16.05.2021

LAYERING UP KIDS FOR THE COLD WEATHER

Mom of two shares how she layers her kids in winter

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Words: Refiloe Legoale | Images: Supplied

Winter is officially here and all parents know the secret to happy kids during winter play is keeping them warm. While the techniques may change just a little depending on the age of the kids and how well they can keep themselves warm, the basic idea remains the same.

However, layering for kids isn’t as simple as it sounds. Younger children are more likely to be cold for a simple reason: Their smaller bodies lose heat rapidly. Younger children are also less likely to realise they’re getting cold, which means the job of keeping them warm (and knowing the signs it’s time to go inside) falls on the parents. To unpack the art of dressing kids from different age groups, Sadie Torquato mom to a 2-year-old Thiago and 6-year-old Thaila takes us through her approach to make sure her kids aren’t too hot or too cold, but just right—whether they’re going for a stroller ride, to the park, or making a trip with her to the store.

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Why do you layer your kids in winter?

Johannesburg has a very temperamental winter weather, so layering helps me control how warm my kids are by giving them the option of removing one piece of clothing when the sun comes out.

Do you layer them the same way or does it differ by age? If you do it differently, why?

I layer my kids according to their style. Much like other toddlers, my son is very active, so tracksuits and body warmers do the trick. Anything that allows him maximum mobility and comfort. My daughter Thaila on the other hand prefers dresses and skirts. During the colder months, I pair her favourite dresses and skirts with a variety of leggings to keep her warm and looking stylish.

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Do you change up how you layer each winter? or do you follow the same technique for all winter seasons?

My kids' winter style is pretty classic, consisting of tracksuits, bodywarmers, wellingtons, and leggings. This allows me to follow the same routine every winter.

Based on your experience, what is the most important layer? The base, middle or outer layer? And why?

The base layer makes all the difference for my kids. When it’s bitterly cold, that thermal long sleeve vest is a must. In temperamental weather, I prefer short-sleeve T-shirts or vests so that when that winter sun hits, I don’t have to remove their long-sleeved tees because they’re getting too hot.

Winter weather is unpredictable, it’s a combination of wind, sun, and rain all in one day so the base layer should always be warm enough to avoid them feeling stiff when playing.

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What are the items you normally choose for your kids when layering in winter:

For Thiago (2):

Base layer: Thermal vest

Middle layer: Long sleeve cotton tee

Outer layer: Hoodie/body warmer

For Thalia (6):

Base layer: Thermal vest and leggings

Middle layer: It has to be a dress

Outer layer: Hoodie/body warmer

What about their heads, hands, and feet? What do you layer those with and what material do you prefer for each?

  • Hands – woolly gloves and mittens
  • Feet – Fluffy socks and wellingtons
  • Head – Woolly hoodies, and headbands for Thalia when her afro is out
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