How cold is too cold?

Sonia - posted on 11/29/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I'm not a winter person (even though I'm in Canada). So it's hard to take my 3 year old out when it's cold but bearable. But my goal for this winter is to go out more (take walks, play outside when it's mild weather). In your opinion, how cold would be too cold to take your little one out. How would you bundle them up?
I find his hands get cold even when wearing mittens. Are there any good brands out there or should I double up? I do have a rain shield for the stroller, how much does that help with the windy days?
Thanks,
Sonia

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Hi, I live in Norway, and there, the children nap outside (yes, you read it right!). The rule in Norway is that below -10C (=below 14F), the children should not sleep nor even go play outside. It is OK to go outside to get from point A to point B, for ex., but not for the only sake of being there... They also say not to put a baby less than 6 months old outside when it is below -10C since their lungs are not mature enough to handle such cold air. My second was born in the winter, and we went below -20C, and I still had to drop and pick up my older from preschool, so I HAD to get out (especially since we don't have a car). I always put the plastic raincover on the stroller, and was amazed at how efficient it was to maintain a more decent temperature for my baby! Last answer: in Norway, everyone swears by woolen things, so I would say: use wool as much as possible, and layers: put very thin silk or woolen gloves and then warm therma something waterproof mittens on top for your child when going outside. Everyone here uses snowsuits for the children in Winter. Helly Hansen is a good brand in Norway as well, and so is Reima, but I don't know if that exists in Canada. They also have very good winter boots Sorel is one of the brand that goes till -40 or even -50C.
I hope that helped.
-15C right now in Oslo, so I guess we'll put all this into practice again this winter! Also, for the cheecks that are so tough to cover, I buy cold cream from Welleda (+ many other brands) in Norway, it acts as a barrier from the cold for the skin.

Lise - posted on 11/29/2010

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I live in Northern Alberta so yes I know cold :) Helly Hanson is the best stuff I have found. Expensive but worth it, excellent warranty aswell. They also sell the layer system. Even in 40 below my 3 year old stayed warm (not that we played outside at that temp but we did go out). Just dress your little one a little warmer than you dress yourself, if your warm they will be warm. Just watch their face, hard to keep covered. Good luck

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Sonya - posted on 12/01/2010

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I thought my heating bills were high! I don't think I would want your heating bills if it gets that cold! WOW! lol

Sherri - posted on 11/30/2010

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Anything under 20 degrees is too cold. Our schools here won't let the kids out if it is colder then 20 so I think that is a good reference to go by.

Lise - posted on 11/30/2010

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Our schools here don't close ever! It is up to the parents if they send kids to school or not but the teachers are required to be at school. My daughters preschool closes when it gets to -35 C. Recess is canceled at the elementary schools at -25. Sometimes -30 or colder (the coldest I have ever been in is -56 C) will last for 2 weeks or more so at some point you must go out even just to go shopping. And yes Jennifer your missing out on all the fun. Haha. @Sylvie I've never heard of useing cream on the cheeks I'll have to try that. Thanks

Toni - posted on 11/30/2010

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Man I am a weenie too! I don't let my son out when it's below 25F! Especially when it's windy!! I live in Nebraska so I am used to cold because it gets 0 and below a lot in Jan-Feb. My child's school lets them go out to recess until 2F out. Which I think is crazy!! I am a wimp with the cold, but my son just loves it. So I just deal. lol

Jennifer - posted on 11/30/2010

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As a general rule, we don't usually take the kids out if there is any windchill and not usually below -15C. I"m in Nova Scotia, on the Bay of Funday, so we know cold and I've actually found that doubling up on items really helps. I've even gone to Dollarama and gotten mitts, scarves and neck warmers and used them as my layers. It's also great because if you lose them, which always happens, then it's not a big deal.

Sonya - posted on 11/30/2010

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WOW! You ladies are incredible! I've already raised my children. But I wouldn't let them outside when it got into the teens! And here you are all talking about below 0 F!!! LOL Our schools in Michigan do not send the kids outside when it gets into the lower teens or if there is a cold wind chill. Here you are all talking about temps that we would close schools down for. How times have changed since I was younger!

Medic - posted on 11/30/2010

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@Lise- reading all this is making me think I might be missing out on something.

Lisa - posted on 11/30/2010

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Wow, maybe I'm being easy on my kids! :) We live in Wisconsin and my daughter is in 4 Year Old Kindergarten. The rule at school is that they don't play outside at recess when it's below zero and we follow the same rule at home. However, we still go out and go to the barn to do chores. I really like Lands End for winter gear for my kiddos.

Lise - posted on 11/30/2010

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O.K Jennifer you don't have to rub it in, just kidding. And Dawn just a bit of winter info, usually when it is sunny and clear outside is when it is the coldest, in Dec, Jan and Feb we are so far from the sun it doesn't throw much heat. Very sad but true :(

Lora - posted on 11/30/2010

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We recently moved from a very mild climate place to a city where it gets to 100F in summer and -15F in winter. I am scrambling for winter duds for my baby boys right now, and I just prefer to stay indoors! Good luck :0)

Dawn - posted on 11/30/2010

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Everyones responses are great!! I don't have this issue since I live in Florida!! However, I am use to having to be tricky about outside time during the summer here as it gets too hot!! I usually take us outside early in the morning and then again in the late evening right before the sun goes down. So, I suggest breaking up the time in smaller increments during the coldest days..maybe plan on going out twice during the warmest part of the day, when the sun is out. I also agree with the poster who stated that they will be getting warm when being active. And a day or two of having to stay inside won't be bad if the weather is particularly cold and windy....I would look at the week on a whole. There are many times during the summer that we only get outside in the morning and then have to stay in the rest of the day because of late afternoon thunderstorms, but if my son is getting out most days during the week, I feel comfortable with that.. and I make up for it come now when we spend almost the entire day outside!!!

Medic - posted on 11/30/2010

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Wow I feel like a really big weenie now. The coldest we get is 25F and thats only at night we are almost always up in the 50s-60s during the day and I complain about that. But then again I'm from Texas.....random thought...I have never even seen a real snow suit in person or worn mittens....the same goes for my kids.

Bonnie - posted on 11/30/2010

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I am not a winter person either. I am also in Canada. I usually don't take my boys out if it's past -10. By boys hate the wind so if there is a windchill, it's pretty unbearable for them. As far as your child's hands go, you can try doubling up on mittens. They say that just because their hands feel cold, it doesn't mean that your child is cold.

Tanya - posted on 11/30/2010

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I take my toddler out down to about -15, assuming there's not much wind. So long as your child is mobile their body is creating heat. We use "Hot Paws" mitts (the long ones) and have found they are pretty good. For walks I bundle the kids up more as they are not moving around much.

Katherine - posted on 11/29/2010

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30 or under is too cold IMO. The shield should help a lot. If it's windy I normally don't take my girls out. They're SUPPOSED to get 30minutes outside a day, meh I try.

Lise - posted on 11/29/2010

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By the way I'm not a winter person either, but it's where we live so I put up with it ;)

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