Carrying In The Cold
Carrying in the cold and wet can present it’s own challenges! Autumn, winter, spring and to be fair summer in the UK often means our fair share of wet and cold weather. If you are carrying your baby you still want everyone to stay warm and cosy! If you are using a sling or carrier then you might be worried about the best ways to keep your baby warm and dry.
As with all carrying you need to consider the safety of your baby before anything else. The two key points in safety are that your baby is secure and that their airway remains clear. A third safety consideration that is often overlooked, which actually becomes more relevant in winter is that overheating is also dangerous for your baby!
Whilst it’s tempting to bundle your little one up in lots of layers, this can create a safety issue. Overheating can be a big problem, but also bulky layers of clothing such as snowsuits can make it difficult to get a carrier tightened securely enough, allowing them to slip down inside their clothing or the carrier, and their airways can become compromised. Remember when you are carrying you are sharing your body heat, and your movement will help keep everyone warm. Be aware that scarves do not cover your baby’s face as they rest against you to avoid any suffocation risk.
If the ground is icy be aware that carrying alters your centre of gravity and you will need to exercise your judgment about whether it is safe to carry. Using good shoes with grip, or adding ice spikes can be useful in especially cold (and unusual for the UK) weather!
Dressing Your Baby
Pay most attention to the parts of your baby which isn’t covered by the carrier. Hats, gloves, long socks or legwarmers are all great
options to invest in to keep your baby comfy. Hood style hats can be great for keeping ears warm and are harder for babies to pull off and lose! Here at It’s A Sling Thing we have Lenny Lamb Turtlenecks available which are a fleece hood for your baby and a detachable neck warmer for you, and they can be tucked down into clothes or slings to help cover any gaps.
Lots of thin, removable layers are often easier and safer than thicker ones when carrying your baby in a carrier. Thick and bulky layers make it harder to get everyone comfy in a carrier and to get a good position, which can be a safety issue. Fleece all in ones are great, or tights with trousers over the top for extra warmth.
Keeping legs warm can be as easy as grabbing a pair of over sized socks to go all the way up little legs. If you want something more colourful then we have Huggalugs leg warmers available too which fit from baby up to at least ten years old!
You Don’t Have to Spend a Lot of Money
There are lots of ways to keep you and your baby warm and dry without investing in specially designed options.
You can thread a waterproof coat over the straps of a buckle carrier, or tuck one into a wrap, to make an easy waterproof cover for your baby.
If you’re looking to keep everyone warm a large coat can go over both of you in many cases. If you have a coat which is a couple of sizes too big, or you have a partner who is larger than you and has a coat you can borrow this can be a great option if it will do up over both of you. Fleeces with the zips at the neck can be used very easily, and even used for back carrying if the zip opens enough to go over both you and your baby.
Big umbrellas are great for wet, but not windy, days, just to keep everyone dry!
Thin layers, rather than bulky coats may be best for you too as they are easier to wrap or fasten a carrier snugly over than bulky coats. Slings can slide around on softshell or waterproof fabrics too, so adding these layers over the sling can be easiest. Windproof fleeces can be great for this as they are thin enough that they don’t get in the way of wraps and carriers and they keep you nice and warm.
If you’re feeling creative then buying a cheap fleece, or several cheap fleece blankets and modifying them into a coat with a hole for baby or a fleece poncho with a hole for your baby can work really well too!
Covers and Blankets
There are several different types of covers now available to go over your carrier. Many sling brands have their own carrier cover available. Here at It’s A Sling Thing we stock the BundleBean which comes in two options – a light waterproof rain cover and a fleece lined rain cover. BundleBeans can be used over any type of sling or carrier as they have adjustable velcro fastenings which go around the carrier and you. They even have detachable hoods for your baby!
You can also get panels which can zip into your existing coat, as long as you can find one with a compatible zip attachment!
Even tucking a blanket into your wrap or carrier can be an option for a makeshift cover over the sling.
Fleeces and Coats
Babywearing coats and fleeces have become very popular items. Whilst they can be an expensive option, they allow you to put your baby in the carrier as normal, and then add the coat when you go outside which helps with making sure no-one overheats. There are several brands offering different designs of coat and fleece so it is worth considering what you want from your coat before buying, and what you might want in the future! Whilst coats are more expensive up front, they are usually long lasting and if they have removable panels they can also be used as a normal coat so they can be a valuable investment.
It is worth checking for second hand options on Facebook and eBay if you are on a tight budget.
Hoodie style fleeces are usually only for front carrying, or can be used giving a strange shape (where the hood is now at the front, for back carrying, and often means you have to thread your baby’s head through a hole when back carrying which can be tricky to do. These are usually the most affordable specially designed apparel. We have the Boba Hoodies available here.
Coats and fleeces with removable panels are increasingly popular. These coats offer pregnancy and front carrying options, and some also allow back carrying. If you appear to have found a bargain coat be sure to check, as many cheaper version don’t work for back carrying! These coats may be usable when you aren’t carrying a baby by removing the panel. You can get fleeces, waterproofs and fleece lined waterproof coats. Depending on the coat, when back carrying you may have to thread your baby’s head through a hole so do check how it works!
Here at It’s A Sling Thing we stock Mamalila and Momawo Coats.
We offer the Mamalila Rain Jacket, Mamalila Softshell Coat and the Mamalila Softshell Babywearing Jacket for Men. These gorgeous coats come in a range of stylish colours, and suit our climate here in the UK. They are designed so that even once your babywearing days are over, you can remove the inserts and wear it as your coat and nobody would be any the wiser!
We stock the Momawo Fleece, the waterproof Momawo Light and the fleece lined and waterproof Momawo 4-in-1 Coat. The Momawo coats have some lovely features, including being able to put the coat on normally for a back carry and then do up poppers at the back of your neck to close the hole rather than threading the coat over your baby. All of these coats offer maternity, front carrying options, back carrying with its uniquely easy method of putting on and panels can be removed to leave a stylish standard coat. We also have these coats available on Try Before You Buy so if you are thinking about buying you can make sure you are getting the ideal size and that the coat will work well for you before you make the investment. If you want to know more about Choosing a Coat then check out this article to help you do just that.