Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to know when your baby is too hot or too cold?

For first time parents this is a very important question to ask and there's not a very clear answer which is a little bit frustrating. We'll tell you what you should look for in your baby to know if he's too hot or too cold, but remember to always use your common sense.

First of all its important to know that a baby will probably be fussy and cry a lot when he's hot or cold. Check often your baby's behaviour to see if he's acting differently and check if this change could be  attributed to the temperature. Need a way to do so? Try touching their cheeks!

Even though our first reaction is to check hands and feet, this is not the best indicator because they have a lower circulation than the rest of the body and as a result they're always a bit cooler. Nevertheless, always check to make sure your baby is not getting too cold.

But the best place to check your baby's temperature is at the back of the neck and on the back itself. If the back is warm, the baby is good. If the back is cold, it's time to add a new layer or a blanket if the baby is sleeping.

Keep in mind that as a rule of thumb, an infant needs one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear at the same temperature. Again, these are just some guidelines so make sure you trust your instincts and your common sense.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rain boots: tips of the toes.

How much fun was it to sing in the rain or go puddle jumping in your new rubber boots when you were a kid? Of course, rubber boots were always new: you never got to wear them often enough to eventually damage them. Here are some tips on how to choose rain boots.

First of all, there are many types of rain boots which are made from different materials, but for puddle-jumping purpose nothing beats the good old rubber type as it completely blocks water from going in. Some even have a layer of insulation but let's face it: better extend the use of your kid's rubber boots by buying them without that extra insulation so it gets to be used also for summer rain as well. If it's a little cold, my suggestion would be to get thick wool socks instead.

For your kid's comfort, try to buy a boot that contours best the foot area. Handles are also practical when it comes to helping your kid to put them on their feet. It's always slippery when wet, so pay attention to their soles and make sure that they are not flat.

This being said, always air dry the boots at room temperature: speeding up the process with heat will make the rubber break down. For the same reason, store the boots away from direct sunlight. Avoid abrasive scrubbers or brushes when washing them. Best practice would include applying silicone rubber conditioner before storing for the season.

Where did you find your kids' rain boots? We're all currently looking for your advice!

How to dress your kids for Spring

Spring is almost here and temperatures are already rising every day! So, what should you know about dressing your kid for spring? We'll give you great information about it, but if you feel something is missing, feel free to leave us a comment.

Since we're making the transition from winter to spring, the weather is still somehow cold. It is important to know what you're facing everyday so check the weather before going out and dressing your kid. Remember that in spring there are huge temperature variations throughout the day, so you have to be ready to face them!
Montreal's short spring is a little rainy, so we recommend a warm and waterproof jacket to avoid getting soaked when playing outside.

You can also start forgetting about those big bulky snow boots and switch to confotable closed shoes (no sandals yet!). Again, they should be waterproof, unless you like soaked little feet. Your child will thank you for it! Remember that snow is usually melting and you might find muddy conditions, so this tip is particularly important. Rubber boots are also great for the puddles!

Dressing in layers is also a good idea. Remember the winter tip about the t-shirt underneath a sweater, but always have the jacket ready. If its too hot you can remove layers, if its too cold, your kid will be ready for it!

For the nicer and sunny days, remember to put on sunscreen and a hat! You wouldn't want any sunburns on your little one. Don't underestimate the sun!

Now go and enjoy this short and nice weather while it lasts!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Layers and Winter Sports

In the previous post, we discussed how to choose your winter coat and the accessories to keep your children warm in the winter. We talked about dressing in layers, but what do those layers need to be when kids are playing hockey or doing other activities outside in the cold winter? We will provide the answer to these questions.

