10 Winter Survival Hacks for Parents

10 Winter Survival Hacks for Parents

Our favorite quick and easy tips and tricks to get you through the season.


By: Leah Maxwell

As if parenting weren’t challenging enough, now you have to do it in the rain and snow and with runny noses all around. If the prospect of winter weather makes your blood run cold, read on for 10 helpful hacks to keep you and your kids safe, happy, and healthy so you can enjoy all the good things the season has to offer. (Hot chocolate! Ice skating! Holiday movies in flannel pajamas!) Also, don’t forget to leave a comment below sharing your best winter survival tip; we all need all the help we can get.

1. Cut off the foot part of adult-sized knee socks to make awesome kid-sized arm- and leg-warmers. You can also slip the arm-warmers on the outside of a coat sleeve to make a washable nose wiper your kid will actually use.

2. Sleeping bags are the perfect solution for kids who kick off their blankets and wake up in the middle of the night with chilly tootsies. Zip them in and you’re good until morning.

3. Honey has been proven to work as well as over-the-counter cough suppressants in kids over age 2. Start with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon and increase as needed. If you don’t have honey, corn syrup can be used for the same effect. (Never give honey to a child under 12 months due to risk of infant botulism.)

4. To give jogging strollers and bikes more traction on slippery winter sidewalks, secure plastic zip ties every few inches around spoked tires.

5. Tossing wet shoes in the dryer isn’t great for either the shoes or the dryer, so use newspaper to quickly and gently dry them instead. Stuff balled-up pages inside and then wrap flat sheets around the outside and secure with rubber bands. Change the newspaper every hour or so.

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6. Any clothing thicker than a sweatshirt or sweater can decrease the effectiveness of a car seat harness. To keep your kid cozy while on the road, remove his coat, strap him into his seat correctly, then put the coat on backward, so it covers his arms and drapes over his chest and lap. Use a blanket for extra warmth if needed.

7. Coconut oil is a natural way to soothe chapped lips. Dab some on throughout the day and before going to bed.

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8. Coconut oil also has antibacterial and antimicrobial powers that can work wonders on an ear infection. Lay your child on her side and drip a couple of drops into one ear canal, letting it sit for a few minutes before switching to the other side. (As always, consult your doctor before using home remedies to make sure they’re right for your child.)

9. To keep socks and feet dry in wet weather, have kids wear plastic bags as a thin extra layer between their socks and their shoes or boots.

10. Try this recipe for keeping sidewalks and stairs from freezing over with ice: Add 1 teaspoon of dish soap and 1 Tablespoon of rubbing alcohol to 1/2 gallon of warm water, then pour the mixture onto walkways you want to keep ice-free.

What hacks help you survive winter with kids?



Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/Imgorthand



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