How to Dress a Toddler for Winter: 7 Steps - MakeSureHow
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His rosy red cheeks make the perfect accessory.

If you're lucky enough to live in Hawaii or Southern California, winter means topping your toddler's T-shirt with a hoodie. Most parents, though, have to maintain an entire second wardrobe of bulky clothes to get a child through winter. He might look like a marshmallow by the time he's fully dressed for the outdoors, but his little body needs more insulation than yours; recommends putting one more layer on him than you would on yourself.


  1. 1
    Put his cotton shorts away and dress him in pants made of heavy, warm fabrics. Opt for corduroy pants or flannel-lined jeans, or layer long underwear under cotton pants for additional insulation. If he's going to be wearing snow pants on top, pick lighter nylon trousers so he won't be a sweaty mess within minutes.
  2. 2
    Layer together two shirts; he can rock a short-sleeved T-shirt over a long-sleeved one, or wear an adorable flannel button-up over a T. Waffle-weave or insulated shirts are best for really icy days.
  3. 3
    Encourage him to wear socks all the time, even when indoors. Dress him in tall socks so he won't have any exposed skin at his ankles. Let him pick out a pair of slippers to keep on when he's in the house, especially if you have wood floors or your home is drafty.
  4. 4
    Help him pull a pair of snow pants over his regular pants on cold, windy days or when he's going to be rolling around in the snow. Opt for the overall type if possible; there's no denying that getting them on and off of your toddler takes work, but they'll keep him warmer and drier than the pants-only type.
  5. 5
    Add a sweater and/or a jacket to his ensemble before taking him outside. If you feel comfortable going outside mid-winter in your area in just long-sleeved shirts, he needs at least a wool sweater. In colder climates, he needs a coat. A wool coat is probably sufficient if your area doesn't get snow; if there's a chance he'll be jumping into a snow bank, he needs a parka.
  6. 6
    Slide a pair of lined rain boots or waterproofed leather boots onto his feet in a cold yet snow-free climate. In a snowy place, snow boots are essential. Pick a pair that is slightly too big on him at the beginning of winter and double up his socks until his feet grow into them.
  7. 7
    Finish his outdoor ensemble with plenty of warming accessories. He needs a hat, gloves and a scarf, and those suckers are going to get wet. Pick accessories made of fleece; cotton will soak up water and dry slowly, and some toddlers will find wool too itchy.


  • Take him to the bathroom or change his diaper before dressing him to go outdoors. Even if he hasn't had a drink or snack in hours, it's pretty much a guarantee that he'll need to go potty within five minutes of putting on snow pants.Your tot's going to be a bit bulkier in his winter gear than he is during summer, so adjust his car seat straps every time you put him in the vehicle.Stow a blanket in the backseat of the car so he'll be warm while the car is heating up.


  • Your toddler can get sunburned just as easily in winter as he can in summer. Slather sunscreen on his face and any other exposed skin whenever he's headed outdoors.Winter wear is one area where more does not always equal better. Burying him under layers of fleece and wool on a 60-degree day can be just as dangerous as under-dressing him in cold weather. Layers are always your best bet, since he can remove them as he gets hot. If he starts sweating outdoors? Remove one of his T-shirts and ditch the scarf. And if your heat is cranked up indoors, he'll probably be comfortable in short sleeves and cotton pants.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm pantsT-shirts
  • Socks
  • Slippers
  • Snow pants
  • Sweaters
  • Wool coat or parka
  • Boots (waterproof)
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Scarf
  • Sunscreen

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

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