Wool for Warmth and Wellbeing in all Kinds of Weather
As the cold wind blows stronger it is timely to share a few thoughts on the importance of warmth especially in early childhood. Keeping children warm during the colder months is essential not only to their overall health but to their physical, emotional and cognitive development. Only when a child is sufficiently warm can their energy be used to support the developing brain, heart, liver, lungs and other organs. Warmth is truly one of the most important gifts we can give our children on a daily basis both physically and emotionally. Hats and woolen long underwear are complimented with warm touch – hugs, massages, aromatic foot baths, warming foods and warming drinks.
“There is physical warmth, emotional warmth – the warmth of love, of generosity, of true morality-and all of these “warmths” pour over and merge with each other. Perhaps most importantly, warmth is the essential ingredient in transformative work.
Without warmth we cannot change, and the life of the small child is consumed with processes of growth and adaptation. Warmth helps us be healthy human beings on many different levels.
Waldorf education understands that a child is indeed actively striving to integrate: to learn to feel comfortable in her body, to find the means for expressing outwardly what she feels inwardly, to develop a sense of security and understanding about all the new and unusual experiences brought by the world around her. To bring what is in, out; to make what is foreign, one’s own. Warmth helps that process.” ~Adam Blanning, MD.
Because children have such a high metabolic rate it’s very rare that they ‘feel’ cold even when they are. Layers of silk and/or wool that are breathable help to regulate a child’s body temperature.
A woolen long undershirt is the foundation for warmth in the winter. It is best worn as the first layer of clothing and should cover the child’s entire torso during both day and night. Don’t feel rushed to wash it – in some schools of thought it is believed to hold and strengthen the child’s etheric (energy, life-force) and is best worn for a prolonged period of time without washing. Take it off for bathtime and put it right back on again underneath layers of cotton pajamas. Hats, socks and slippers are also of importance in the cooler months in order to ensure a child maintains a healthy body temperature. The type of fabric should also come into consideration: cotton and linen are ‘cool’ fabrics while wool and silk are warm. Natural fibers breathe and insulate keeping children warm but not sweaty, while polyester, nylon and other synthetic fabrics don’t ‘breathe’, encouraging sweats and chills.
So what can you do to foster your warmth and the warmth of those around you?
- Hug them—share your physical warmth
- Take in warm foods and drinks (avoid ice cubes)
- Make sure you are really warm when you go to bed, and dress so that you can stay that way. Room temperatures usually drop in the early morning hours, just when we are often entering some of our deepest sleep.
- Dress in extra layers. A good rule of thumb: whatever layers of clothes you are comfortable in, a child needs at least one more. Children lose heat much faster than adults because of their relatively increased body surface area, and they really do not properly sense their own warmth, so waiting for them to tell you they are cold does not work. Another rule of thumb: dress the child so that he or she can’t catch a chill, while walking into school, playing outside, whatever the setting. This usually means layers on the chest and belly. You have to be conscious of warmth for them. We could say one of the tasks of a parent is to be a guardian of his or her child’s warmth.
- Buy them two sets of wool or silk long underwear tops, to provide an alternate between launderings.
- The very best gift: love them with all the warmth you can muster. But the wool and silk really helps too.
Celebrating Sophia in partnership with Warmth & Weather is offering a “Shop and Support” promotion of wool and organic wool/silk apparel in partnership with the school.
Being dressed in merino wool, especially against the skin, brings a fundamental warmth that supports health at all levels – body, soul and spirit. The wool is breathable and moisture-regulating, making it the ideal base layer for indoor and outdoor play. The wools are perfect also for nightwear. The clothes are made by German and Swiss companies dedicated to a superior ecological quality.
Shop online and use promo code Trillium WS2018 from November 18th to December 9th. Delivery is free. Your order will be kept until the end of the promotion, then shipped to the school for distribution. The school will receive a 30% discount on sales. Exchanges or refunds are offered free of charge.
Join us after school next Monday the 26th in the Kindergarten room, if you are in need of assistance with your order. Bring your lap top, and little ones. We’ll provide the tea and the help!