Winter is coming. Or, if you’re in Calgary, winter came a few days ago!
The right gear can really help you survive the cold months, even if you’re more a friend of fair weather. Snow and freezing temperatures make getting out of the house a challenge, so hopefully these products will help your kids stay warm and you stay sane until the first signs of spring!
You know what sucked? When we set a snowfall record for the month of October in one day. We normally get 10 cm in the entire month of October, but we got 35 cm in one day.
You know what helped me accept that we were completely skipping autumn in Calgary? My amazing toque and cowl from Unraveled Crochet and my boys’ matching baby bear hats! There is nothing cuter than a baby bear-bear, amiright? And I’m already getting compliments from strangers on my matching toque and cowl. The cowl (or neckwarmer … or tube scarf … or gaiter …. or fluffy warm thing around my neck) is a MUST if you are babywearing this winter, unless you own a lot of turtlenecks.
On the Road
By the time my daughter was the twins’ age (7 months), she was in a convertible car seat, and I was carrying her in my arms to and from the car or using a baby carrier. I couldn’t be bothered lugging an infant seat back and forth. With the twins, I intend to keep them in their infant seats as long as they fit, because being able to buckle them in while we are indoors and keep them contained as I haul them out to the van is an absolute must. I will be very muscular by spring.
A good car seat cover makes it easy to keep babies toasty warm even when it’s bitterly cold. The Cutie Patootie car seat cover stretches over the outside of the infant seat, like a shower cap, so it doesn’t interfere with the harness. The zipper allows you to easily load and unload baby, as well as ensure baby doesn’t overheat once in a warm vehicle. The peek-a-boo flap shields baby from the elements as you walk out to the car or to your destination and can be completely unsnapped if not needed.
Made in Canada and competitively priced at just CAN$45, the Cutie Patootie car seat cover is going to make ferrying the big kids around with the twins in tow a little bit easier.
Shop for Cutie Patootie Car Seat Covers via my affiliate link: Carry Me Mommy
Once your child is riding in a convertible car seat, it can be a bit trickier to dress them appropriately for winter driving. Last year I used our Mouse & Hatter Car Seat Poncho over a compressible down jacket so my daughter would be warm enough walking out to the car and cozy in the car without overheating. The Mouse & Hatter Car Seat Poncho allows you to buckle your child into their seat without extra bulk, since the poncho goes over the car seat. It will also keep them warm on the way to and from the car.
Shop for Mouse & Hatter ponchos via my affiliate link: Carry Me Mommy
The Pookie Poncho is a versatile cover that you can use over a baby carrier, in the stroller or even over your infant car seat. I use it primarily to keep my baby or toddler warm in the stroller without having to put them in their snowsuit. (Although, if it’s mighty cold out, you might need both the Pookie Poncho and a snowsuit!) The Pookie Poncho will work in any stroller and over any baby carrier that has straps on which to secure it.
With their new universal adapter, you need just one adapter for any zippered coat in your or your partner’s closet! Just slide the adapter over your zipper and zip in the MakeMyBellyFit extender. The extender goes over baby whether they’re still in your belly or peeking out of your favourite baby carrier.
I got a ton of use out of the extender during my twin pregnancy, and now it’s perfect for babywearing while I push the other two in the double stroller or those rare times I take a glorious walk to the school bus stop with JUST ONE BABY. (Assuming there’s another adult home … I’m not putting the preschooler in charge … yet.)
I’ve been using Belly Bedaine maternity sweaters since I was pregnant with my daughter and rocked the Kangarooo.
The Kangarooo is the lightest version, suitable under a jacket in winter or for wearing alone when it’s mild. The Kuuma is the warmest of the sweaters, with an insulated fleece lining. With the right accessories, you can comfortably take a snowy stroll with just the Kuuma and your little baby heater on your front or back. The Kirooo, their most recent design, is my favourite in terms of fit. I love that it’s longer, and I love the side panel detail.
All three of these sweaters can be used over a pregnant belly, for front and back carries and as a regular sweater.
Shop Belly Bedaine via my affiliate link: Baby Footprint
Pregnancy & Nursing
A lot of times I’m jealous of my babies’ super soft, super stretchy clothing. No need to be jealous with Belly Bedaine’s new Mommy & Me sets … we both get to be comfy and stylin’!
