Most of the items on the list for your little one will be similar to what you need for yourself-sunscreen; goggles or sunglasses; long underwear; good-quality snow boots; and a windproof and waterproof jacket-with just a few extra considerations. For instance, instead of waterproof gloves, look for a “user-friendly” waterproof mitten: “One with Velcro halfway up the hand that slides on with ease and is long enough to cover the wrist is best,” Schaffer says. “Stay away from gloves; it takes a lifetime to get their little fingers in the right holes!”
Also, look for a balaclava (made by companies like Turtle Fur)-a thin polypro/fleece head, ear, and neck liner that fits well under a helmet. For keeping those tootsies toasty, get long, non-cotton socks that cover the entire calf so that nothing bunches under the boot, Schaffer says. And instead of pants, go for a bib (like waterproof overalls) since your little one will probably be doing a lot of falling and rolling around, and the extra coverage helps prevent the cold stuff from creeping inside.
What about skis, boots, poles, boards and helmets (if snow sports are part of the plan, that is)? “It’s always best to rent,” says Harley Johnson, certified ski instructor and operations director of the Snow Sport University at Smugglers’ Notch. “That way, you can get the most current gear and the right size. It won’t necessarily be ‘high end,’ but it will be what’s right for you child-and you can exchange it if it isn’t working.” Borrowing or buying something may also mean you don’t get the right size, which can be risky, Johnson notes. “You want to make sure it’s modern equipment,” he adds.