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10 Tips for Babywearing in the Winter

Winter is a perfect time to babywear, keeping your child close to you while you both stay cozy and share the same view of the world. Nothing is sweeter than being able to plant a kiss on a little head, or hand a snack over your shoulder, while walking around.

There can be a few things to remember; from staying comfortably warm, to those annoying zippers, and wearing just enough while still being able to buckle or loop your carrier. The winter tips below will help you and your child babywear comfortably through the next few cold months.

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1. Wear layers. It’s easy to get overheated while babywearing – for both of you. Dress in layers, especially if you plan on being indoors with fluctuating temps and outdoors with wind, clouds, and sun.

2. Look at the legs. Baby’s pants have a tendency to ride up their legs when placed in a carrier. Choose slightly longer pants, leggings, or socks that can be pulled up a bit to avoid this. Consider a covering vest/wrap as well (see #6).

3. Test out the carrier with your coat.Needing to wear a heavy coat or sweater dramatically increases your width. Check to make sure the carrier still fits around you to avoid standing in the cold adjusting it.

4. Watch for zippers, hoods, and hair. No one likes to be smashed up against a zipper or have a hood in their face. Look and see how the front and back of you look for a little one in that position. Pull up your hair, wear a beanie, and if needed take a small burp cloth to cover where the zipper and their face meet.


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5. Wear your coat over the baby. This works best for little ones, but if you have a snug enough sling and large enough coat you can pull it over (or at least partially) to keep warm.

6. Get a babywearing vest. Peekaru and CatBird Baby (not paid links) sells these nifty little things that slip over soft baby carriers. Peekaru keeps you both warm, while CatBird covers the baby only.

7. Air. You should always be able to see your baby’s head – don’t zip it completely in a coat or cover with a wrap. Make sure your baby’s chin isn’t touching their chest in a sling.

8. Get it all ready in the car. If you know it’s going to be cold as soon as you get out, lay out your stuff in the back seat/trunk, then put it all on when you get there.

9. Don’t get the baby ready beforehand. Children should never wear coats or large sweaters in their car seats. It places extra air in between their bodies and the straps, which can cause injury during a crash. A blanket works best for a cold car. When you get your stuff on in the back seat at your destination, plan to do the same for them.

DSCN1971 10. Check everything often. Legs get cold and stiff, babies can get hot, things slip and slide around. Every so often be sure to check (or have your partner/friend if you are back wearing) to see if your child is still comfortable.

Comfort is key for wearing a child successfully in the cold.

This is a fun time of year to snuggle up and enjoy a little closeness with your baby or toddler. So enjoy every moment of winter babywearing, and feel free to add your tips and suggestions below.

 


Comments

  1. Great tips and I love the babywearing pictures :) Number 9 is SUCH an important reminder that often gets overlooked – thank you for sharing! I think a lot of people don’t understand the danger of a heavy coat in a carseat.

    I’m thankful I live in a fairly mild climate (north Mississippi!), so even on our chilliest days, its normally not to bad to stand next to the car, get everyone positioned and then throw my jacket over both of us!

  2. People who are excellent seamstresses (I’m not one of those) can sew an additional piece of material into their regular winter jackets, with zippers on either side. This piece can be added when you are preggers in the winter OR when you’re babywearing. I didn’t do this last time, but I will definitely be doing this next time – the trick is finding someone to do it for you if you’re not talented enough :) Here’s one you can buy pre-made, but take a look at the price!!! Much cheaper to add a piece of fabric to your old winter coat http://www.milkface.com/detail.aspx?ID=48173

    • ::spits out cereal:: Holy Moses – $385 FOR A COAT?

      Geez.

      I wonder if a maternity one (maybe a size larger) would work just as well? Not that they tend to run a lot cheaper.

      I like the additional material idea. I’d need to find someone. Because I am not talented enough.

