Whether you’re a fan of winter or not, at some point, you’re going to have to take your new baby outside, if only so you can stretch your legs a little (and maybe show off your cool new stroller). And a little fresh air might be good for kids: the Swedes, for instance, believe that fresh, cold air is perfect for naptime and beneficial to baby’s health. So you’ll need some practical winter baby gear – and it can’t hurt if it’s stylish, too.
We prefer stroller footmuffs over snowsuits or blankets for a few reasons:
- Babies often dislike being stuffed into clothing with sleeves, so getting a baby into a snowsuit can be a trial.
- Kids outgrow their clothing at a terrific speed, so you may find that you use that adorable snowsuit only a few times.
- You can’t put your baby in his car seat with puffy clothing on, since it interferes with the function of the harness.
With a stroller footmuff, it’s quicker and easier to get your child bundled up, you can use it for longer (some of these last up through four years of age!), and you can just pop your kiddo straight from the stroller into the car seat without removing bulky layers for safety.
A few factors to consider when you’re choosing a stroller footmuff:
- Price: A higher price point often means better materials and design, but you can still get great use out of a less expensive footmuff.
- Universality/matching: Some of our top brands have their own custom-fit footmuffs.
- Baby’s age/month of birth: This is the most important factor to consider – different footmuffs are best for different stages, and some of the more deluxe models are worth the extra investment because you can use them up through preschool.
Most notably, the Original and Urban Bundlemes from JJ Cole have an infant size available; this is most practical if you also want to use your Bundleme on your infant car seat. Bundlemes are crash-tested for use on car seats, but we don’t recommend it, since, as mentioned above, you don’t want to chance any interference with the car seat harness; you should only use your Bundleme on your car seat if you’re using the car seat attached to your stroller in a travel system, or just carrying the car seat around with the handle.
You may have already seen our Footmuff Comparison Chart, but we’d like to break it down a little further for you here, so you can choose which one of these snuggly buntings is best for your chilly cherub this winter:
As noted above, these footmuffs come in infant and toddler sizes. The nice low price point and the universal usage mean that you’ll see Bundlemes on strollers everywhere. Openings in the liner let you thread your stroller harness through to keep your child secure, and you can open the front a bit or even zip it off entirely if your child gets too warm.
The Urban Bundleme is more weatherproof than the Original, with a nylon exterior to keep wind and water out. Both have snuggly-soft inside layers: the Original is lined with cuddly faux shearling and the Urban is lined with velvety chamois.
The only thing we don’t love about these footmuffs is that the Infant size is only useful for a few months, and many kids outgrow the Toddler size before you feel quite done using your stroller bunting.
JJ Cole Polar Bundleme ($119.99)
This bunting, on the other hand, is one-size-fits-all! Opening zip-off panels adds leg room as your child grows, and when little legs aren’t so little anymore, you can open up the bottom completely so your child’s feet can hang out. The Polar Bundleme also adds a hood (you can fold it back over the top of the seat when you’re not using it), and is also water and wind-resistant.
Bugaboo Universal Footmuff ($129.95)
This basic Bugaboo bunting matches all four stroller models: the Bee, the Buffalo, the Cameleon, and the Donkey. The polyester shell is water repellant, and the cozy fleece interior helps retain body heat. You can adjust how much of your child is exposed to the elements with snaps, and elastic keeps the cold out. The color selection is designed to perfectly match your stroller upholstery, as well.
Bugaboo High Performance Footmuff ($189.95)
The basic Bugaboo Universal Footmuff is great, but if you’re strolling with Bugaboo, why not go deluxe? You get so much more with the High Performance Footmuff, including two covers with different weights – the spring/fall cover is lightweight, while the winter cover is stuffed with luxurious duck down that really locks in body heat. You can also open the bottom to let your child’s feet out, so long-legged preschoolers can use it for longer. And of course, this footmuff also fits all four Bugaboo stroller models.
UPPAbaby BabyGanoosh ($89.99)
If things are looking UPPA, this is your best choice: the Ganoosh is designed for a custom fit on your UPPAbaby Vista or Cruz strollers, and it uses state-of-the-art materials for superior insulation, just like your sporty winter coat. It has a windproof, waterproof exterior, and the light but extremely effective filling is Primaloft, which does a great job keeping cold out and warmth in. A soft and plushy interior completes the ultimate recipe for coziness. And it’s machine-washable!
7AM Enfant Blanket 212 Evolution ($179.99)
If you’re not using either of the above strollers (and hey, maybe even if you are), this is the ultimate stroller footmuff for you, boasting terrific modern style and practical function that can’t be beat. French designer Rebecca Campora brings a unique style sensibility to her baby outerwear, and these footmuffs come in a variety of fashion-forward colors.
And they’re as functional as they’re beautiful: premium fiber insulation, a waterproof shell, and an ergonomic hood will keep your child perfectly comfy and content on the go. Best of all, zippered length and width extensions let you adjust the size as your child grows starting at birth and all the way up through preschool, and again, you can let her feet out when she outgrows the entire length of her footmuff. It even converts into a large blanket! This is truly one for the baby registry.
A few final tips for winter strolling:
- Keep little heads and hands warm – a hat and teeny mittens are a must! Make sure you have an extra pair of mittens, because they have a tendency to disappear.
- While you’re strolling, you’re moving around and staying warm while your baby is staying still, so he needs at least one more layer than you do.
- Worried about overheating? Touch your baby’s face or neck to see if he’s sweaty. Most of these stroller footmuffs give you the option of opening them up a bit or even removing a layer to cool baby off.