We only seem to have had a couple of chilly days so far this year, but when the cold snap comes (and come it will) no one wants to be left with their pants down (so to speak).
So, we’ve had a look around and come up with a few handy tips to help keep your little treasures warm and dry this winter.
It’s all about layers. This is one of those many occasions when you look to the wisdom of the ancients. Remember all the cardies and vests that your Grandma seemed to wear?
Well, the principle is the same for your children. Get as many layers of warm air trapped against their little bodies as possible, and they’ll be positively toasty.
Outdoors enthusiast parents insist that the best way to wrap up your charges starts with a base layer (those thin undergarments that you see footballers pulling on this time of year), which will trap a thin layer of warm air but also allow sweat to be drawn away from the skin, keeping them dry and (therefore) warm.
Wearing jeans, however, or other heavy cotton garments is a no-no, as the fabric takes a long time to dry out when it gets wet, and that means shivering cold kids. They can even draw moisture up from the floor in a curious denim capillary action.
It is important, though, not to assume that once your kids are wrapped up then the job is done. Remove a layer or two – overcoats perhaps – before they do anything very active, so they don’t get too hot and (especially) sweaty.
And the under-threes do best completely wrapped up in an all-in-one snow suit. After all, who doesn’t want to see the sweet little Michelin Men and Women bobbing up and down? Remember to take them off though before you put the child in any car seats, as the bulky material mean the straps are not as effective protecting them.
Protect those extremities
Heads, fingers, tiny toes, tiny toes – as the song doesn’t quite go. It is very important that all the extremities are kept warm during chilly weather, especially with the under-threes, whose bodies still haven’t quite got the hang of regulating their temperature.
Hats are crucial, as the body will redirect heat to the head and away from everywhere else if the noggin gets too cold. It should be something that covers the ears and it should be comfortable, as younger kids can be very determined in pulling the hat off if they don’t like it. Maybe something with their favourite character on it to try and seal the deal.
Some walking boots or lined wellies are probably best for the feet, but another option is to wear a second pair of woollen-blend socks on top of their normal socks. Gloves are also a good idea, but a couple of hand warmers in the pockets can help too.
Keep feeding the boiler
Cold weather means a lot of energy goes into just keeping ourselves warm, so bear this in mind when heading out into the chilly wastes of the local park.
Make sure you have plenty of snacks to keep energy levels topped up and keep the little ones properly hydrated. Warm drinks are best, if you have a sachet or two of hot chocolate handy or some nutritious soup, all the better.
It isn’t just the outdoors…
Keeping things cosy doesn’t end inside the front door either.
Health officials have stated that the temperature indoors should be kept at a minimum of 18 degrees. This will probably mean yelling for someone to close the door more than a few times every day.
At bedtime, it’s especially important to make sure that you are placing your baby in a cot in a way that keeps them safe from SIDS risks. Burying your little one under a pile of blankets is a very bad idea, for example.
Instead, a one-piece sleepsuit with the feet included should be enough to keep them warm, perhaps with any layer underneath if there is a chill. If you’re sure that another layer is needed, sleeveless sleep bags are just the ticket.
Finally, flu vaccines will help make sure that the season passes without too much discomfort.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and get warm!