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My child is likely to have its crawling stage in autumn this year, and I want it to stay dry when crawling outdoors. What kind of clothing can you recommend that keeps it dry and that is either cheap (thus easily replaceable) or durable?

For my older child I used pants and feetlings (are they called that way?) made of polyester and laminated with PU, like these:

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But both are neither cheap nor durable. They tear quite quickly where they are continuously scratched over rough ground (like pavement): The pants on the knees, the feetlings on the upper. They do last when only used on lawn or sand, but restricting ourselves to avoid rough ground is no option. The playground is a mix of all these ground types, and we are going to go there most of the time as I have an older child who loves it there.

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As a mom who had two kids in a forest kindergarten, I would not recommend the PU coated kind you show in your post. Yes, they are cheap, especially when on sale at the usual suspects like ALDI, but considering their level of durability (as if!), you’ll be replacing them so often, that they are not worth it in my experience. They can work if you have a gentle child that plays gently and carefully. If yours is more of the “all in” type, no chance. Crawling, scooting around and similar activities on abrasive surfaces will destroy these pants in no time.

We, like pretty much all other parents in our kindergarten, chose the type made of waterproof outdoor fabrics and - particularly important - thicker, extra sturdy layers on the knees and rear. It’s not just the robustness (ever seen a kid doing a knee slide on dirt and gravel?), but also the fit that’s more comfortable for active play. For slipping on over other layers , the overall-type is also fine, so it’s also about personal preference.

They were either from the typical “outdoor specialist brands”, or for older kids, workware brands like Engelbert Strauss. For very young kids, the market gets quite small, but there are a few Scandinavian brands that have both a good reputation and small sizes. Didrikson and finkid for example do.

Now, the downside is that they are not cheap, seriously. For us that wasn’t an issue, our kids had to stay warm and dry for hours even in very bad weather.

Searching second hand is a viable option here, especially as the better quality items will be in reasonably good condition when the first child outgrows them.

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We had some of those "coveralls" of various types. Some good, but often the kids would get too hot.

What did ALWAYS work was having an "emergency" box (old plastic drill or tool box) packed with spare clothes under the seat.

Started when they were babies - spare nappies, water, food for unplanned issues like traffic jams etc

Then the contents changed as they grew, but the benefit of changing 3 muddy kids before they get in the car was undeniable.

Also kept spare gloves, warm socks etc in winter as skiing etc is the winter activity, well along with winter downhill biking (an adrenalin rush :) for some )

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  • Sorry, but how does that answer the question, please?
    – Stephie
    Apr 12, 2023 at 11:28
  • As a frame challenge, it's not a bad answer. Apr 15, 2023 at 18:52
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Most outdoor clothing for crawling to toddling kids is durable enough - and if you go for waterproof, it will do what you need.

That said, I wouldn't worry that much about durability - they will grow out of these sorts of things well before they wear through them. Most of our kids clothing did all 3 of them before we then gave boxes of clothes away to our friends for their kids, and they were always outdoors, in sand and gravel, mud and stone.

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  • Why I voted down: I wrote that I have an older child and tried this clothing on it, and that it didn't last. So what you write is just plain wrong.
    – Kjara
    Apr 11, 2023 at 19:29
  • @Kjara some kids are more destructive than others - guess which ones you have.
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 12, 2023 at 7:41
  • @Kjara - older kids don't grow out of clothes as fast (well, until they hit puberty.) I specifically mentioned the age range you asked about in your question.
    – Rory Alsop
    Apr 12, 2023 at 16:18
  • @RoryAlsop I wrote "For my older child I used...", meaning that I used the items in that same age range (i.e. for the crawling stage). So: For my older child I used PU clothes in its crawling stage, and they did not last long enough even for him alone.
    – Kjara
    Apr 13, 2023 at 15:58
  • okay, fair enough - I am at a loss to explain how mine clambered over everything and didn't wear through anything until they were years older and not growing so fast.
    – Rory Alsop
    Apr 13, 2023 at 18:41

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