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A year and a half ago when we traveled to Ithaca for the Children's Play Symposium (that's a thing) my youngest was about 8 months old.

Not quite ready to walk, but actively crawling. Just out of all the 6m clothes and, almost at the same time, growing out of the 12m clothes too.

Dirt, leaves, sticks, rocks, blades of grass fresh with dew - these were incredible mysteries that she would happily stare at and touch and mouth and rub between her hands - busy for as long as I left her, or until hungry again.

Crawlers and new walkers are often more prone to sitting still in the outdoors even if they are absolute terrors inside, crawling around at top speed getting into everything they couldn't reach yesterday.

It's more important therefore to keep them warmer then you'd need to be - their tiny bodies lose heat faster and don't move fast enough to warm up. Waterproof, windproof gear is critical to long play - when they are dry, they're comfortable and happy.

They're also easier to clean up when it's time for outdoor play to end.

1. MeToo Wool/Bamboo Romper | 2. Janus Design Wool Merino Balaclava | 3. Geggamoja Knitted Beanie Hat in Petrol Stripe | 4. Footed Rain Pants | 5. Classic Rain Jacket (use code JACKETONLY ) | 6. Villervalla Sweden Pile Fleece Overall Suit | 7. Melton Wink Wool/Silk Blend Socks | 8. CeLaVi Waterproof OverMittens

In climates and situations where dedicated winter gear is not necessary or desired, layering shell waterproof outerwear works fabulously. It takes a bit more setup, but the trade-off is two fold: the same gear is usable for much of the year, and inner layers can be worn alone for travel, babywearing, indoor play, or even - in the case of wool rompers and base layers - for sleep!

The crown jewel of this setup is the footed rainpants - size flexible due to feet (secured with elastic pull tab) and the suspenders, we've had the same pair on 6month olds and 2 year olds. You can put shoes right inside, soft soles work best, or forgo shoes entirely and layer wool and fleece socks on cold days. 

Pair with a waterproof jacket like our Classic suits - and store away the pants as backup (Out everyday? You'll need two pair so one can be washed and hung to dry!) or just purchase the jacket by using code "jacketonly" at checkout.

Wool balaclavas are a hit because unlike hats, toddlers cannot easily pull them off and toss them aside. Ears and neck stay covered without risk of overheating. The perfect answer for babywearing and back carries as well! When it's colder, a chunky knit hat fits perfectly over top.

Fleece rompers are a lightweight, no-bulk way of insulating a shell rainsuit. They're cozy and easy to pack. We always have one on hand in the car for backup emergencies and they're worn often in our cold, wood floored home. 

Waterproof overmitts provide a bit of warmth and all the waterproofing required for forest play, puddles, and muddy fun. Layer them over any thin mitten if more warmth is needed.

Wool socks or tights easily keep little feet dry and warm in varied weather. These wool/silk blends are especially silky and well received by sensitive toddlers. 

If you're looking to get outdoors with your toddler or new walker but not sure how to dress them for all weather, wet and muddy play, start here! This setup will work well into mild to snowy winters and on into warmer Spring days. 

December 13, 2017 by Jessica Schaefer

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