When playing outside your kid needs at least two layers of clothing underneath their winter suit. The first one is the wicking layer; it means you need a fabric that pulls moisture away from skin and moves through the fabric quickly. This is how your body stays warm and dry when sweating during winter activities. The most popular is polypropylene which is used by some weather gear like Under Armour clothing. You can also use polyester directly on the skin since that will also do the trick. You must stay away from cotton clothing when it is directly in contact with your child’s skin.

kids_wearThe second layer is the insulating layer. Fleece and wool are ideal but you can have polyester or even cotton. This is the extra layer that will need to be loose so that that air can be trapped in the insulation and keep your kid’s body warm. With extreme temperature, you put an extra layer of polypropylene or polyester under the insulating layer.

The principle is the same for your feet, if you are playing hockey outside, you cannot really wear thick socks because you feet won’t fit in your skates. You should consider wearing a thin polypropylene sock liner that will absorb the moisture from your feet while you are playing. The use a regular sock over it and your feet will stay warm. In the illustration you will find an example of how to dress in layers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Winter Coat Selection Demystified

Simple. You like the style, you like the price, you buy it.
Yeah right. Never been disappointed or surprisingly satisfied with one coat more than another previous purchase? What made the difference? For the purpose of this blog, we've had the very special opportunity to meet Kanuk and Effigi, two key companies when it comes to winter coats.

Coat Lining
The lining's purpose is to keep as much loft close to the body as possible. If your kid doesn't move much, the thicker you choose it, the better equipped your kid will be against cold. Down is particularly indicated in that case. However, active kids will need less insulation and your biggest concern will be to have all the sweat generated quickly evaporated. Humidity control is best done with a synthetic material.

External Material
Since snow melts practically at contact, avoid using cotton because your child’s coat will get wet. Synthetic materials like nylon or polyester are preferred, the first one being more durable than the latter. Some brands will add Teflon to protect against stains, improve humidity control and increase its durability.

Zippers and Extremities
An extra layer behind each zipper is also essential to block the wind. Look for the presence of elastics to close both wrists and an inside belt to make sure that the snow can't penetrate inside the coat. Check the quality of the pressure buttons used: pressure buttons attached with rivet offer a higher durability.

Snow pants specificity
The rims are particularly vulnerable to get damaged and any type of reinforcement is ideal. Also note that the powder skirt, that extra piece of material ended by an elastic inside the snow pants legs, stops the snow from coming in and... Well, Am I the only one who tried to put them inside the boot? It's now confirmed: it goes over, experts said.

You should aim to make your selection valid for two seasons. Looking at your kid's coat now, do you think it will fit next year? If you could know what will be the height of your kid next year you could take advantage of end-season sales going on now!

What's your best~next purchase? Tell us your latest discoveries!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Winter wear

Wintertime is a very tricky season when it comes to buying outerwear for kids, so here are some important things you should consider when buying clothes and dressing them.

It is important to dress kids in layers, that way if they get hot, it will be easy to make them comfortable by just removing a layer and viceversa. Start even with a short sleeve t-shirt, and finish off with the winter coat. A winter coat should be chosen based on warmth instead of style. Consider a down coat with a waterproof exterior.

When buying the accesories, keep in mind that mittens are better than gloves for younger children since keeping their fingers together will help to maintain them warmer for a longet time. A hat is a must, one with ear flaps is the best option to protect them. A neck warmer is also a better choice than a scarf, its just one piece and it will reduce the chance of strangulation.

The materials to consider are fleece and syntethic materials.

And last but not least, check the weather forecast everyday before dressing your child to know what kind of weather you're facing.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Welcome to Kids Wear

In this crazy Montreal weather, where temperature variations can go from -30 C to 30 C throughout the year, it is important to know how to dress appropriately and more importantly to know how to dress our kids.

Our main intent with this blog is to give helpful tips and information we gather from our reasearch, as well as information given to us by clothing manufacturers and industry experts, to better understand the way clothes are done, which will help us make wiser decisions when shopping. We will also try to test some clothing pieces ourselves.

We encourage you to participate by leaving your comments and maybe even sharing your personal tips with us. This is a team project and we would love for you to be part of it!