Winter Gear 5
Have you heard of Stonz? They’re a great, made in Canada line that I’ve wanted to try forever, and so I got my hands on a pair of the new Toddler Booties! At first the boots are a little weird and take some getting used to as they’re much different than other boots on the market. First off, your toddler can wear their shoes inside if they like, so they’re a much softer boot than the general hard boot you’d find out there. If you do want to use their shoes inside, you need to buy with that in mind. Then they have liners (“linerz”) for warmer winter use and you can remove them for fall and spring. How versatile is that? As you can see I opted for the most exciting colour/pattern around: all black (although they come in 14 different designs).
These ones are “new” in the Stonz line because they have a new waterproof sole on them – it’s more durable and slip resistant than previously and you can RECYCLE THEM when you’re done. I’m a huge fan of that! You can find the new sole on the medium, large or x-large booties. The soles contain something called PLUSfoam so I took a swing by their website to learn a bit more about the product. It’s nice to know I own a product that is made with responsible manufacturing processes in mind, and these are no exception – they claim their products produce no manufacturing waste and zero post-consumer waste. Sounds good to me!
One of the best things is that they’re SUPER lightweight so your kid isn’t lugging around a giant pair of boots that weigh close to what they do. The two drawstrings are great on the boots as they keep them on in two places (and prevent the surprise of arriving at your destination to a toddler in barefeet).
After an active summer, the winter months are a hard pill to swallow. If you and your baby have grown accustomed to being outside and getting fresh air daily, don’t let cold weather stop you! As the famous Scandinavian saying goes, “there is no bad weather, just bad clothing”. Here are a few tips to dressing baby (and mom!) for the weather.
Start with thin, flexible base layers. Restricting clothing like jeans or overalls are not a good choice for snow play as they’ll bunch up in the wrong places and don’t breathe under snow pants. We opt for leggings and two pairs of socks, and then put on a second layer of warmer pants – sweat pants or thicker wool leggings. Same with the top half – start with a thin long sleeve shirt or thermal underwear and then top with a thicker version.
If skin is visible, it’s susceptible to the wind and cold, so look for a neck warmer and hat that cover as much as possible. The balaclava by Calikids is perfect for the task! Or buy a full coverage tuque and then grab a neck warmer such as the adjustable neck warmer or the knit cozy neck warmer, also by Calikids.
Fingers and Toes
The first places we feel cold need extra protection. For wee ones, Stonz booties (and liners) or Sherpa booties, a similar brand, are beloved by moms everywhere and for good reason. They’re both easy to put on and keep baby’s feet snugly warm.
Until kids are able to put on their own mittens, it’s always a struggle forcing little thumbs into their proper place, which is why I love mittens with side zippers. Snuggle Bugz has a ton of options with zips, so grab a pair and save yourself the frustration before you leave the house!
Warm Baby Wearing
To keep baby completely sheltered from the weather but still enjoy the great outdoors, simply convert your current parka into one with the extensions by Kokoala. There are a range of extensions for pregnancy and baby wearing that will be a mom’s best friend this winter.
If baby is staying in the stroller, he’ll be toasty in a stroller bunting bag. 7 am Enfant adapts to any stroller, whereas other brands (such as Bugaboo and Uppababy) have bunting bags specific to their make and model. These bags are especially great when you’re simply going from point A to point B, not necessarily playing in the snow. They allow a baby to travel by stroller without dressing for the North Pole. Perfect for daycare drop off or errands in the winter months.
Emily is a Montreal-based writer and blogger, but most importantly, a mom of three littles (age five and under). She geeks out over cloth diapers, lattes, and will do just about anything to travel. You can find her on Instagram @emmorrice where she profusely overgrams pictures of her meals, kids and city.
How To Prepare For Winter – A Buyer’s Guide to Getting What You Need Before It’s Gone
We all know that winter never comes quietly. You wake up one morning and BAM – your car doors are frozen shut and your kids don’t have a glove in sight. You flashback to September where you saw all those beautiful gloves, mitts and hats in stores and you wish you had paused, for just a moment, to consider adding them to your cart alongside your clearance priced swim suits for next year.
Don’t let winter surprise you – here are some tips to getting what you need now for later.
1. Buy Early. If you wait until it’s snowing, then you risk having to buy what’s left – not what you really need/want. Buying early will ensure you get the right colour and size to keep your little ones warm. Retailers don’t replenish seasonal wear as often as regular everyday stock as it only lives for a short (hopefully) period of time.
2. Buy multiples. It might seem a bit odd or expensive to buy your kids a few of everything they need for winter but believe me – winter gear goes missing. Fast. Gloves get dropped, left behind, and misplaced. Hats get loaned out to friends, fall off into puddles, or buried under a snow pile. Avoid morning meltdowns (by you, not your kids) by being able to easily find an extra set of, well, everything.
3. Buy lots now, return some later. I am guilty of buying a ton of winter wear and then returning what I don’t need later. I would rather have it now than worry about trying to find it later. Take advantage of the return policies by buying early and returning after the fact, once you have had time to reflect and organise what you truly need.
4. Make a List. Act on it. Don’t overthink the process or create some weird algorithm to decide the ratio of mitts to hats for your child who can’t seem to find his right shoe every morning. Create a quick list of essentials, go out and buy a few, and put them aside for when the time is right. Who cares if you end up with an extra of something you think you might not need. Chances are you will end up needing them and you can pat yourself on the back for being THAT parent who has it all (ok, maybe just this) under control.
