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4 Things I Consider When Shopping for a Jacket for My Sensory-Sensitive Child

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My son Jasper loves wearing a jacket with a hood so much, it will be 75 degrees in April and I will finally have to hide his winter coat (and his Uggs for that matter, which he also won’t give up) to move him into spring clothes. It might be something about the sensory input of a cozy hood pulled over his head zipped up to his chin that makes him feel secure. Or it might be another reason. All I know is that I put a lot of thought into shopping for a fall and winter coat for him each year, as I know he’s going to wear it a lot.

Here are some things I consider when shopping for a jacket for my sensory-sensitive child:

1. Hood or no hood? For years Jasper wouldn’t come within 10 feet of a hat on his head, but as soon as he put on his first fleece with a hood, he was in love. Kids with sensory issues often have strong feelings one way or the other about hoods and hats. Keep this in mind when choosing a coat because we lose heat from our head if it’s not covered in the winter. For kids who often don’t get cold while playing outside, it is important to make sure you can at least cover their heads in cold temperatures.

2. Puffy or thin? There are so many options for down these days! My active boys have always preferred thin jackets because they found they could be more easily mobile, but there is something kind of cozy and compressing about a big puffer that some sensory-seeking kids might like.

3. Zippers or buttons? Last season I went through three jackets because the zippers broke! Jasper always zips all the way up to the top. After years of going to an OT to learn how to zip, I’m proud of Jasper, but at times he can yank pretty hard on that zipper. By February, we are typically onto jacket number two. Snaps or velcro might be easier, if they are available. Which brings me to…

4. One or two? I buy a backup if I can. I choose a price point at which I can buy two coats. One will inevitably get spilled on or it will get wet after a long day out in the snow. You cannot leave the house in winter without a coat they love, so try to have a backup at all times.

You can check out some of my favorites jackets here. What are yours? Share some shopping tips and favorite jackets below. Happy shopping!

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Image via Thinkstock Images

Originally published: November 11, 2016
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