My 6-year-old is total crap at getting her gloves on. She puts two fingers in the first hole, she never finds the thumb, and she constantly wants to take them off and on. Therefore, I prefer for her to wear mittens. (That doesn't mean she prefers it.) Independent lady she is, she'd rather tuck her hands into her sleeves than have them be forced into the confines of a pair of mittens. She doesn't understand or care that I'd rather force her into mittens than see her treated for frostbite. How to get your kid to wear mittens is a perennial problem of motherhood, and thankfully, there are solutions to this issue.
There are myriad solutions to the dilemma parents face everytime they attempt to wrangle their children's hands into mittens and pray they remain warm and confined. They range from mittens that clip to the lining of the jacket, mittens that thread through the sleeves and behind your child's back, and newer models that have a sleeve attached to the wrist portion of the glove that hug halfway up your child's forearm. Whatever solution you try, just make sure your child's hands can stay warm and dry inside. Dampness is the enemy of warmth.
In doing research for this topic, I began reading mom blogs and message boards to see what ingenious methods moms have come up with to solve this problem (which seems so very evergreen). One mother on a message board allowed her child to touch the snow first so they could feel how freaking cold it actually was, in hopes that this would spur some sort of self-preservation instinct in the child and motivate them to keep the gloves on. While this would assuredly work for me (I hate having cold hands), I don't think this method would work well for my kids, who seem immune.
Another mother in the same group would go full household hack on her kids, duct taping the gloves to the coat. I imagine this would be a solution my late grandfather would've appreciated. While he was decently handy, and worked his life as an engineer in a steel factory, he had a love for the silver tape. He totally would've duct taped me into my snowsuit if his wife hadn't Jenga'd me into it first with a series of clips, strings, and more curse words.
While these solutions seem somewhat reasonable, your best bet is to go with technology. Specifically, mittens designed to go on and stay on. They're available all over the internet, and in some children's stores, but they're not the knit pairs you'll find at my beloved Target. There is the old school standard of the mittens on a string. They thread through either sleeve and behind your child's back. They allow a full range of motion, but they don't come off easily, and they're really hard to lose.
How to get your kid to wear mittens when they're at school is often half the battle, and more than half the reason for them losing a mitten. Mittens with string can also stay with the coat when your child hangs up their stuff in their cubby at school. That way they have easy access at recess and won't miss a minute.
There are also a new style of gloves that look like they have a sock attached. Lo, it's not a sock, but a sleeve that keeps your kid's mittens in place and their skin warm. Also, you can order them without the thumb holes, making them infinitely harder for your baby or toddler to take off. No opposable thumbs, no grip to remove.
The final set are the classic mitten clips. They clip from any mitten to any jacket and help hold the mittens in place and keep the mittens from being lost. You can also clip mittens together for storage.
There's no perfect solution, but with a little know-how, and a lot of help from the manufacturers, you can keep your kids' hands warm and cozy.
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