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How to dress your kids for the outdoors

Kids love the outdoors! However, they’ll only have a wonderful experience if they are comfortable. This is why it's so important to make sure that they are comfortable every time they head out.

One way to do this is to dress them appropriately. They need to dress comfortably for the conditions outside. Once they are comfortable, they’ll be happier and end up having more fun

This article will serve as a concise guide to help you dress your child appropriately for the outdoors. 

1. Choose cotton or synthetic fabrics

Dressing your kids in the right fabrics is important. Of course, the right fabrics will vary depending on the seasons and the weather conditions.

For a bright and dry summer day, a cotton outfit will do just fine. However, if it is cold out or likely to rain, dressing your kids in clothes made with synthetic fabrics is the right way to go. These fabrics dry quickly and will keep your child comfortable.

2. Dress your kid in layers

You should dress them in layers before they head out. The number of layers should vary depending on the conditions outside. You should dress your kids in more layers when it's cold and shed some of them when it starts to heat up.

The base layer is the underwear layer. It keeps the skin dry and provides warmth in cold conditions. The next layer is the middle layer. This is what will protect them against the cold by retaining their body heat. The middle layer should be thick in cold conditions and light in warm conditions.

The outer layer will shield your child against the elements such as rain, wind, or snow. They prevent the elements from getting to the middle and inner layers. This will protect your child from getting seriously cold outside.

The number of layers to put on your child before they head outdoors varies depending on their age, the temperature conditions outside, the personal metabolism of your child, and wind speed, among other conditions.

For newborns and babies, keep in mind that they cannot move about much, which means they can’t generate a lot of heat. You should, therefore, dress them in at least one more layer than the older kids even in summer days.

3. Get the right fit

It is also important to dress your kids in fitting clothes for the outdoors. This will help them have fun while running, hiking, climbing, jumping around, and having fun.

Ill-fitting clothes are uncomfortable and may even be dangerous to run around in. You don't want them to trip and hurt themselves! 

4. Get durable clothes

You should also go for durability when dressing them for the outdoors. The clothes they have on should be durable enough to withstand all the intense activities they get up to as they play outside.

They should also have a few built-in features that ensure your kids get the most use out of them. Features like knees and seats that are reinforced with quality fabrics that can withstand abrasion and won’t tear easily are always a plus.

When you get durable clothes, they will also last long enough to be passed down to younger siblings or donated.

5. Get clothes that are easy to put on

Kids are always in a hurry to go outside. They’ll always be restless and dressing a wiggly kid can be a struggle at times. That's why clothes that are easy to put on can be absolutely godsent. They make the experience of dressing them easy for both you and the kids.

Go for clothes with features that make putting them on easy. This includes things like elastic waists, cuffs, and hems. In addition to being easy to put on, these clothes also seal in your kids’ body warmth as they play outside. Once they are warm, they won’t have to fuss with adjusting cuff tabs or waist cinches.

For younger babies, you also want to dress them in clothes that'll make it easy for you to change their diapers. This includes clothes with zippers and snaps at strategic places.

6. Use reflective accents

It is also important to dress your kids in reflective accents as you prepare them for the outdoors. This is really important especially if they'll be outside in the evening, or in winter when the days get shorter. The accents will make them more visible as they play.

You could do this, for example, by dressing your kids in a jacket with a reflective logo. This will make them very visible when headlights sweep across the reflective surface, making it safer for them to play outside even with little daylight.

7. Get the right footwear

It is also important to get the right footwear. If you are going on a hike, the older kids need to wear boots. Babies and toddlers can do just fine with a pair of sneakers. However, you need to have an extra pair of socks available just in case they run into puddles. For the older kids, it would be really convenient to get them a pair of high-quality hiking boots or shoes that are water-resistant.

Kids can be super active when having fun outside. On a hike, they’ll most likely be jumping off rocks, tromping on the trail, or chasing friends. Getting the right footwear would go a long way. Good shoes will provide them with the right support and traction as they go about with their activities.

As you dress a newborn for the outdoors during winter, add on a few layers of warm socks to keep their toes cozy.

Final thoughts

Dressing your kids for the outdoors is all about matching their clothes with the weather. Think in layers. Make sure they are warm but not too warm, and able to cool off without getting cold.

For newborns and babies, you should always remember to add one additional layer of clothing more than the older kids. Finally, don't forget essentials like hats, gloves, and mittens, especially on cold days. Good luck!

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