Picking the right carrier can make all the difference. For cold weather, we recommend:
- Wool, fleece or minkee covers can go over SSCs or Mei Tais
- Wraps are cozy for winter---multi-layer equals warmth as does wool or a wool blend, or even fleece
- A carrier with a hood or long tail is useful for blocking wind, especially for a newborn
Lots of companies make special babywearing coats or vests, but you can also use things you may already have:
- Peekaru Vest, soft shell or Hoodie
- Kowalli Cover
- Ergo Coat
- A coat a size or two big
- A wool hood/hat/neck warmer for baby, like Nova Naturals
- Suse’s Kindercoat
- M Coat - Canadian
- Japanese Weekend Coat
- Amauti - hard to find and specifically sized, but incredibly useful. Does not require a separate carrier
- Clara Bulle - Fleece Jacket
- Hoppediz - Fleece Cover
- You can make a fleece poncho for you and baby with 2 yards of polar fleece and two cuts: fold the fabric in half and cut a slit for your head in the center. Cut another (smaller) slot for baby 5-6 inches away from yours (you can put baby on and measure, too). Turn it around for a back carry. Make sure that the hole is big enough to not get in baby's face. You can sew up the sides partway if you want (leaving room for your arms) or leave them open. Active babies may need their own coat or poncho if they pull their arms out the
Tips and Tricks:
- Do not over layer baby. Remember, your body heat plus baby’s body heat means a warm baby. You don’t necessarily need to put a coat on a baby when you know you are going to wear him. Depending on the temperature, you can probably put him in his regular clothes (or fleece footie jammies), into the carrier, your coat over the carrier and a hat on his head. If it makes you feel better, (or if you have an arm-waving toddler) you can get little pocket mittens for his hands too.
- Both your and baby's jacket can get bunched up if you have them inside/under the carrier. If you are wearing baby over your jacket, make sure the carrier is tight enough around your waist that it won't slip if your jacket fabric compresses or slides. Down coats are not a great idea under a baby carrier.
- If baby is outside your jacket in a carrier, you can use a fleece bunting to cover hands, feet and avoid bunched-up fabric inside the carrier. However, make sure that the carrier is still tight enough on baby to offer good support.
- Be careful not to accidentally hinder baby’s airway. Don’t smother him in your coat or blanket. You need to be able to see baby’s face at all times and ensure that the baby is still in a safe (upright, high enough to kiss the forehead, not chin-to-chest) position.
- Pre-tie your carrier. Tie a Mei Tai around your waist for easy tying on, or always have your wrap or ring sling on so you can pop baby in and out of it.
- Wear grippy shoes (yak traks can keep you from falling)
- Leave the carseat in the car to help prevent falls.
- Warm up the car in advance if you can.
- Limit the time in the cold for both you and baby.
- Getting settled in a carrier can cause baby's pants to ride up, creating a gap between pants and socks and exposing the skin underneath. Footie pajamas are great because they can't ride up, but if baby is in pants or a skirt, put leg warmers (like Babylegs) or knee high socks meant for big kids underneath the pants. If you are using leg warmers, once the baby is in the carrier you can pull them down over the heel of baby's shoe to further prevent gaps (just pull them back up when baby gets down to prevent slips for a walker or cruiser!)