In the last month or so here in Ontario, the mercury has plummeted time and time again. I’m not complaining, well maybe a little, as I remember us out at the park in t-shirts on November 5. Yes, actually.
Last winter our bubs was 4-7 months old. He obviously wasn’t outside running around but there were certainly some things we needed for him to make winter easier and safer. Now that he’s a toddler and walking around, we need some different gear to keep him safe, warm and happy.
- For car travel: a car seat cover. These are a MUST. If you think you can get away with blankets, you are sadly mistaken. You’ll want one that fits over the car seat like a shower cap versus one that messes around with the straps. These are marvelous as well because we rarely, if ever, even needed to dress our bub in anything more than a fleece sleeper. He’d be nice and toasty when we got to our destination.
- For car travel with older children: You’ll definitely need some blankets here. It is not recommended to put children (even older children) in their car seat in puffy winter coats. We bought our guy a fall coat for the car – it’s a fleece with a waterproof outer and it works great. You can also use a toddler coat that is made specifically to unzip at the sides and allow the car seat to be buckled under the coat. Always make sure you have EXTRA of everything in the car. Extra blankets and warm accessories for both you and the kids. I recommend warming the car up before you go!
- For stroller travel: a bunting bag. AGAIN, do not be fooled into thinking that a blanket is the best option here – only if you want to pick up a blanket off the ground over and over again on repeat like it’s your job. If you’re still using your car seat with your stroller you can probably skip this for now but it’s great for toddlers. An added bonus is that when they drop their toy while strolling, it will fall into the blanket instead of on the ground. My recommendation? The JJ Cole Bundle Me Toddler is my pick for this and it’s been wonderful for us.
- For outdoor play: For a little squish who will be outdoors, a snowsuit is a must (not in the car seat though!), as well as a hat with, ideally, a chin strap that will hold it on the baby’s head. Many snow suits will have hands and feet in them, but if not, or if your child is walking, make sure you have some warm, waterproof boots (like Stonz) and some mittens with a long cuff that fits as high up on the arm as possible. Baby/toddler mittens are like baby socks: no staying power. Snow pants are also a must for babies and toddlers outdoors in the winter. My tip is to get the ones with the overall straps versus the ones that just pull up like regular pants.
With all the layers of clothing and fabrics, paired with reduced mobility and uneven footing, it’s a wonder we all survive winter at all. Here are some things you’ll want to watch out for or avoid completely.
- Scarves. A long piece of free-flowing fabric around a child’s neck is always a bad idea. Invest in a neck warmer or a fleece bandana bib instead.
- Dry skin. You can get a cool mist humidifier for your baby’s room and I highly recommend you do so!
- Colds. If you have a child in daycare, school or any kind of group activity, there will be sickness in your house. Start early with teaching your kids how and why to wash their hands.
- Frostbite. Watch out for a pale grey colour on the skin or blisters – especially on the feet, hands and face. Take breaks to step indoors with your little ones every once in a while and let everyone warm up.
- Sleds. When it has just snowed, a sled appears to be a great way to transport the kids to the park. Exercise extreme caution here as drivers may not be able to see your sled being pulled behind you.
And finally, one thing I just learned this year is that house fires happen more in the winter than in the warmer months. Make sure you have a functioning smoke alarm on each level of the house and one outside the bedroom doors. The same goes for a carbon monoxide detector. Both of these devices can save your family’s life.
And if you’d like to read a bit more about keeping your child warm in their car seats, you can check out one of our popular posts from a while back here.
As we settle into Fall and prepare for the chilly temperatures and snow that come with Winter, many of us are searching for gear to keep our little ones warm. If you have tried to find boots for your baby and have come up with nothing, you are in luck! Today we are welcoming to the blog Lisa Will, founder of Stonz Wear, to tell you all about how her winter struggle led to the creation of Stonz Booties- an amazing way to keep the tiniest toes warm and dry this winter!
Getting through the first few years with a new baby can be a challenge and throwing cold Canadian winters into the mix sure doesn’t help. For many of us, winter means the everyday struggles associated with trying to make sure the kids are warm and their gloves and boots stay on. My family was no exception – and that’s where the idea for Stonz was born. We created our original versatile booties out of necessity, since nothing else on the market was meeting my needs. I resorted to wrapping scarves around my son’s feet before realizing that there needed to be a better product out there.
I’ve noticed when dressing your children for the winter time there are a few things that run through a parents head while picking out the perfect boots.
- Will my baby be warm and comfortable?
- Will these boots actually stay on?
- Is this product going to last more than one season?
All of these questions are valid and important, and luckily Stonz Booties answers them all. For starters we use an adjustable two toggle system, partnered with a wide opening, which is ideal for sliding over clothing or chubby ankles and having them stay put. The Booties are also water repellent and wind resistant as well as incredibly light weight, ensuring little toes are kept warm and snug. For the extra cold days, you can layer up with a pair of Sherpa Fleece Linerz, but they can also be used during fall and spring months too! They are approved by the Canadian Podiatric Medical Association for developing feet – we want our little ones feet to be comfortable while they are still growing.
Stonz is excited to have teamed up with Snuggle Bugz, and we are so happy that they have made it easier for parents across the country to get their little ones ready for winter. Be sure to check out Stonz the next time you visit their stores. I hope that our Booties are as much of a help to your family as they have been to mine. Get outdoors and stay active!
Founder – Stonz
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