I am trying to post this article as fast as possible just because I know a lot of moms are scheduled to leave the country for snow-laden ones with their babies within the next few days and weeks. (Have in mind that I am talking specifically about babes 11 months and below, or those who aren’t walking or running around too much yet and still have to be carried most of the time.) Actually, even if there isn’t any snow, these moms are going to have to be in very low temp countries, sometimes even negative and rather windy, that it doesn’t matter whether there is snow or not. It’s just gonna be plain freezing and a mom’s got to be ready for that! I mean hello, to prepare for oneself alone can be a pain, what more if you are lugging ze bebe around?!?!! Hah! So get ready ’cause here are some of the things I learned from being in winter wonder-Japan!
Wear: Layering is key and base will be best if it is thermal wear.
Where: Most efficient ones I’ve got would be the Heat Tech line from Uniqlo and the good news is that they have for babies, too! (Uniqlo shops are everywhere- Eastwood has, as well as SM Aura, MOA…)
When I was in Japan, one heat tech shirt was enough, topped with knit and wool tops. I think when temperature goes lower you can experiment with using several of those thin heat tech shirts for warmth. I love their heat tech line because it has the advantage of not looking like a balloon even as I wear them in very thick layers. Anyway the suggestion goes for whatever you use for your/their bottoms, too!
Here’s a tip for women who are a bit petite on the top or with the torso area: BUY FROM THE KIDS SECTION! All of us, my mother in law, my sister in law, and I, got this from the kids section of Uniqlo in sizes 140/150. They are kind short for an adult’s arms, but generally effective in giving off warmth for the most part of your upper body.
Wear: For the nursing mama: A SANDO or TANK TOP!!! My gosh I wasn’t able to do this but do wear one underneath the heat tech base so when you have to lift up your shirt when nursing, your back and tummy do not remain exposed to the winter cold!!!!
The Add-Ons (Bonnets, Gloves, Tights)
Wear: Bonnets are good, of course. Thought if you are only to get one, go for the thick type and is able to cover the ears. Then a pair of gloves! These are especially useful when you plan to be out most of the time.
Where: If you also have at least one day to shop around for proper wear, do buy your (yours and baby’s!) winter bonnet in the place you’re going to as you may have it cheaper where they are really prepared for four different seasons. Or you can also check out Posh Dollies who might even be able to custom make for your baby! I got his monster beanie from them!!!
The same thing goes for the gloves. For babies with really small hands, I think it is more likely you’ll see one that fits over the place you are going than in the Philippines. I had my sister get me some all the way in Taiwan as I cannot find even just a pair over here. Anyway thick wool socks will do if you can’t find good ones right away.
Wear and Where: Heat tech tights are also available for adults and I think there are available heat tech leggings for children but I could not find any that would fit my 11-month old baby. So the next best thing was to put on his Happy Socks PH tights under his corduroy pants, plus a pair of socks to keep feet warm.
To Top it Off
Wear: Of course we’ve got coats and sweaters and knits underneath them, which is still a layer on top of the thermals. Just do the same for baby. A knit or wool sweater or jacket on top of his thermals, and a coat in winter materials/make for the top most layer. The cords (corduroy pants) were also very comfy and warm for his bottoms.
Where: Check out Sfera or Old Navy for such things (Sfera is in SM Makati, and there is Old Navy in several places: Fairview Terraces Mall, Megamall, Bonifacio High Street) and do decide number of pieces according to your length of stay and activities. For us, one coat and one sweater would have been enough. We only stayed for 5 days. (Needless to say I needed several base shirts and bottoms to change with everyday.)
Wear: Boots with warm and fuzzy fur lining or high cut shoes. If you don’t have them just make sure you have a blanket- fleece or down material, covering his feet.
Wear and Where: For walking around, you might want jackets such as my Mamaway 3-in-1 Maternity Jacket (they have a shop in the Shangrila Edsa Mall or follow them on their their FB account in the Philippines which you will reach if you click over their brand) that has extensions to incorporate baby wearing. Philip was snug as a bug in my orange down filled jacket!!! Very very useful and warm, and lessens the need to layer the baby underneath. (Best of both worlds- mama and baby can also use body heat!!!)
Wear and Where: The other thing is to put an attachable cover to your baby wearing device. The one I got from the States is pretty universal, clippable onto an Ergo or an i-Angel or any of the similar type of carrier. I am not very sure if they would have this device over here.
Wear and Where: My Halo Micro-Fleece Sleepsack also helped because it was like blanket with which I can zip him inside. Other types I saw while walking around Japan were the down blankets that look like mini sleeping bags. The babies wore them while in their strollers. Check out Mothercare as they might have some!
Wear: Windbreakers and not only thick coats. Sometimes the wind makes a rather good and breezy weather worse than a snowy day! So do have a coat with a hood to break wind from hitting the poor little boy’s face. If baby is in a stroller, a blanket to stop the wind from coming through should be fine. If wearing baby, do cover his neck and face as you walk. It is good enough that he faces you as you stroll so his face will not catch the wave of the wind.
Where: For hoodies do check out same shops mentioned above: Old Navy, Sfera, and try Mothercare, as well.
Wear: Thick creams and ointments and balms for body and face and lips. Both mama and bebe!!!
Where: Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is good as an all around dryness-buster, and for balms- specially for the lips (Philip got a wind burn!) I used Cutieverse’s Hurraw Organic Lip Balm. My advise though is to check these products for possible irritants or allergens specific to your baby. Better to ask your pedia first before buying. Ask if pedia also has a recommendation for baby’s skin care!
(Moms, do not forget to click on linked brands for more info about their stores, online shopping, delivery, etcetera!)