Whole Parenting Family

Prepping for Winter


Yes, already, don’t tell me it’s autumn (my favorite season because of apples, not pumpkins) because in Minnesota it is a quick downward spiral to below zero temps. So yes, while I’m trying to soak up the beautiful leaves changing and the puffy vests, I know what’s coming.

Combine that knowledge with the fact that it gets increasingly difficult for my big belly to crawl into the attic to get winter stuff out (and baby girl–did I tell you we found out it’s a girl! And we named her so the kids will definitely blurt it out if they see you in person), and I’m prepping for winter.

First, I did my least favorite chore: sorted the kids summerish-don’t-fit-anymore clothing and made a stack of things to store upstairs. SuperBoy is only six but he’s a seven in length and a five in waist so that makes clothing . . . interesting. Thank goodness for those internal elastic button things and for uniform pants. SweetPea is still very petite but now tall-ish so we have the waist of 2-3T and the length of 4T. Again, grateful that I can and have made a ton of leggings for her lanky skinny bum. MonsterTot is a typical 2T so his sizing is easier.

Second, I took stock in what I have for the toddler–many of my favorite winter items were used by both kids and therefore pretty demolished (wool sweaters, wool socks, etc) and the state of hand-me-downs for the older two. My very generous cousin and a few friends have given us entire wardrobes!!

Thirdly, I started online thrifting and deal hunting for the things I know we need.



The kids love these ones and SweetPea has a horse one from an older collection I found on eBay. It is still a little big on her and will probably last another year or two. We’re set for this year, but the boys will need to size-up in the spring, probably.


L O N G  U N D E R W E A R

Go with merino wool! We have loads of it and it is so perfect for layering as they never sweat in it. It also is great for pjs. I have to store ours in a cedar chest during the spring and summer or the moths get their little teeth into them. So annoying.



Just got this and told MonsterTot it was a hockey jersey. He now loves it. And someone put it in the dryer and it’s still fine and didn’t shrink. Amazing for wool!

I’m kinda obsessed with this, too. I’ve written about their work before but it’s promoting small business and self-sufficiency for African moms and I love the sweaters we have from them.

And because dinosaurs.



Maybe these TOMS with faux shearling lining.

I bought a pair of these real sheepskin booties for SweetPea last winter and they’re still in great shape. #shopsmall

MonsterTot needs new sneakers so I snagged these.

If you don’t have Bogs for the winter for your kids, you’re missing out. They also double as rain boots.


W I N T E R // G E A R

I’m a real loyal fan of Polarn O Pyret the swedish company, but lots of other brands are sturdy and hold up for lots of wear and washing in the winter. Smart wool, Land’s End, REI, etc.

If you buy nothing else, get these mitten clips.


Go with merino wool. It is waterproof and breathes. Poly blends just get wet. I know. I lived many years skiing as a kid with a wet neck warmer that was fleece. For wee babes, I like a balaclava. Not to be confused with baklava.


Wool is great for tiny kids but for anyone making snowballs, I prefer something like this (on major sale right now).


Baby snowsuit (on sale right now)

I do separate snow pants & coats for the older kids and buy them in the spring when they’re on sale for the following winter. I just get colors for SuperBoy I know SweetPea will like or at least not loathe. So far, so good. I buy the costly ones but they hold up and the kids can play in subzero temps and not get cold. For real.

Boots we do Bogs from about now til May.


*amazon links mean I get a few cents if you shop through so thanks!



  1. Lauren B on September 27, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    We LOVE Bogs. Tip: 6pm.com has amazing deals on them. We are going to have to grab another pair because someone had a growth spurt over the summer and is already growing out of the pair I bought 2 sizes up!
    We live in western WA- not quite as wintery, but definitely cool/colder 9-10 months out of the year. I spend nothing on summer stuff, but invest heavily in good jackets and boots. Love catching good REI sales.
    I might have to snatch up a pair of those shearling TOMS. Too cute.

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      So smart!!

  2. Erin on September 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Great post! I learned last year that now is the time to purchase winter items. I went looking for toddler boots in Minnesota in December and it was near impossible to find them! It makes no sense!

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 29, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      I know! It’s insane!

  3. Christina on September 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    My kids basically LIVE in Bogs fall through spring, too. I love that they can easily get them on and off themselves! And I’m with you on Fall… it’s the Sunday night of seasons. Bittersweet!

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 29, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Yes! I love fall so much but dread the 6 months of cold cold winter. Bogs for the big win!

  4. Amy Anderson on September 29, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Thank you so much for this!! Last year was baby snowsuits and lots of staying inside, but I’m never going to survive a winter with toddler twins that have to stay inside from November to May so we need the right gear for outdoor play! Nothing like a list of recommendations from an experienced mama. Thanks again!

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 29, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      It’s so tricky but if you have the right gear, you’ll be golden!