Baby it's cold outside

Just because the weather has dipped and fire is lit, doesn't mean you get to hole up like a hermit in your house of the duration. This was the mantra I had to say to myself today as I did not want to venture out. It's cold out there. But alas my wee one needs fresh air and exercise and adventure and hell or high water, we needed to leave the house. And it almost was high water, its been raining so much our animals are lining up two by two like they know something we don't . . As I said it is miserable out there , if it's not raining , it freezing , even with blue skies, the wind is arctic. It's easy to cower inside. So I will help you to brave the winds and the weather together to get the best from outside.

Rug up - If venturing out make sure that your child is well warm enough. They need layers and overlapping tops and bottoms so there isn't a naked line somewhere for the cold to seep in. I worked in ski fields for many years and with wee ones. I ran the drop off creches and we used to parade our little ones outside, to take in the air so they weren't cooped up inside all day. So I know how to dress them.

Keep the torso snug so the body can warm the limbs - Rule of thumb is to have a vest on. Be it poppers or just to the waist. Something against their skin to hold in the heat. Up to you completely on thickness or thermal level.

Layers upon layer- a long sleeve on top and then another layer, even inside, a jumper, cardigan, hoodie. Next something on the bottom half that the vest can tuck in to. Trousers or jeans, leggings, tights etc. If it's really cold, tights on under trousers, on both sexes. They are great insulation and wee one cant pull their socks off. Plus they comes in all colours so they are gender neutral if you're worried about that kind of thing. Little secret , if you've ever skied, the lift people are all wearing tights ! The men pantyhose. You would be surprised how warm they are !!! Never going to look at them the same way now !

Once going outside - warm foot coverings over the tights or warm thick socks, like moccosan slippers and if walking , thicker soled shoes as cold comes up through the ground.

Top it off - I recommend hat, gloves on strings and a neck warmer ( garment that goes all the way around neck in one continuous circle). Easier than a scarf as they cant pull it tight or off. Some call it a snood. Grannies are great for knitting one up in wool, backed with a thermal layer to keep out the wind. or just sew the two ends of a scarf together ! And of course a good coat that functions as a wet layer too. Try to get one that comes down over their bottoms. Because toddlers, well at least mine does, spend a lot of time bending in the middle either getting up of down and thats where a line appears and they get cold very easily and all the enjoyment goes out of the day. For non potty users an all in one suit is great , no lines at all and completely insulted. Wonderful to jump about in puddles with as most have elastic on the legs that goes around the wellington boots and stops leaks or riding up. Make sure there is a thermal layer inside and elastic cuffs to keep it at ankles and wrists.

If you and your wee one are dressed right for the weather, then you can go out for a good deal of things to do. As above, puddles are great to splash about in . Walks in a forested / nature trail to look and touch all the colours that in places are raining down on you. I was in a forest of pine trees that it sounded like rain because so many needles were falling off on to us. The ground is awash with fallen leaves that are all colours of autumn. You can get to the now deserted playground and have as long as you like swing. Or even just getting them to town , or in the car to playgroup. If your warm , the weather can be delightful and can be no obstacle for continuing your classes or meet ups. And don't get me started on the fun to be had if it snows!!

My wee one and I layer up and get out in the back yard when its bitter, to kick around the football or find a muddy patch she can stomp in for 5 mins. Then scurry back to the warmth of the house. It pays off literally to invest in a few good pieces of cold weather kit or beg, steal or borrow it from others once they grown out of it. Usually things have only been worn for one season and have plenty left in them. You will feel better for having made the effort and got out there for fresh air or a bit of company and a sing song/ play. And grateful for central heating once your home. There is really is no excuse... but there are some days I will try to find one.

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