Updated November 2018
Before you feel overwhelmed by all the adorable puffy, fluffy, fleecy kids winter wear out there, remember to ask yourself one simple question, “Just how crappy is my winter?”
Yup. It all starts with that.
Do you live somewhere north where the winters are freezing? Or, are you lucky enough to claim mild and brisk weather without an inch of snow? Maybe a fleece jacket layered with a raincoat is all your baby needs.
A winter coat only covers the top — do you need snow pants or warm leggings too? For my mama friends in Buffalo, NY — like the dreaded minivan — the snowsuit has its place and time in motherhood. You hate it until you realize just how damn functional it can be.
If you live somewhere tropical (South Florida, I’m talking to you…) — please stop bragging and find us all some cheap tickets to come visit you. A gal can dream, right?
For the rest of us shivering souls, ask yourself how much weather will my baby be exposed to each day? Will she be playing in the snow, strolling outside, or running errands with you in your heated car (with quick dashes inside?).
Bundle up and get out there. You can do it. Just remember, spring is right around the corner (okay, it’s really not… but hot cider with brandy helps too).
Here’s our favorite outerwear picks for the cold, colder, and coldest winters around. There are adorable choices for wherever you live.
Our Favorite Kids Winter Wear
Remember my warning about wearing puffy coats in the car seat? Well, fleece and other non-puffy jackets are the perfect solutions to this problem.
1. Old Navy Performance Fleece ~ $16
During winter, fleece jackets are key for keeping warm. You might want to grab a few!
2. Columbia Little Girls (Benton Springs) and Boys (Steens) Fleece ~ $19-$40
Again, fleece is great on its own or for layering in colder climates.
I like knowing that my kiddo will be wearing the same, thick quality Columbia fleece that’s also kept mama warm for years.
*Benton Springs sizes: 2T, 3T, 4T, XXS-XXL
3. The North Face Infant Oso Hoodie ~ $64
The oh-so-soft high-pile fleece is heavenly, and the yummy colors are too. Meg’s girls have worn one of these at every age. Bonus, you get free shipping from Zappos.
*Available sizes: 0-3mo, 3-6mo, 6-12mo, 12-18mo, 18-24mo
See also: Favorite Rain Boots
1. Skip Hop Zoo Umbrella ~ $22
Outside of Band-Aids, there are few things that bring a smile to a child’s face like an umbrella. Pair it with one of their matching slickers and you’ve got yourself a cute little rain pixie.
2. Western Chief Rain Boots – $29
The quintessential rain boot for children. They make cute rain jackets too!
*Available sizes: 5-10 Toddler and 11-4 Little Kid
3. LL Bean Discovery Rain Jacket ~ $39
A mom-favorite, this classic LL Bean jacket has quality, style, and colors made to fit your mini-you. Waterproof nylon is taped at seams to seal out moisture. Mesh lining doesn’t cling. Internal storm flap, fleece-lined chin guard, underarm vents, and elastic cuffs. Has 3M Scotchlite reflective material for added visibility.
*Available sizes: Infant (6-12mo, 12-18mo) & Toddler (2T, 3T, 4T)
Goodbye wet, soggy jeans! Even on the rainiest days, this adorable set will keep your little one warm and dry. For those early winter nights, jacket and pants feature reflective strips for added visibility (bonus points, love this!). Jacket also includes a lined, hooded visor, and plenty of pockets to store treasures.
*Available sizes: 6-12mo, 12-24mo, 24-36mo
Remember, don’t use heavy, puffy coats in the car. For car-appropriate covers and coats, please go here.
1. The North Face Infant Perrito Jacket ~ $70+
This unique thermal (durable water-repellent) winter jacket reverses from a quilted solid to reveal a bright, playful print inside. Insulated with warm Heatseeker(™) Aero insulation with asymmetrical front zip that prevents abrasion on little chins.
2. The North Face Kids Thermoball Bunting ~ $120
For the coldest of days, this bunting from The North Face is a wintertime favorite. It has fold over hand and foot cuffs for added protection against the elements.
