I’ve long given up on seasonal clothing, it’s just not practical in Ireland. I no longer pack away my winter jacket, it’s often needed on a chilly July evening! And I have been known to wear sandals in November. So when it comes to ‘Little P’, I have about fifteen items of clothing that are in her wardrobe all year round. They come from a range of shops including well known German supermarkets, local boutiques, discount outdoor superstores and regular high street retailers. One thing I’ve discovered is that a toddler doesn’t necessarily need loads of clothing just enough of the right clothing.
These have been essential since Little P started to walk. She wears them on the beach sitting in the sand and in the water. It also means she can play in the garden or the playground after the rain. The suits come in all sorts of styles with fleece lining or without, zips or buttons, full body suits or dungarees, so take your pick. I find the dungarees really handy just because they can be worn on warm wet days as well as cold. A good waterproof jacket and she’s basically weatherproof!
These thin fleeces are great for really cold winter days layered under a jacket. On summer evenings when the temperature drops they’re cosier than a cardigan and they wash really well too. When Little P is very cold after a swim they warm her up in no time.
Wellies & Welly Socks
We have both worn wellies for the entire winter. The grass is always wet and there are always puddles somewhere so with wellies on she can walk anywhere. It also means we don’t get wet feet on the beach. Welly socks (or any thicker than normal socks) keep little toes nice and cosy on very cold days.
Layering is the secret when dressing for Irish weather. Thin cotton polo necks are a great base layer. They’re breathable so no overheating but they keep little necks protected from wild Atlantic winds. It also means she doesn’t have to wear a scarf (and there’s no way she would keep one of those on!!).
Those winds can also be hard on little ears so a hat that keeps her ears warm, and one she can’t take off, is invaluable. She finds wool a bit ‘itchy’ so fleece again was the best solution. We’ve even worn this hat with a wetsuit on wild and windy summer days!
If you live near the coast or are holidaying on an Irish beach then a wetsuit will make life so much easier. Irish seas are always cold but that doesn’t deter a toddler! Put on a wetsuit and they can spend as much time as they like in the water. It also means they’re protected from the sun, scratches from climbing rocks or possible stings from jellyfish.
We may not get very much sunshine but that’s all the more reason to protect young skin when the sun does decide to come out. A simple cotton wide brimmed hat shields their eyes as well. I couldn’t manage to find one with an under chin strap so I just stitched in a piece of soft elastic to stop it blowing off (or being pulled off!)
These are just the best for active toddlers. Soft and stretchy they fit over nappies and are toilet training friendly! They come in a wide range of prices so you can spend whatever your budget allows.
These are our welly replacements for summer. They stop little feet getting too cold in the sea and also make it easier to walk on stony beaches. During July & August weever fish can often be found on some Irish beaches so it’s good to have protection on small feet.
Back to the layering. A thermal vest is great if you have a little one who doesn’t like to wear too many clothes or bulky jackets in winter. They are thin, soft and keep in that extra layer of body heat.
It’s worth making the effort to find the right jacket because it will be worn for at least eight months of the year. ‘Little P’ went through that stage of refusing to wear one but when we got her a new lighter jacket she had no issue with it. It’s a good idea to try on a few in the shop if possible and see if they like how the jacket ‘feels’. Look out for ‘toddler friendly’ features like snug hoods, zip guards, buttons, pockets and fleece lining.
Long Sleeved Cotton Top
Comfortable and cool I find these much more useful for summer than t-shirts because they protect her arms from the sun.
Loose Cotton Trousers
These replace the leggings for summer. Again, better than shorts because they protect legs from getting burned.
It’s worth buying good quality vests because this is obviously the layer that goes right next to skin and they are worn every day so it’s worth spending a little bit extra if you think of the cost per wear. Look out for super soft or organic cottons.
Non Slip Socks
We bought about twenty pairs of these when ‘Little P’ started to walk. They’re just regular socks with little rubber spots on the soles. If you have wooden floors and a speedy toddler they prevent plenty of falls.
So seasons may come and go (pretty much daily in Ireland!) but these are the items of clothing that ensure ‘Little P’ is weatherproof come rain or shine.