    • For anyone who isn’t a great seamstress, here is a company that makes an insert for you. If expands your coat so you zip it up around you and baby and keep you both warm. At $35-45, It’s much cheaper than a $385 coat!!

  3. Just a clarification about the coats thing: it’s not the air that causes injury, it’s the extra slack in the harness from the compression of the trapped air in the puffy coat that can cause the child to be ejected from the car seat. More great info here: http://carseatsmadeeasy.blogspot.com/2010/12/keeping-warm-and-safe-in-winter.html

    Just because the idea of air causing injury might be confusing to some people. :-)

    • Thank you Kristie! I’m glad you made that a lot clearer, it did sound like the air would hurt them. :) Definitely not what I meant to say lol.

  4. Ok, so I was so not into wearing Laura… but I’m looking ahead to a summer of grocery shopping with a 2.5yo and an infant. Suggestions for a great carrier for le infant??

    • I love slings, but I found them really hard to maneuver with an infant. As Bella got older they were easier. The Ergo is lovely, but till around 6 months they need an insert: http://help.ergobaby.com/questions/20/Why+do+I+need+the+infant+insert+and+how+long+do+I+need+to+use+it%3F
      I had a Bjorn but Bella didn’t care for it till she was older (9-10months).
      The Moby was a hit for us. I really liked that and so did she. It’s a little bit of a pain to wrap, but you can do it before going anywhere and then just put the baby in once you get there. And I loved the different ways Bella could be worn in it.
      I have a Peanut Shell sling but wasn’t impressed. It was super hard to get Bella in.
      If you wait a few weeks I may have something on here you might like too. :)

  5. Love this post D & perfect timing for my baby wearing questions. I’m really hoping & planning & realizing the only way I might be able to get some things done will be baby-wearing my triplets. So that said, I’ve registered us for Ergo, moby, baby bjorn & some kinda cheaper one at Target. I also have a Seven sling I bought a while ago & Jenny passed me down another sling to try. I know that’s kinda a crazy list. What do you recommend? What worked for Bella when she was tiny? then bigger infant? & now as a toddler? What’s Sam like as a Dad babywearer? I had Husband try on the Ergo at Buybuybaby and he was like WTH but looked really cute! I figured with trips I’d rather other register & be able to return stuff then not have enough?!

    • Hands down you need to get a Moby. Any mom I’ve known with multiples had to have one – because you can fit two in at a time. At least for a while. :) Which if one is sleeping and the other two are up is wonderful.
      Make sure to register for 2 of the Ergo inserts, they need it until about 6 months to fit correctly. And if you have a baby with reflux it’ll be nice to have a clean one handy if they barf on the first.

      This is a great site for twin and triplet carriers:
      http://www.twin-pregnancy-and-beyond.com/twin-baby-carriers.html and I’ve heard nothing but great things about Baby K’tan.

      Sam loves the Ergo. We have the extender to it since his waist is bigger and that makes it easier on him. I love my ring sling (if you are interested email me and I’ll find the link to it) and the Ergo as well. Bella loved the Moby when she was tiny, now she loves the Ergo and sling. I had a hard time with slings when she was little just because of positioning her and her reflux.

      I’m all kinds of excited to see what you and Steve (and the babies) end up loving. And you know you can email me any time you have questions. :)

  6. I don’t have a baby but I am currently freezing, so love the idea of having a person snuggled up to me!

  7. Great tips! I’ve had a terrible time dealing with the Ergo over a coat, but I think some advance prep would help!

  8. We’re TTC now, so I really hope to use this next winter! Thanks! (Send baby dust!)

  9. Erin recently bought a Peekaru and tried it out on a trip to the farmers market. It got good reviews. Unfortunately she hasn’t used it again since it’s still in the 50-60 degree range, making the Peekaru unnecessary.

  10. Good article. I’m going through some of these issues as well..

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  1. [...] few weeks ago I posted on tips for making babywearing easier in the winter. One of my tips was to wrap a larger coat around you, and several people posted about maternity [...]