The tunic for mama has nice long sleeves with thumb holes and is long and stretchy to accommodate your baby bump and postpartum pooch. The length is also great for babywearing as it won’t ride up! The matching baby sweater and harem pants are “grow with me” style, so your mini-me can match you for a long time.
Momzelle makes long-sleeved tops, tunics and dresses to keep you fashionable and functional in pregnancy and while you’re breastfeeding.
The Gaby nursing hoodie is a personal favourite, and now I own it in two colours! I was nervous about wearing an all-over floral print, but I’m glad I took the risk on the Emma nursing top. The drapey fabric of the new Britt top is super flattering and can be dressed up or down!
Hands & Toes
We’ve been a Stonz family since my son was a baby! We use all four stages of their winter footwear: the Baby Booties, Toddler Booties, Scout Winter Boots and Trek Winter Boots.
The Baby Booties are great with or without the fuzzy liners. I usually just use them without, sometimes sliding them on top of other slippers. They stay put thanks to the toggles at the ankle and calf. The Scout boots are warm, have waterproof soles and are flexible enough for even new walkers. They open up nice and wide so it’s easy to put them on and take them off.
My son is 6 and on his third pair of Trek boots. Like his sister’s Scouts, the Treks are super warm and have waterproof soles. They’re just as easy to put on and take off.
We have also been using Stonz mitts both with and without thumbs (babies don’t need mittens with thumbs!) since my son was little. Like their boots, Stonz mittens are easy on, easy off and have toggles at the wrist and at the cuff, which goes up and over the sleeve of the child’s winter jacket.
There is nothing more frustrating than getting four children dressed to leave the house in the dead of winter … and Stonz makes it survivable.
I’m addicted to this luxurious moisturizer for my hands. The last thing I do before turning out my bedside lamp (besides wondering how many minutes it will take for one of the twins to realize I’m going to sleep so they can wake up crying) is apply a generous layer of CoKa. Once all the kids are loaded into the van in the morning, I put on a layer before sliding my gloves back on. It feels so good and helps heal my constantly chapped hands. (Which I doubt will ever fully heal unless I can somehow avoid washing my hands a bazillion times a day and constantly doing dishes … I dislike dish gloves!)
CoKa is also amazing for protecting and soothing chapped cheeks (on the face and the bum) and lips and for taming flyaways!
Shop via my affiliate link: The Baby Footprint
SOXO is a Polish textile brand distributed in Canada by Little Wonder Star.
Their adorable tights complete your toddler’s favourite dress. Their ingenious Sock Moccasins (for toddlers and all the way up to preteens) are a great option for “indoor shoes” at daycare or as slippers at home. They are even great as dancing shoes for my daughter’s preschool dance class! They are everything you love about socks … married to a leather-soled moccasin. I can’t wait to use them on the Cub Twins once they’re mobile.
For me, I have the “pressure free” women’s socks, which have no elastic at the cuff but still stay up. They’re super comfy and cute, and they don’t dig into my calves and leave red marks like some other socks I own. (This would’ve been particularly useful last season, when I had postpartum cankles.)
I discovered Skights with my daughter when I wanted socks that would act as a base-layer under her clothes without being bulky. I was hooked!
These sock-tight hybrids stay on and keep babies’ and toddlers’ legs covered when pants ride up in the baby carrier, stroller or car seat. I like to pair them with fleece pants to keep baby warm in the car seat without having extra layers to pull off for diaper changes.
Now that my daughter is potty trained, Skights are even more useful since she doesn’t have to mess with pulling off long underwear and her pants when she needs to go. We trained her in the summer, so skirts with nothing else underneath, or just a pants-free party, were de rigueur. If you’re potty training in the winter, use Skights to keep their legs warm but their butt bare when you first say bye to diapers.
To keep the twinsies cozy warm in their cribs when it’s chilly even indoors, I use 2.5 tog Grobags. (Sleep sacks have a tog warmth rating of 0.5–3.5, with 3.5 being the warmest.) I find 2.5 tog to be the perfect weight for the variable temperature of a Calgary winter. I just add more layers of clothing underneath if the house is especially cold. If baby’s room is around 20°C, all you need is a long-sleeved onesie with your 2.5 Grobag.
I love that Grobags have snaps at both shoulders to make them easier to put on and take off. I also love how long-lasting they are. My daughter is 3 and, were she so inclined, could still sleep in her brothers’ size 6–18 month Grobags!
What’s your game-changing winter gear?