WARM ON TOP: AT LEAST FOUR LAYERS
Your child will need at least four layers - a base layer next to their skin, a thermal layer, a middle layer, and an outer layer.
BASE: The base layer should fit their body snugly, and has the job of taking moisture away from your child's skin. Synthetic materials like polyester (or merino wool, if you prefer a natural product) is good for base layers.
MIDDLE LAYER: This should be a long sleeved t-shirt (preferably not cotton)
THERMAL LAYER: The thermal layer is the insulator, and does the same job that insulation does in the walls of your house: It traps heat. It should fit close to the body (oversized is not the best option) and be made of a material like wool or fleece.
DOWN LAYER: This is an optional layer if it is very cold. A down or synthetic down jacket is ideal but must be used in combination with a waterproof layer.
OUTER LAYER: The outer layer is the protector, keeping wind, rain, and snow from penetrating. A rain coat or waterproof jacket. It should allow for movement and fit over the other layers your child is wearing. Check sleeves are long enough and wrist openings are not too wide to allow the breeze to blow straight up those little arms! A rubberised single skin jacket is perfect. Avoid fabric which absorb water. Look for 'waterproof' on labels not 'water resist'. Look for taped seams.
WHAT ABOUT LEGS? BASE, MIDDLE, OUTER
Depending on how cold it gets, your child may also need to layer up on the lower half of their body too. In cold weather we recommend three layers:
BASE: Thermal leggings are thin and worn next to the skin under trousers.
MIDDLE: Lined double-layer trousers are available in the cold season too. Avoid jeans.
OUTER: Rubberised waterproof dungarees are ideal.
OTHER POINTS TO NOTE
DON'T HANG AROUND
Try to arrive on time at nursery. If you are early, wait in the car. If you are waiting at the gate it can mean children are cold before they start. Layer up and get going!
A good, protein filled, low sugar breakfast does wonders for our thermostats! If your child is awake and eating breakfast at 6am, a healthy snack right before nursery can help.
Although cool and breathable in summer, cotton is not a kid-friendly option for layering in winter because it absorbs moisture, and a wet cotton top in cold weather will be uncomfortable. Choose wool or a synthetic fabric instead.
Children's hands, feet, faces, necks, ears, and heads are particularly sensitive to the cold, so while layers are a great idea, don't forget to cover up their extremities too. Waterproof gloves, scarves, and hats are great for keeping them covered up, and on their feet, heavy non-cotton socks (wool is ideal) and thermal wellies will help keep toes toasty.
You may have heard this before: A good rule of thumb for dressing children is to put them into one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same weather. But why? For a start, layered clothing helps to trap heat. And layering also allows children to either remove or add a jumper or coat instead of being stuck either too hot or too cold.
How to dress your child for the cold
“There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”
― Alfred Wainwright, A Coast to Coast Walk