Updated: Feb 17, 2019
Winter is officially upon us! It's snowing outside, and temperatures are hovering around zero- the lowest in over a year. Last winter was so mild, it's a little shocking to experience this weather.
Each time a new season hits us, I like to prepare myself and my family by taking inventory of my stock for the weather and activities of the season. With winter comes the obvious colder weather, snow, and a necessary change of wardrobe; but also a change in how we prepare our medicine cabinet. So, I decided to start a new seasonal series of my personal "Top 10". This list has everything from my favorite gear, remedies, household products, and even foods. I hope you enjoy!
In no particular order:
1. Wool layers
My favorite: Ella's wool baselayers
It's no secret that I'm a little obsessed with wool. It's the perfect material for keeping little ones at the right temperature, especially when it's cold out. Wool is also a breathable material, which helps prevent overheating! Ella's Wool is great for lounging around the house, and they're thin enough to use as a base layer under everyday clothes. They're also perfect under snowsuits for keeping kids toasty.
2. Herbal bitters
My favorite: Urban Moonshine Bitters
I've been using Urban Moonshine's bitters since I was pregnant with my oldest. I had terrible heartburn and wanted to find a natural remedy to alleviate it. Herbal bitters work like a charm! I personally use this for nausea, heartburn, and sometimes as a general aperitif/digestif. With the (over)eating that often accompanies the holidays, these are perfect to have on hand.
3. Wax warmers
My favorite: Poofy Organics Candle Melts
I love these toxin-free candle melts from Poofy Organics. Each square lasts about 24 hours, and the leftover wax can be used as furniture polish! These are made with organic coconut wax and essential oils. They make my house smell wonderful and welcoming during the holidays WITHOUT the harmful toxins that come with traditional wax warmers and candles. If you're still using scented candles and plug-in air fresheners, please reconsider! Check the label, and read the ingredients- just like you would on the food you eat. Things scented with essential oils are the only way to go. If it says "fragrance" on the label, get rid of it because- Fragrance is the new second-hand smoke.
4. Mittens that go up to kiddo's elbow
My favorite- Veyo Mittens
These are a MUST for toddlers & preschoolers who love to play outside. Veyo Mittens are fingerless and thumbless, which means no having to maneuver your kid's tiny thumb into a thumb-slot only to have them shift out of it in 5 seconds. These also have elastic that cinches at the wrist AND at the elbow. That's right, these mittens go ALL the way to the elbow! This is an awesome feature that helps prevent snow from getting in and making hands cold, and it helps keep the mittens from falling off! I sized up and was able to use these for 2 years with my oldest.
5. Soothing salve stick
My favorite: Hazel & Thyme Mama's Kiss
Yes, I'm plugging my own product. But only because it truly works! Every winter, my oldest starts getting rosy and wind-chapped cheeks as soon as the weather starts to turn cold. The travel version is amazing because it fits right in your purse/diaper bag, and you can swipe it on their cheeks quick, even if your kid is squirming. I love this salve because it's made with soothing herbs, oils, and lavender essential oil which is gentle on sensitive skin. As with any skincare product, be sure to read the ingredients, and avoid things with toxic chemicals!
6. Herbal tea
My favorite: Hibiscus High tea from Mountain Rose Herbs
Drinking tea in the winter is so soothing and the perfect way to stay hydrated- especially during cold season. My whole family loves this hibiscus tea from MRH. It has a lightly tart taste and a bright red color that my little boy loves. Plus, it's high in vitamin C, which is great for battling sickness.
7. Vapor rub
My favorite: Hazel & Thyme Just Breathe
Yes, I know I did it again (this is our product)- but I just love it so much! Vapor rub is a MUST HAVE for winter, with congestion, coughs, and dry air throughout the home. Anything that uses essential oils is so much healthier and helps the body naturally than something with "fragrance". Again- make sure you read the labels on the products you use on yourself and children. (Avoid anything with camphor!) Just Breathe is made with organic ingredients, and it's completely free of toxins. I use it on my kids, and I use it on myself too!
8. Balaclava style hats
My favorite: NesyBaby on Etsy
Balaclava hats are great for baby's and toddlers who are constantly yanking off hats. Put them on underneath a coat, and zip it up-- problem solved! They also keep tiny necks warm when scarves are a bit too complex for young hands to maneuver. I love these hand-knit hats from NesyBaby. Bonus- they're merino wool!
9. Merino wool sleep sack
My favorite: Woolino Baby Sleep Sack - 4 season
This is by far my favorite investment since the birth of my second. It's merino wool (of course!), and is designed to fit from 2 months-2 years. It's a lovely, snuggly sleep sack that zips all the way around, making midnight diaper changes a breeze, and it has snaps at the armpit to make it tighter/looser as baby grows. It also has a slot in the center for use in a carseat. And since it's wool, baby will be the perfect temperature all year long!
10. Elderberry Syrup
My favorite: homemade
Elderberry syrup is an essential remedy for the winter months. We take it daily for health maintenance, and if anyone catches a cold, we take it several times a day to help the body fight the infection. It is so easy to make homemade syrup- I buy dried elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs, but if you're lucky, you might live in an area that's good for foraging fresh elderberries. Just be sure you know what you're picking, and bring along an expert if you're new to foraging.
So there you have it, my favorite Winter must-haves! What would you add to this list?
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