If you're going to brave the winter weather with a baby in tow, you likely want to do everything in your power to keep the little one toasty warm. After all, if you feel a bit chilly outside, then your baby is probably even more susceptible to the cold. Once those flurries start to fall, you may wonder how to choose a baby snowsuit to help your baby brave the elements in comfort.
Like many baby-related things, finding the best winter clothes for your infant can get complicated (and expensive) very quickly. Picking out the best snowsuit — if you even need one at all — can become an exercise in frustration. Should you go for down or polyester? Is the snowsuit compatible with your car seat? And why do some of these snowsuits for babies seem to cost more than most ski wear for adults?
Everything from your area's weather conditions to your baby's age and size can influence your choice of snowsuits considerably. Thankfully, picking out such important winter gear does not have to be an exercise in frustration, as long as you know what to keep in mind. Here are some important factors to consider when picking out a snowsuit for your little one, so you can both stay warm all season long.
1. Do You Want A One Piece Or Two Piece?
Snow suits come in one-piece and two-piece styles. The style you choose may largely come down to a matter of personal preference. For instance, the one-piece versions may be great for smaller infants who are not yet super mobile, whereas the two-piece ones may offer your crawling baby greater variety in his winter wardrobe.
2. Is It Carseat Compatible?
This is an important safety factor. As noted in Car Seats for The Littles, many winter coats and snow suits are not compatible with infant car seats, because the puffy coat can leave the harness too loose. Keep in mind that, whatever style of snowsuit you choose, you will likely have to remove it for car trips. This may tilt your preference toward the easy-on, easy-off versions.
3. How Easy Do You Want The Dressing Process?
Dressing a wriggly baby in normal clothes is tricky enough, but snowsuits can raise that level of difficulty substantially. Easy-to-use zippers, velcro, and snaps are probably your best bet, so you may want to test out a few different styles and find one that works best for your little one. Also remember that you may be wearing gloves while trying to get your baby into and out of the snowsuit, so closures that aren't too finicky are always a smart move.
4. What's Your Local Weather Like?
Will you and your baby be braving subzero temperatures on the regular? Or does your corner of the world just get a few snow flurries each season? As noted in Baby Center, if you and your baby are going out in the harsh winter regularly, then a serious snowsuit with fitted arms and legs can act as a great outer layer for your child. For children in milder climates, your snowsuit may be more of a seldom-used fashion piece. (But if you just want to snap some pics of your kid in a snowsuit outdoors, that's fine, too).
5. What Are The Best Materials?
This is where snowsuit shopping can really make your head spin. Snowsuits can be made out of just about every type of material. For babies who need to stay warm between quick trips to the car, for instance, a lightweight nylon or polyester snowsuit may be perfect. For infants who accompany their parents on longer excursions outdoors, however, more heavy-duty waterproof fabrics may be a good call. Again, it depends on your climate and personal needs.
6. How Much Do You Want To Spend?
Because your baby's snowsuit will almost certainly be worn for one season only, you may want to consider getting a low-end version. And if you would like a more rugged, outdoorsy snowsuit, then you may want to keep an eye out at local thrift shops or Ebay. Secondhand is always a thrifty option.
7. Does It Come With Accessories?
Snowsuits come with a variety of accessories. Some have attached mittens and booties, whereas others may let you provide these accessories. This may be something else to keep in mind if, say, your baby has a habit of shucking mittens while you're out and about. Self-contained may be the way to go in this case.
8. What Size Should You Get?
If the winters are long in your part of the world, then you may want to invest in a baby snowsuit that gives your little one some growing room. In addition, you will want your baby's snow suit to provide a little extra room for winter clothes. Those layers of fleece and flannel can bulk up in a hurry.
9. How Often Will You Actually Use It?
Although snowsuits are adorable, you may not even need one. As noted in Pregnancy and Baby, snowsuits may not be a practical purchase for babies who live in milder climates; in many cases, a simple winter coat would be more than enough to keep your little one toasty warm. Consider how much time you'll actually keep your baby out in the cold before deciding which (if any) snowsuit is the right choice for you.