Cold Weather Babywearing
It’s the time of the year where the temperature is colder and snow has arrived. If you’re like me and babywear everyday, have no fear! You can still cuddle those babies, keep up with your toddlers, get your out of the house errands done and enjoy the outdoors while keeping warm.
Babywearing in cold weather is totally doable, let’s run through some options.
Jena with her 1 year old baby Rogue
Babywearing or not, you likely have dressed baby in layers if the weather is cold. The carrier itself will act as an additional layer in addition to baby sharing your body heat from being so close. It’s important to not over do the layers. Depending on your activity you don't want baby to overheat. Watch your baby for ques. An example could include a long sleeve onesie, pants, appropriate outerwear along with winter accessories(hat, leg warmers etc.)
Image by Mich
2. Coats, ponchos, fleece covers etc.
There are a variety of babywearing coats, and zip in panels on the market, including several in each of our lending libraries. Zip in panels generally can be attached to your existing winter coat. A speciality babywearing coat generally has an extra panel either attached or one that can zip on/off. This feature extends the coat to accommodate baby being attached to you. Front and/or back carry options are both available from many manufactures.
DIY options could include wearing a regular oversized coat sightly unzipped to leave space for baby’s head
There are also many patterns and tutorials online to create ponchos, and alter existing coats by adding additional material.
Images via Rachel and Anne
3. Dressing Baby Separately
Remember when we talked about layers? Dress baby separately in layers. You can wear your coat under your carrier while baby wears their own coat. This is a great option for older children who may be up and down more often. Our library also has several carrier covers that fit over your carrier which can act as a coat for baby. It’s important to be mindful when wearing over slippery coats and take extra care to get baby positioned safely.
Image via Catherine
4. Cover those extremities!
Hats, gloves/mittens, booties, baby leggings ect. All these will all help keep baby warm while your out in the cold. I personally love using hats that tie under baby's chin. Baby can't pull it off easily and it keeps ears covered.
5. Don’t forget about you!
Dress in layers, wear hats, gloves, scarves ect. Baby’s body heat will make you hotter, dress accordingly to prevent yourself from overheating.
While we want baby to be warm, we also need to remember babywearing safety. Refer to T.I.C.K.S when in doubt.
Baby’s face should never be covered, we want to easily be able to monitor breathing.
If baby seems to be getting hot, remove one layer to allow them to cool down.
Protect baby from wind and natural elements, however safety should never be compromised.
T.I.C.K.S used with permission of the UK Sling Consortium; Image by Mich
7. Additional Tips
Get your carrier on before you leave the house or while still in the car. My go to in the winter months are ring slings or pre tied wrap carries( PWCC, Semi- PWCC, FCC, Front DH). I can get situated before I get baby and then easily pop him in.
A buckle carrier that has dual adjust buckles on the shoulder straps can be clipped and unclipped to pop baby in and out quickly as well.
If you have a roomy car, hop in the backseat and get baby in, covered and ready before you even get out.
Be sure to check out our winter wearing album on the chat page. Facebook.com/groups/nybabyNYbabywearing
Feel free to ask any questions and please post your winter wearing adventures with #oktoshare!
Blog post by New York Babywearing Educator Jena Love