the Keen Encanto Waterproof Boot is my pick again and again. I love buying a piece of gear and feeling confident that multiple kids can use it because of how well it wears. The light lining keeps toes warm in fall temps. Judging by the way my kids continually choose these boots over all other footwear options when we head out on the trail, they are comfortable, too.
All of my babies and young toddlers have despised mittens. A pair of my own wool socks pulled up high on the arm before dressing them in a bunting or jacket was the most effective. As they began to explore more, L-Bow or similar mittens that fasten high up on the arm worked best for us. Investing a pair of waterproof rain mittens may also help your little one enjoy muddy play.
Hats and More
As far as head coverings, I've found how many is more important than what kind, as hats in our house seem to grow legs and walk away. Scarves tend to drag in the snow or get caught on tree branches, so a gaiter that can be pulled up over the face for more coverage is our pick.
Baby or Toddler in the Stroller
Get Out with Friends
My toddlers and big kids always do better on the trail with other kids present. Something about being all together gives them the momentum and interest to make their way down the trail. To find friends for outdoor play and hiking, visit Hike it Baby and find your local branch. If you are local to us, check out Hike it Baby Iowa City and Hike it Baby Cedar Rapids.
How to Layer:
Video on baby layering from Wrap you in Love
Winter Layering Tips from Hike it Baby
Infographic from Ella's Wool on How to Layer Baby
Now that you are all dressed and ready to go, check out the Nested Mama series on Local Family Fun.
Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.