Winter Clothes ... What Do I Need for the Kids?

Updated on July 20, 2008
J.S. asks from Grand Rapids, MI
6 answers

I am completely lost on what I will need for the kiddos this winter. Frankly this will be our first "real" winter ever. We have always lived in temperate climates where snow came once a year and everybody rolled up their carpets and stayed inside until it melted. So what do you gals suggest? What do you like? what's a waste of money? How do you keep their little hands and feet warm and dry? Will they need more than one coat? Should I just get out my Lands End catalog and order one of everything? Help me please. I am totally clueless.

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answers from Grand Rapids on

In my opinion:
1. Winter Jacket and fleece scarf from Old Navy - cheap and warm
2. Boots and gloves - anything that says Thinsulate...I think can be found at Target or Kohls (pick boots that have rubber all the way around to at least the top of the ankle)
3. Snow pants from Target - cost $10 and worked fine
4. My son overheats really easy, so when he goes out to play in the cold I don't overdo the warm clothes! Just a long sleeve t-shirt and jeans or sweats are enough for him under his winter clothes.
5. A trick my mom did for us as kids: if the boots aren't doing their job keeping the feet dry, place the foot in a large freezer ziploc bag, pull it up over the ankle with the jeans shoved down inside, wrap a rubber band around the ankle just one time, then make sure the snow pants come down over it all. Then put the foot in the boot, continue to pull the snow pants down over the boot. Also, there is an elastic piece of fabric on the inside leg of the snowpants, make sure that part is inside the boots with the large, outer part on the outside of the boots. (Probably sounds really confusing, but after a couple times shoving kids inside all this stuff, you'll get the hang of it!)
6. Always make sure all children pee before getting snow pants on! lol
7. Always keep a large supply of hot chocolate on hand.
8. Have fun making your first snow man!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

"Indoor Clothes" - lots of jeans, long sleeve shirts, turtle neck shirts (if your kids will tolerate them) and plenty of sweatshirts or sweaters.

"Outdoor Clothes" - for the kiddos you'll want to get them a nice heavy winter coat and then either snow pants or a separate snow suit. I do have two winter coats for each of my girls. This gives us a "back up" coat for when one is in the washer. A second-hand used coat is okay for that. A pair of good winter boots are a must as well. You'll also want a winter hat, scarf and mittens/gloves. Look for "Thinsolate (spelling might be wrong) in the mittens, coat, snow suit or pants. Anything with the thinsolate in it is extra warm - even though it looks thin. We do allow our girls to wear sturdy tennis shoes to places like the mall or the store - quick trips where it is well plowed and they won't be playing outside.

All your kids are younger so I would also recommend a way to attach the mittens to the coat - either get heavy duty string/rope or those little clips. If you use the string connect both mittens together so that there it is long enough for their arms to stretch out and then thread it through the arms of the coat. This has been my personal favorite, but now that my kids are older (4.5 & 3) they have a tendency to rip the string off somehow!!

Another suggestion for you kids that will be in school. They'll wear their outerwear on the bus and to school, but will need to have shoes to change out of their boots when they get to school. I found that leaving a pair of summer clogs/sandles (that can be worn with socks) in her back pack (or at school) worked well because then we didn't have to make sure that there were shoes in her bag for school. Not only that, but they don't wear those shoes to the grocery store or out and about during the winter either.

It's kind of a long post, but hopefully it helps!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

michigan winters can be bad but u will need at least 2 coats for really cold days and one for not so cold days,warm and waterproof boots are always good,i always keep those one size fits gloves and mittens around cuz my boys are always losing their gloves and when i see sales on knit hats i buy them and keep extra, snow pants amust most schools wont let ur child outsize if they dont have them..if u have anymore q's let me a stay at home/working mom...i do daycare and aldut foster of 11 and 9 yr old boys



answers from Grand Rapids on

Oh, J.! You are in for a treat! Michigan winters are one of a kind! We do have some mild ones, so if you're lucky, you might get a break this year. :) Truly, they are much milder than when I was a kid, but if you want to enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer, I would recommend waterproof boots and a full-bodied snowsuit or snowpants with a warm coat. I usually buy the warm jacket with matching snowpants, that way you're not buying 2 coats, plus they have adjustable straps so you usually get more than one season out of them. Although, in the past, I've had to also have more than one coat for my kids because after a day of playing outside, they have been sopping wet and wouldn't be able to be worn to go anywhere else... Of course, hats, scarves, and gloves/mittens are a must. Have fun shopping!



answers from Grand Rapids on

It's all about layers. Several thin to medium layers are more beneficial than a big outer layer. Insulated underwear, underarmor or just good ol' tight fitting jammies do the trick. Always double up on socks (natural fibers so the moisture isn't held against the skin). You'll build the hat and mitten stock as the time goes by. Consider how much time you plan to spend outdoors before you invest a small fortune in outerwear. If you are sledding, skiing and hiking frequently your needs are very different than if you are running errands or back and forth to preschool. If your plans are the latter, don't go crazy - the schools will not let the kids outside to play if it's too cold. Good luck and enjoy! (The first Michigan snow is beautiful!)



answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi J.

This is my advice from a grandmother, & great grandmother.

Go to the dollar store and buy plenty of mittens, hats, scarfs, etc. You always have plenty so wet ones can dry, as well as if they lose one you can always match it up from the other ones. This way thye can continue playing outside even when their mittens get wet. Same goes for hats and scarfs.

Hope this helps.

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