From navigating extra clothing layers, to keeping on top of muddy floors, we need all the help we can get to make it through the cold, wet weather with kids in tow. Here are five life hacks every parent of young children needs to know about this winter, to make the season that little bit easier.
Pop shower caps over wet pram wheels
If you have to store your child’s pram or pushchair inside the house, you’ll understand the anguish when its wheels trail mud or wet leaves across your clean floors. A genius solution is to keep a few large shower caps by the front door, so you can quickly pop one around each wheel to cover it, and keep any dirt or rainwater contained.
This also works well for putting your pram or pushchair into the car after a muddy outdoor walk – no more mucky marks on your interior upholstery!
Put kids’ coats on backwards over the car seat
It’s unsafe for babies and children to wear bulky outdoor clothing, such as coats, fleeces, and snowsuits, in their car seat as it prevents the harness from fitting closely enough to their body. So how do you keep your child warm in their car seat on those particularly chilly winter days?
Buckle your child into their seat without any outdoor clothing, and then simply put a (hoodless) coat or cardigan on backwards, over their arms and the fastened harness. They stay warm and cosy, without any compromise on car seat safety.
Stuff boots with newspaper to get them dry
It’s tempting to put wet winter boots on, or close to a radiator to get them dry, but the direct heat can destroy the adhesives in your family’s footwear, resulting in damaged and leaky shoes.
Instead, stuff shoes with newspaper and leave them to dry naturally in a warm room, away from any artificial heat sources.
Set up a winter woolly stash by the door
Getting out of the house quickly with kids is difficult enough, but in the winter months, it becomes so much harder when you add in those extra layers of clothing that need to be found and put on. Place a box or basket in the hallway, or by the front door that’s exclusively for stashing warm hats, paired gloves, scarves, welly socks, and even thick jumpers – so when it’s time to leave the house, all the essential layers are in one place.
Even better, give each member of the family their own box so everyone can quickly spot and grab what they need.
Use tape to seal up gaps in winter clothing
If we’re fortunate enough to get deep snow this winter, dress your little snow angels in their warm and waterproof clothing and then use wide sticky tape to seal up any gaps – such as between their gloves and sleeves, or their trousers and boots – before they head outside to play.
This will prevent snow from getting into their clothing and keep them snug and dry for longer, while also reducing the chances of any gloves being lost during a snowball fight!