Yesterday was the official start of autumn here in Denmark, where we work to the meteorological seasons. After a blink and you miss it summer, this feels all too early to be back in jeans and jackets again, however I must be honest and say that autumn has fast become my favourite season over the last few years. It is not loaded with as much expectation as the summer, slightly more predictable than the spring and less interminable than the winter. The beginning of September (and to a certain extent the end of August) as the time when you need to get a jump-start on winter here if you have children. It came as a shock to me the first few years of being a mum but if you don’t buy your kid’s winter stuff now as soon as it comes into the shops, you face a stressful time and potential unequipped (and cold) child once the temperatures drop. Already people are buying winter boots, coats and snowsuits and if you want to have a chance of a decent choice in your child’s size then you need to get shopping now.
We usually buy Ecco boots for my son for the winter, they are not cheap but last all winter, are warm and keep his feet very dry and he wears them everyday. When I went last week to Skoringen (best selection I think) to get them there were very few choices left in his size. Same with a winter jacket from H&M, although there are more available on their website at the moment. I tend to keep my eye on Føtex for a snowsuit as they have them at a great price but you again need to be quick (and also for elephant hats (like balaclavas) and gloves). Billka do a special weekend in August where they sell these suits at a cheap price and I was about two hours too late on the first day of the discount to get his size. H&M have just released their snowsuits and padded trousers online and in some stores, and already the popular colour ones are sold out.
The weird thing here is that once these things sell out the shops don’t seem to restock them, so woe betide you if you leave it until the actual autumn begins or your child grows out of them over the winter. Another piece of advice in regard to gloves is to adopt destroyer tactics. You know your child will be losing these constantly over the winter, it is a fact of life and you can’t just get more at the drop of a hat, so buy up a big supply when they are in the shops. You will need thick padded ones (gloves or mittens) which you need to make sure your child doesn’t lose too many of as they are expensive (you can buy natty little clips in Name It to attach them to coat sleeves) but you can stock up on triple packs of wool ones in H&M to last the winter. We started last winter with six pairs and we now have one matching pair and three odd ones.
One last piece of advice from someone who got caught out on this one – if you child is in a Danish børnehaven or school they are likely to be taking part in Santa Lucia in December (you can check now). For this they will more than likely be expected to wear a white long sleeve top under their costume and to my mind only crazy people already have white tops for their children. Danish parents know this and get them from places like H&M in double packs well in advance so panicked mums like me circa 2013 who run in two days before have nothing to buy. Don’t be caught out!
If it’s your first winter here with children here is a quick checklist of things you need to get:
Snowsuit (flyverdragt) or above jacket combined with padded trousers
Winter boots (waterproof, warm and high up the ankles – wellies are not going to cut it)
Padded gloves or mittens (and clips to attach them to coats)
Vests and leggings (undertøj) (in case it gets properly cold)
Elephant hue or elephant hat. (Many preschools and bornehaver will ask that you don’t use scarves for safety but these kind of balaclava hats that come down well below the neck for extra warmth but in my opinion they are very warm and more practical than a hat and scarf combo anyway)
Thick warm socks for all and tights for girls
This can all add up so keep an eye on tilbud specials in supermarkets like Føtex, Kvickly and Bilka over the next few weeks. H&M is also a great source for basics.
This should be enough for your child to stay warm and dry (and whinge free) over the winter, especially as kids will be playing outside at school etc whatever the weather as is the Danish way.
I hope this helps ease you into winter!