*Available sizes: 0-3mo, 3-6mo, 6-12mo, 12-18mo, 18-24mo
3. Hanna Andersson Down Jackets ~ $100+
Take on winter with sunny bright colors and soft, puffy jackets insulated with natural down. Lightweight, yet amazingly warm and with a water-resistant shell.
This insulated parka is a great value for a lot of warmth without a lot of weight. Water-resistant fabric sheds snow and rain. Velcro closure and elastic cuffs help lock out the cold. Option to wear the fleece liner on warmer days.
*Available sizes: 2T, 3T, 4T
5. Patagonia Baby Reversible Puffer Coat ~ $119 and Bunting Bag ~ $99+
Other favorites of our Canadian friends are the puffer coat and bunting bag from Patagonia. Recycled polyester shell features DWR (durable water-repellent) technology and is wind resistant.
For hard core snow-play, the lining keeps your baby warm even if they’re wet. The bunting has an inset leg panel which accommodates room for diapers and a base layer. Turn it inside out for a new look, a reversible quilt pattern.
Lots of bang for your buck.
1. Gypsy and Lolo Hats ~ $28
Hip. Whimsical. Warm. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Last year, my son wouldn’t go anywhere without his Gypsy and Lolo monkey hat. Thanks to its Velcro strap, these hats really stay put. Made in the U.S.A. from plush, brushed 100% recycled fabrics doubled at the ears for warmth.
*Sizes: S-M (1-4 years) and M-L (5-9 years)
2. Zutano Infant Cozie Shaggy Hat ~ $24
Another mom-favorite, this cute, affordable machine washable hat has warm ear flaps and faux fur.
*Available sizes: 6mo, 12mo, 18mo, 24mo
Just like their evil cousins, the annoying scarf and hat, a winter mitten (no matter how warm, cute, and fuzzy) may not stick around for long.
Maybe you’re one of those lucky moms with a perfect snow angel who would never rip, drop, or hurl mittens (usually just one… argh!) into random grocery carts, sidewalks, or passing cars. What? That’s not your kid either!?
If you’re like most of us, finding warm mittens that stay on little hands is half the battle. Depending on where you live (hello Minnesota and lots and lots of wet snow), here are a few adorable choices that will ACTUALLY STAY PUT when Old Man Winter comes a’knocking.
1. SnowStoppers Mittens ~ $18(ish) — EDITOR’S CHOICE
Perfect for playing in the snow! SnowStoppers waterproof mittens have a long cuff that goes up to the elbow to ensure the mitts stay in place. Just put them on BEFORE you put your child’s coat on and they won’t fall off (our readers have PROMISED).
*Available in sizes small (ages 1-3), medium (ages 2-5), large (ages 4-8), and extra large (ages 7-12).
2. Handsocks ~ $17
These adorable mittens not only serve to keep your kiddo’s hands warm while out in the elements, but also function to protect infants from scratching. They’re great for older children with healing wounds or skin irritations too. This sock won’t fall off your little one’s arms and has a flap that allows for finger freedom.
*Newborn size only
3. MimiTENS ~ $28+
MimiTENS mittens also stay in place by using an extendable cuff that goes all the way up to your child’s elbows. Made of water-repellent nylon with bamboo/cotton fleece inside for extra warmth and softness, MimiTENS win in the cuteness department!
Bonus: Safety feature — identifying tags are made of reflective 3M Scotchlite tape.
4. Stonz Mittz ~ $30
Adorable mittz with two adjustable toggles ensure a secure fit while little ones’ hands stay warm and dry. Extra long wrists are designed to go over outerwear.
5. Veyo Kids Mittyz ~ $39
Veyo Mittyz do not have thumb holes, but still allow for the dexterity as if they did. This makes putting on super easy and keeps hands warmer. Made for kids 6 months to 4 years, these mittens fit over any size coat and completely seals out snow. Also, great for skiing and other outdoor winter sports.
*Available in many cute styles and in sizes S (18mo-2yrs), M (2-4yrs) and L (4-6yrs)
Next time your kid sings, “Do you want to build a snowman??” – you can say, “Why yes!”