When writing my post on “How to Dress for Winter in Germany”, I felt like I could complete another full post on “How to Dress your Kid for Winter in Germany”. Germans take winter clothing seriously and double down when it comes to the kids.
I tried to cover the basics of kid wear in Germany with Dressing your Kid for German KiTa, but – as I said – winter is a whole new deal. So here is an updated Guide of How to Dress Your Kid for German KiTa – complete with special information for the winter.
How I did it Wrong
When my baby started Krippe, I thought I was ready. We had waded through the paperwork, got the almighty Kita–Gutschein (subsidy) and been accepted to a great KiTa. We had steeled ourselves for our baby spending time away from us for the first time. We thought we had this.
However, suggestions from the Erzieherin started coming in slow and haven’t stopped. Continue reading →
It’s hard to tell what the weather will be like day-to-day in Berlin. You can wake up to bright sunshine, leave your Wohnung (apartment) amidst deep fog and return home to an epic downpour. Other places like Freiburg may boast more sunshine than anywhere else in the country, but there is no escape from the cold. Bone-chilling, breath-stealing, icicles-in-your-nostril cold eventually finds its way to every corner of Germany. Sometimes this is only for a day or two, and sometimes this chill feels like it will never end.
And unlike places like the USA where you run from your well-heated home to your preheated car to your next heated destination, life in Europe refuses to let you hide out through the winter. There will be very cold minutes waiting for the train, the airy flat you loved in summer will turn into an ice box and the only times you’re warm are when you are sweating through your under layers on the random overheated UBahn car.
It is very cold in Berlin; that sort of startlingly cold that seeps into your bones immediately on being outside and stays there for hours. This being my fourth winter in Berlin, I half-expected on that first frost glistening morning to be acclimatised – not so. For North Americans and many Continental Europeans, my complaints will fall on unsympathetic ears. It’s only minus 6C, they will say mockingly. But being a sensitive English rose, I find the cold makes going outside feel like an arctic mission rather than a free and easy, pleasurable way to break up the day, and this troubles me each year.
Of course, we had snow in my childhood, but it was that mild, wet, English snow which stays only fleetingly on the ground for no more than a day or so – and falls biannually at most. Instead those English winters consisted of short, dark, grey days, smattered with chilly rain and the odd early morning frost. A woollen jacket and closed shoes were guaranteed to see you through winter’s mildest and chilliest moments. And though I do miss those days, for all my chilblains and chapped lips, these real Berlin winters have been an educational experience, making me both wiser, and in a funny way, possibly a more considerate mother. Continue reading →