Q&A: How do you keep mittens on your toddler’s hands?

One reader from Canada asked, “How do I keep mittens on my toddler who hates them?!” She said, “I tried natural consequences the other day and it was not working on my daughter. She was happily picking up sticks and rocks at the beginning and I thought maybe it was still not cold enough for her. I was wrong. 10 mins later, she was crying and wanted to go inside but she still did not letting me put on her mitts. I think she is too young to understand the consequences — “no mitts = cold hands”.

My response:

I feel your pain! I like to call this, “the mitten wars” and for any parent undergoing this frustration, know you are not alone. In fact, almost every 18 month to 3-year-old I know has picked this battle at one time or another. They will grow out of it eventually. But here are some tips in the meantime.

Try this: A thin fleece mitten or even a pair of wool or fleece socks over the hands. Often the kids are plain frustrated that they cannot pick up and manipulate things well with their hands covered. If you have particularly wet snow, you can wash the fleece in Nikwax Polar Proof to add an element of water proofing.

Recommendations: If you are looking for two mittens I’d recommend for “staying on little hands,” I’d suggest the Ducksday Mitten or Stonz Mittz. Stonz Wear also makes a Stonz Thumbless Mittz for infants. Both mittens have high sleeves that come up near the elbow, making for easy on and easy stay on!

But honestly? All my kids did this. And all our coaxing with different gear failed. When it was a safety issue (ie. we had to be outside and they had to wear mittens) we forced the issue… And yes, we dealt with a crying kid who was mad at us. But as we “forced” them to have mittens on and just let them fuss it out, they eventually fussed less and less and “accepted their lot in life.” I am guessing how much and how long the kid fights you, depends on how much fight is in their little personality. Consistence is also key.:)

And when in doubt, go for every outdoor enthusiasts favorite tool: Duct Tape! On the mittens that is…

ducts tape to keep mittens on!


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