Did you know that young children and even babies in Scandinavia nap outside in the winter! When Ella, our daughter, was just a baby she used to nap outside every day, all year round. She loved sleeping in her stroller wrapped snugly in her soft wool outfits. In fact, in most Norwegian daycares, kids play and nap outside as long as the temperature is above 15º F — well below freezing!
While children here in the United States may not be exposed to such extreme temperatures at school, it’s still vital to send your kiddos off dressed properly and prepared for anything. Luckily, since Norwegian kids spend a lot of the school year outside, parents in Norway have become experts in dressing their kids for any weather condition.
Below is a shopping list we were provided by Ella’s school — great for any kid who likes to play outside, has to stand in the cold for the bus or simply doesn’t want to miss out on recess because the weather is less than optimal!
- Merino Wool Base Layers
- Merino Wool Socks
- Mid/Second Layers:
- Thick Wool Pants or Leggings (e.g., Ella's Wool Tubes)
- Wool or Fleece Jacket
- Wool or Fleece One-Piece
- Suitable Shell Layers including:
- Down Jacket
- Down Suit
- Rain Jacket
- Rain Pants
- Wind Jacket
- Wind Pants
- Boots, Rain-boots, Sneakers
- Medium Thick Wool Socks
- Mittens/Rain Mittens
- Balaclava or Hat
Note: For napping outside, it's essential that the bottom of the stroller is adequately insulated. We recommend adding a sheepskin and a down insulated sleeping bag.
Here at Ella’s Wool, we want encourage children to spend more time outside all year round, playing and exploring, even in cold weather which is why we created a school partnership program. Our school partnership program is intended to help educate parents and educators on how to do just this, while also offering a discounted price to try the products, and giving back to the schools that embody Ella's Wool's philosophy of outdoor play and exploration. To learn more about the program or to sign-up, click here.
While merino wool base layers are getting more and more common for babies and kids here in the United States, there is one mid-layer that almost every kid in Norway has in their dresser drawers that your kid needs too — knit pants! This mid-layer goes on top of the base layer, underneath snow, wind or rain pants. It works incredibly well with the base layer because both are made from merino wool and will keep your kiddos warm and dry.
Once your kids have started wearing wool knit pants, you won't even remember what you used to dress them in before!
When making our TUBES — Knit Pants, it was essential for us that the merino wool fabric was very soft as well as machine washable. Tubes can be washed on a wool/delicates program with wool detergent. A win-win for both kids and parents!
You can also check out Ella's favorite base layer top here.