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Top-Rated Guide to Winter Clothes for Toddlers and Preschoolers

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When the first signs of winter arrive, check closets to ensure you have enough winter clothes for your kids. For toddlers and preschoolers, whether it’s their very first winter or they’re toddling through their second or third, the best cold-weather outfits are super important. Toddlers need clothes that keep them warm, let them move like the little adventurers they are, and are strong enough to survive playing hard in the snow.  After having several kids I have found the best winter clothes to keep your kids warm this winter.

Have a baby this winter? Make sure to read the ultimate guide to winter clothes for babies next!

Finding the Ultimate Clothes for Winter

Dressing up toddlers and preschool kids for the cold is easy with the right gear. Always start with a base layer, ideally merino wool. This first layer is often overlooked and is the most important layer when getting toddlers dressed for the cold. Then, add a warm middle layer, like another wool layer or a fleece jacket, to help insulate and trap the warmth. The outer layer should be made from waterproof and tough material, so they stay dry when making snow angels or while skiing. And don’t forget – they need warm wool socks, waterproof mittens, a hat, and some sturdy boots to keep all the warmth in.

Base Layers: Foundation of Warmth

Iksplor Base Layer

Iksplor makes some of the softest 100% merino wool base layers out there and the Iksplor kid set is no different. This is the set my kids reach for the most. The merino wool doesn’t chafe or cause irritation in any of my kids. Their favorite part is the thumb holes. It makes it so easy for the sleeves to stay in place when adding more layers or so that they don’t ride up while playing. Merino wool is a natural fiber that is the best at regulating body temperature it ensures your preschooler stays warm without overheating. This is my favorite base layer for toddlers and preschoolers for the winter season.

Ella’s Wool

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option that is still merino wool, then Ella’s Wool is another great option for a base layer. It is more budget-friendly than Iksplor. The base layer sets are also made from 100% merino wool. Ella’s Wool has extra length in the arms, torso, and legs while still being form-fitting. They will last a long time in growing kids. They aren’t quite as soft as Iksplor but are slightly thicker than the Iksplor set. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, this is the one for you.

Mid Layers: The Insulating Layer

Iksplor Mid-Layer

For added insulation, Iksplor’s mid-layer works really well with their base layers. It gives your toddler or preschooler extra warmth for those colder days. It is made with equally soft and breathable merino wool fabric. A mid-layer is all about retaining body heat while remaining lightweight enough to prevent bulkiness, which is exactly what Iksplor sets do. The sizing does run large which is perfect for layering. I got my toddler her regular size and it should fit her for a long time.

One of my favorite things about Ikplor’s base layers and mid-layers is that they are machine washable. Since they are antibacterial, they don’t need to be washed very often, which is perfect when they are using them multiple times a week. When I do want to wash them, I get all our Iksplor sets and wash them on cold and then hang them dry or dry on low. 

Chasing Windmills Kids Mid-Layers

Chasing Windmills is one of the best companies that makes merino wool sets for kids. This mid-layer

is so great. The Chasing Windmills layered with a great base layer will do wonders keeping your toddler warm. The sets are made with a brushed fleece interior to keep it extra warm for those colder days. You can’t go wrong with any of Chasing Windmills’ clothes.

Outer Layer: The Essential Snow-Ready Shell

Waterproof Reimatec Snow Suit – Lappi

When it comes to full-body protection, a Reima snow suit is the exact outer layer your preschooler or toddler needs against the elements. The Reima Lappi snow suit is the champion of outside play and a best seller! It is made with insulated waterproof materials, perfect for playing in the snow or a family ski trip. Its thoughtful design includes reflective details for visibility and safety, and it’s made with freedom of movement in mind. It is really easy to get in and out. My four-year-old was able to get it on and zipped by herself. Reima has such amazing quality and this one piece snow suit is very hard to beat. If you have a toddler 12 months and older this is the snow suit to buy.

More Must-Haves for Winter Clothes

Smartwool Wintersport Socks

Complete your toddler’s winter outfit with Smartwool socks for those cold days. Made with the same cozy wool, they keep tiny toes snug and are easy to pull on and off, with soft cushioning for little feet. These are the only toddler ski socks that I have found that actually fit preschoolers well and stay up. If you buy any socks these are the ones to get!

Stonz Kids Snow Mitts

Stonz mittens are designed with a water and wind-resistant exterior, ensuring little fingers stay warm and dry. These are the warmest and most waterproof kid mittens that we have found. The extra-long wrists are a game-changer; they can be worn over a coat sleeve, providing a barrier against snow. The worst part of mittens is putting them back on constantly, and I don’t have that problem with the Stonz Mitts. They have two adjustable toggles to tighten to help them stay on longer. With a variety of sizes, these mittens are not just warm; they’re built for winter play.

