by Desiree Beattie
Now that the warmer days are behind us, it’s time for coats, mitts hats and boots. If you’re a teeny baby, extra protection is necessary for those wickedly cold winter days. What’s warmer than snuggling up to another human body?
Babywearing can be a great option for keeping your little one warm during winter outings, but many parents are confused by all the options. Is purchasing a $500 babywearing coat necessary? Should my baby be under my coat or over my coat? Should they wear a snowsuit, even when they’re inside the coat? And what carrier is best?
Let’s simplify babywearing for winter!
1. No, you don’t need a $500 coat. BUT, if you really wanted that coat, and thought you would get years of use out of it (the insert can be removed and turned into a regular coat once you’re done babywearing), then it might be worth it to you.
2. Remember the #1 rule of babywearing – baby’s head needs to be visable and kissable from your vantage point. If they are too low (and snuggled down inside your coat), they are not getting enough oxygen.
3. You can wear baby inside OR outside your coat. Go to Value Village and score a large coat that will cover your baby, or have someone sew an insert into the coat you already own. But remember the visible and kissable rule!
4. If baby is outside your coat, yes, they will need their infant snow suit and a nice warm hat. You be the judge as to how cold they are inside the coat – some coats are large and drafty, whereas other coats are tight and snug. A quick check behind the baby’s neck will let you know whether they are too warm – a sweaty neck is a definite sign they have too many layers on.
5. Using a carrier that is adjustable such as a ringsling can make for a quick and easy outing, as it simply slips over both baby and your bulky winter gear with no fuss or modifications. It even has the added bonus of being an extra blanket layer for both you and your little and of course is easy to have on hand as it can be slipped into even a small bag for transport.
Do a few practice runs around your neighbourhood to start. The worst thing would be to head out on a big outing, and realize that your baby is too cold. Once you get the temperature right, you’re set for hours of fun outside!
And remember to always be cautious when choosing the activity to do with your baby. Hiking through a forest can be difficult if you can’t see the ground in front of you, and skating while babywearing is not recommended (although I have known women who are very comfortable on skates and have no qualms doing this while babywearing). You be the judge of what works and doesn’t work.
Just don’t let your winter baby keep you inside!