“ Mothercare / Baby's fur trim snowsuit „
As my youngest son was born in August, I hadn't expected to need a big fluffy snowsuit for him for at least a good few months. I hadn't reckoned on the good old British weather though and, by September, doing the school run for his older brothers was already a rather chilly affair. At just a few weeks' old, my little one had already experienced his first cold so it was a quick, guilt-laden trip to Mothercare to buy something warm enough to protect him from the elements.
Mothercare has quite a few different snowsuits available in a range of sizes. A snowsuit is an item of outerwear for a baby, where the coat and trousers are combined to form a snug all-in-one suit, ideal for the Winter months. I chose this particular boy's fur trimmed snowsuit because it looked wonderfully thick and warm and it had a water resistant type of outer, rather than a fleecy coating like some of the others. My son was around six weeks old when I bought this so I purchased this snowsuit in size 0-3 months, although it is available in all sizes right from 'Tiny Baby' through to 12-18 months.
I must admit I did hesitate a little at the price as it cost £26 which did seem quite expensive for a single item of babywear. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) this Autumn and Winter has been particularly harsh, so this snowsuit has had considerable use, so in terms of 'pay per wear' this has actually proved to be very good value. Despite daily use over the past three months and a few washes, it is still in excellent condition and could easily be handed down to a future sibling or sold on after use.
Size-wise, I have always found Mothercare clothing to be fairly true to the sizes on the label. My son is smaller than average, on around the 25th centile, and this snowsuit was absolutely huge on him when he first started to wear it. I did consider buying a smaller size, as his little limbs were almost lost within the main body of the suit but, as babies do, he grew very quickly and soon it was a comfortable, if roomy, fit for him. Now, at four months old, he still fits comfortably into this and his hands are only just able to fit into the attached mittens!
Just as I'd hoped when choosing this outfit, it is incredibly warm and protective. As well as the fluffy fur trim around the edge of the attached hood, this suit has soft, thick fur lining throughout. I tend to put my son in this whenever I take him out in his sling, as I'm conscious that he is pretty exposed to the elements. Despite the recent cold spell, my baby has remained lovely and warm when clothed in this, even through chilly winds, snow and some rain. Having older siblings means that my baby sometimes has to be taken outside in weather conditions when we'd much rather be snuggled up indoors. The hood isn't waterproof, as such, but it is very thick and doesn't soak up water - handy for those times when I've misjudged the weather and got caught out in a rain shower. When we watched the illuminations in October, for instance, I was a little bit anxious about whether my son was going to get too cold as it was absolutely freezing, but he was still as warm as toast when I took him out. Even his hands and feet were still warm - which couldn't be said for mine!
The inevitable drawback of this type of thick, padded outerwear is that it is very bulky and I do have to adjust the straps on his car seat and pushchair when he's wearing this. Likewise, it is a bit of a squeeze fitting him into his sling as he's like a mini Michelin man in this. The other issue is that the suit is too warm for indoor use so it isn't really suitable for trips around indoor shopping centres or for long car journeys, for example, because of the risk of over-heating.
As this unzips down the left hand side, it is straightforward to lay this out and put my son in it which I find the easiest way to dress a newborn. It's easy to unzip and remove too. I would have preferred the zip to open all the way down to the base, particularly now my son is getting bigger, as this would just make it even easier to put on without having to pull his limbs about too much. This zip only goes about three quarters of the way down the suit so I do have to manoeuvre my little one into position which he isn't always keen on. A longer central zip would make things even easier and would mean that I'd be able to squeeze a few more weeks' wear out of this too.
Other than that, the snowsuit seems very well designed. It's a practical, fairly plain design with the added details being the grey fur trim and two fluffy ears on the top of the hood. I don't quite see the need to add ears to this sort of clothing, to be honest - my son is already cute enough without needing to be disguised as a fluffy animal! The other little addition is a pocket on the front of the suit which struck me as a pretty superfluous feature - after all, a three month old really doesn't need anywhere to put his mobile phone and small change, does he! It has actually proved to be quite useful though as I use it to attach a soother holder which keeps it out of the way.
I also like that this snowsuit comes with both mittens and booties which can be attached or removed using two buttons. I find it easy to put the booties on my baby's feet first and then button them into position. The mittens are a little on the large side but the booties are a comfortable fit and remain securely in place, keeping my son's feet covered and warm. Being removable also means that they could be replaced with a more substantial shoe, if preferred.
In all, this has proved to be a good quality and practical purchase. If recent weather forecasts prove right this will be an essential item of clothing for all babies over the next few months! Available from Mothercare stores and online, the £26 price tag now seems like a price well worth paying.