Reima Nefar Snow Boots

reima nefar kids snow boots

They’re the snow boots that our 4-year-old picks most often because they’re extra warm and they are so easy to put on that they never need help adjusting them. Best of all, they’re incredibly waterproof, so they keep toddler feet dry, even when they depend on stomping through EVERY. SINGLE. PUDDLE.

Use code BRINGKIDS20 for 20% off all Reima Kids Gear

These toddler snow boots go down to a size 4.5, so they are an easy first snow boot (though if your little one needs more shoe flexibility, check out the Stonz Booties).

Why is Choosing the Right Winter Clothes So Important?

Layering is essential, allowing for temperature regulation as activity levels change. The right clothing can enhance performance in outdoor activities, ensuring that playing outside in winter is enjoyable rather than a struggle against the cold. Playing outside can be so much fun but the key to enjoying these new experiences is staying warm and comfortable, and the right winter clothes make all the difference. Winter gear is not just about warmth; it’s about making memories without the worry of the cold.

Warmth and Weatherproofing

Kids are more sensitive to the cold than adults, so winter clothes for kids and toddlers need to provide warmth. But warmth shouldn’t mean bulkiness, you don’t want them feeling like a marshmallow, mobility is essential for development and exploration. That’s why selecting gear like the Reima snow suit, with its balance of insulation and ease of movement.

Materials Do Matter

Winter clothes should be made from materials that offer warmth even when wet, like wool and fleece. Synthetics like polyester are excellent for water resistance. Brands like Iksplor, Ella’s Wool, and Chasing Windmills leverage the natural properties of merino wool to ensure that your preschooler remains warm, even if they break a sweat hiking up the sledding hill.

Getting Ready to Play Outside

Preparing for winter requires careful planning. Here are a few tips to ensure your toddler is ready for the chilly months. Preparing for winter adventures with your preschooler involves more than just having the right gear—it’s about using that gear effectively for a stress-free and joy-filled experience. Here’s how you can make the most out of your toddler’s winter wardrobe:

Layers

Layering is the most important part of keeping warm in winter, but it’s the order and material of the layers that matter most. Begin with the Iksplor base layer, which sits comfortably against the skin and manages moisture. Add the Chasing Windmills mid-layer for extra warmth, and remember, merino wool is perfect as it is insulating yet breathable. Top it off with the Reima snow suit for protection against the elements.

Make Sure Everything Fits

Check before winter start that each piece of winter clothing fits your toddler correctly. Winter clothes that don’t fit well can lead to exposure to the cold or restricted movement. If the clothes are too big, it will take longer to get warm initially because there is more open space and it is easier to get cold.

Check for Comfort and Mobility

Your toddler should be able to move around freely. Test out the mobility in the store or at home before venturing out. The Reima snow suit should offer enough flexibility for your preschooler to jump, walk, or even roll around in the snow without any problems.

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Don’t Forget Hands and Feet

Toddlers lose heat quickly through their extremities. Stonz mittens and Smartwool socks are essential for keeping tiny fingers and toes toasty. Always check that mittens and socks stay dry and warm throughout your outdoor adventure and have extras on hand for a quick change if needed.

Check the Weather

Always be aware of the day’s forecast. Extreme conditions call for extra precautions, like additional layers or a shorter time outside. Even the best winter gear has its limits, so be ready to head in when the weather takes a turn.

Hydration and Nutrition

Just like adults, toddlers need to stay hydrated and energized, especially in the cold when the body works harder to stay warm. Plan breaks for snacks and check frequently to ensure your preschooler is hydrated. These are are favorite snacks for playing outside.

Final Thoughts on Winter Clothing for Toddlers or Preschoolers

The magic of the first snowfall, the silence of a winter forest, or the laughter that comes from a day of sledding are moments that matter. Taking your toddler on outdoor winter adventures encourages a love for nature, instills an active lifestyle from a young age, and creates lasting family memories.

Choosing the right winter clothes for your toddler ensures they stay warm, safe, and ready to explore the wintery world with gusto. Remember, quality gear like Stonz mittens and booties, Reima snow suits, Iksplor layers, Ella’s Wool, Chasing Windmills, and Smartwool socks are investments in your toddlers’s comfort and safety.

Winter is a season of wonder, especially through the eyes of your child. With the right gear, every snowy day becomes an opportunity for adventure. So bundle up, embrace the cold, and create warm memories with your little one that will last a lifetime.

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

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