Organic cotton shirts provide a chafe-free option for toddlers.

The Best Undershirts for Toddlers

by Christina Shepherd McGuire

When the cold sets in, venturing outside with your busy toddler means layering on the clothing. Some kids stay warm with insulated winter outerwear thrown directly over their indoor attire, while others need extra under layers to seal in their body heat. Toddler undershirts provide a suitable next-to-skin option for keeping your little ones warm, indoors or out. Slip on a form-fitting version, then layer on her regular couture for an outfit that transitions from wintertime fun to cozy indoor comfort.


Yes, they still make onesies in toddler sizes. This option is best used on younger toddlers who are not yet potty trained. The onesie keeps everything intact, providing extra support in the diaper area. And they never ride up, permitting a streamlined and practical fit. Slip a long-sleeved version under a fleece hoodie for snow play. Then, once inside, peel away the hoodie to unveil an on-the-go style that assures torso coverage.

Organic Cotton

It's important to choose natural fibers for clothing that resides next to your toddler's skin. And for kids who have sensitivities, organic cotton -- with its chemical-free dyes -- lends no irritation. Cotton provides the versatility of warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer. Its chafe-free softness makes it a good alternative to scratchy synthetics. If this sometimes-spendy option won't fit into your budget, seek out high-end consignment stores and purchase "almost new" shirts.

Merino Wool

At first thought, merino wool seems itchy and uncomfortable. To the contrary, the merino fiber is soothing and soft. Some mothers rank merino wool above organic cotton for its insulation-factor, elasticity and moisture-wicking capabilities. According to Nui Organics, merino can actually absorb 30 percent of its water weight without feeling damp to the touch. This leaves your baby high and dry, even if snow sneaks in around her collar. Additionally, merino provides an appropriate alternative to petroleum-based synthetics.


For the little girl in your life, choose the cami. You remember -- the ones you wore back in the day? This slim-fitting option, void of sleeves, never bunches in the arms and its long length lends extra fabric for tucking. You can find toddler cotton camis at most department stores. For the organic or merino variety, seek out specialty shops or check online. And don't forget the second hand store.

About the Author

Christina Shepherd McGuire writes articles about adventure sports, fashion, mothering and natural living. Since 2003, her work has appeared in "Action Outdoor and Bike Magazine," "Teton Family Magazine," "The Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine" and several online publications. McGuire holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.

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