A cold weather babywearing blog post coming out of Austin? Why, yes it is. Because -Holy cold, Batman! I’ll say it again – holy COLD, Batman! As a northern transplant, I moved here to avoid this chilly weather. While even our coldest temperatures lately have been over twenty degrees warmer than the temps back home, this is still pretty chilly. Lately all of our leaders have been asked how to babywear when the temps take a dip. Here are a few of our thoughts on that.
Safety first, because I am that person. Always, always, always make sure baby’s face, and more importantly, airway is not covered by any sort of fabric. Also, though it may be chilly out, don’t overdress your baby. Yes, I said overdress. Remember, body heat will factor in and you do not want baby overheating. They do not regulate their body temps as well as adults, so always make sure that you monitor them while outside. Make sure they are not too hot or too cold.
So, cold weather babywearing tips and thoughts. There are a variety of babywearing jackets and vests designed specifically for cold weather babywearing. Whether it is the Peekaru Vest, Infantino’s babywearing hoody, or a DIY babywearing coat, there are a lot of options out there.
Here in Austin an actual babywearing coat is probably going to be overkill, but a few DIY tricks will help you survive this cold spell and even get outside to enjoy it a bit.
For the kiddos:
Layers. A shirt and jacket. This is a good place to start for dressing your child for an outing in a carrier on a chilly day. You don’t want them to be too hot and you as the wearer can add layers to help protect them further. More on that in a minute, but a long sleeve shirt and a zipper hoodie or jacket would provide protection and not over bundle them.
Hat and leg warmers. Anyone who has been babywearing a bit knows those little pant legs can ride up. Also, it is the one part of their bodies that cannot be tucked into the carrier. Legwarmers to the rescue! Cute and functional? Win!
Hats are fairly self explanatory.
Snowsuit. I hesitate to even say it as Austin winters are fairly mild. However, it is an option and some of our northern babywearing friends may be reading this. Again, just make sure baby is not dressed too warm for the weather and monitor them while out and about. I put my son in just a onsie when I put him in a snowsuit to hike here. I brought a pair of pants and a jacket along to change him into if the snowsuit became too warm.
On to you.
As previously noted, there are a lot of things on the market you can buy to help keep you and baby toasty as winter sets in. Check out our Babywearing for the Weather Pinterest page. You do not have to buy a fancy new coat, cover or vest to get out and enjoy our fine winter weather!
Fashion your own babywearing coat. No don’t worry, I am not suggesting you get your sewing scissors out (though if you want to you certainly can – check out our pinterest DIY page for instuctions on a babywearing coat and a no-sew babywearing coat). If you have a smaller baby you are wearing on your front, use a maternity or larger coat or vest to zip or button around baby.
Be inventive. Use a shawl, scarf, blanket, or as one of our clever members recently did, a ring sling to wrap around baby on your back as an additional layer of warmth. I have a fantastic stroller blanket with ties to tie it to the stroller, only I use it on my carrier. I tie it over baby’s body and the carrier to the shoulder straps of my carrier. You can see this in action on the first picture above. Scarves/shawls/ring slings work the same way, only I wrap them around baby and tie them towards me. Please note the above comment on safety. If you use a blanket or scarf to help keep baby warm, make sure their faces are not covered!
Start at home or use a quick carrier. Pre-wrap at home or in the car or reach for a buckle carrier. Choose a carry that is easily prewrapped so you do not have to worry about standing in the cold trying to wrap baby up or potentially drag the tails of the wrap on the wet ground. If you are going to be going on a hike in the chillier temps and want to use a wrap for the extra layers that is great, just keep an eye on your little one to make sure they don’t get too chilly in the wrapping process. I personally find myself reaching for my favorite buckle carriers for hiking in the winter months.
Don’t let this chillier weather keep you indoors – bundle up and get out to enjoy all that winter has to offer! Oh and stay warm!