Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Guest blog entry by Founder Selma Avdicevic: Baby, It's Cold Outside

A friend of mine recently asked me to write a guest blog entry for her website Vintage Allies Variety Broadcasting. You see, she had this idea of integrated vintage media platform, and she thought Woolly Boo is a perfect company to partner with. After all, our products have been around for a long time, and wool is true "vintage". So, naturally, I said yes. When she asked what I would write about, I said I have no clue. But, as always during this time of year, I draw my inspiration from one of the best movies of all times: A Christmas Story. Enjoy!

Every time winter rolls around, this image starts swirling in my mind, and I find myself chanting: “I can’t put my arms down. I can’t put my arms down.”

 I always felt a lot of sympathy for little Randy from A Christmas Story, especially since I had a privilege of having an overbearing mother that dressed me quite the same way at the first signs of winter.

Yes, it cannot be helped - we want to keep our precious bundle safe and warm. Unfortunately, majority of us falls into two categories: too much or too little. We all have seen kids running around in the snow in sneakers. Or those with their bare backs out in the wind. Or those that feel jackets are optional. Or, my favorite, those wearing shorts in December. Then there is Randy.

Some of these instances cannot he helped, and are a lot of times either kids’ exercise in individuality or our attempt at trying to teach them another life lesson. All valid reasons. However, most of the “leaving the house” tantrums and other calamities can be avoided if we are properly prepared. And, here are some tips that might help:

Unless absolutely necessary, don’t take the kids out of the house for extended periods of time if the temperature is below 30 degrees. 30-45 minutes of playing in the snow and cold is plenty. Anything over that is an invitation for a disaster.

Make sure the kids wear adequate clothing. And this goes both ways. With the acorn not falling too far from the tree, the first winter I had a baby, the poor thing was so overdressed, he got a heat rash – in January. So, take it easy. The first layer should be thermal underwear. Personally, I really like ski underwear, because it’s made for the cold – it will take the sweat away from the body, and keep you warm. Good, long socks are a must. In winter, I use wool. They are a bit thicker, but a whole lot more comfortable for those winter escapades. Next, a warm layer. Sweater and pants. Pants should be lined, and if going out to play in the snow, waterproof. Sweater should be from natural fibers, wool being the best.

Make sure the kids wear adequate protective gear. Jacket, clearly. If it has a warm layer and a waterproof/windproof layer, it will work great. Good, comfortable boots. A hat that covers ears is a must. 85% of body heat is lost through the head. Now, be careful with this one. Because, if the kids get overheated when playing, you want some of that heat to leave, but you don’t want them to take the hat off. So, again, a good solution is a hat made of natural fibers, wool preferably, lined around the edges with fleece. You are not going to believe how comfortable these are. Then come gloves. They should be waterproof on the outside and warm on the inside. You don’t want to be dealing with frost bites on those little fingers.

When in doubt about a piece of gear, try it yourself. There is a reason kids don’t want to put something on. Maybe, just maybe, it’s uncomfortable.

And, finally, skin protection. Get yourself a BIG tub of lanolin-based skin creams appropriate for children. And slather that all over the little hands, face, nose, and lips. A few brands that come to mind are Lansinoh and Weleda. Why lanolin? It’s simple. It is a natural wax, extracted from sheep’s wool that has proven to be one of the best protectors of gentle baby skin. Way better than petroleum jelly. And infinitely more environment-friendly. Mind you, a very small of population is allergic to lanolin, so test it before you use it.

Trust your kids and your instincts. If they tell you they are hot, they are hot. If they tell you they are cold, they are cold simple. And if you see a little chin shivering, it’s time to come inside, no matter what they say.

Have fun! Raising children is hard work. So, let your hair down and have a snow ball fight with your little ones. That’s how memories are made.

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