Magic Beans is run by New Englanders, and as anyone raised in a cold climate will agree, staying cooped up indoors all winter just isn’t in our blood. Most of the expectant parents we’re working with at this time of year are due between now and March, the coldest months of the year, which means that part of their necessary preparation for baby requires preparing for those sudden horrible, frigid temperature drops (like the one we’re experiencing today).
In my 5 Winter seasons with Magic Beans, I’ve learned the most forgotten preparations lie in how to actually keep a child warm outside the house. Blankets are popular choices to drape over your child and go. But they require constant adjusting or they come untucked or fall off the stroller, and aren’t meant to keep anyone warm when up against wind or precipitation. Instead, the best way to keep your child warm all winter is a stroller footmuff, sometimes called a Bundleme or Ganoosh, depending on the brand. Footmuffs are basically small “sleeping bags” that fit into the stroller and use insulation and the child’s own body heat to keep them warm.
There are zippers lining the outer edges for easy access in and out of it; slots in the back to allow the harness to be used; and if you’re lucky, a
hood on top is there to hold all the heat in. Compared to a snowsuit, stroller footmuffs are warmer; they allow more mobility of little limbs; they regulate temperature better and most importantly… will not anger your child into a screaming fit by being jammed into thick heavy fabric that keeps their body in “starfish” position.
Getting the footmuff is just the beginning (and we have a great buying guide to get you started on that ): I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve to help you keep your baby warm. Ready?
#1. Get your footmuff early! (Like: today!)
If you’re going to spend the money on a seasonal item, there’s no point in waiting until January to get one. Buy yours early and get the most use of it! And if your child is at a stage where they just love to yank off their adorable, yet expensive, socks, shoes, hats and mittens… you really should get them into a “catch all” footmuff.
(There are even footmuffs that adjust to provide more or less warmth for varying seasons, like the new Skip Hop Three Season Footmuff, reviewed here. It would be great for the chilly day we’re having right now!)
#2. Pick out the right winter gear for your situation
Families of newborns who drive often are going to find great use of the car seat cover by 7AM Enfant. It’s the fastest to install, remove, and re-install of all the Winter gear.
City families with babies that complete errands by foot are going to prefer the heavier, warmer fabrics in the brand new 7AM Enfant Nido. The Nido is unique in that it can safely be used in the car seat because it doesn’t interfere with the harness, but can also be used in the stroller when you’re past the infant car seat stage.
And if your baby is now a toddler, take a look at the aforementioned Skip Hop Stroll & Go 3 Season footmuff or the JJ Cole Extendable Polar Bundleme. Each has a built-in hood, has an adjustable length, and has some of the warmest stuffing you’ll find.
If you’re the kind of family that is undaunted by the very coldest of temperatures – we’re talking below zero temperatures – then you need the specialized 7AM Enfant Blanket 212 Evolution Footmuff. It’s not actually a blanket; instead, it is the warmest of all the winter gear we sell. It’s pretty much an adult winter parka with highly water resistant fabric all over. This will keep your kid warm through everything old man winter can throw at you.
#3.Your footmuff keeps heat in, but your plastic rain cover keeps the cold air out!
This is my favorite winter trick! Your footmuff will work hard to keep heat from escaping to create that super toasty pocket for your child. But when the temperature drops and the wind chill picks up, your child will feel the cold leaving them susceptible to wind burned cheeks and a lowered immune system. Keep the cold air from even reaching them by keeping a rain cover handy for especially chilly temps. The rain cover creates a climate controlled bubble of warmth around your child at all times.
For parents using an infant car seat this winter, the Uppababy rain cover works on all of our infant car seats, and it has breathable mesh for airflow and is highly durable. You’ll easily get two kids worth of use out of it.
To find the absolute best fit for the needs of your family, come and test out the winter gear at any Magic Beans store. We’ll help you try everything out, make great recommendations, install your footmuff for you, and teach you how to install and use it, too.
And… if you want to pick up a treat for yourself, how about some 7AM Enfant Stroller handmuffs for you? Mama needs to stay warm too!