We’re now in the thick of winter and experiencing a whole different situation in Oklahoma. Being from Utah we are used to cold and snow but have gotten out of the habits we were in when we lived in Utah. Babywearing in the winter can be a whole different experience than at other times depending on where you live. Planning in advance and keeping extra jackets (especially a babywearing one or a babywearing vest or something that fits over you both without getting in the way of baby’s airway) in the car at all times will help especially if unexpected weather hits when you’re out with baby. The following tips can help you prepare for winter wearing.
- Keep a carrier handy in your car, it should be part of your emergency kit. Even if you don’t regularly babywear if you are trapped in your car in a storm or another emergency situation a baby carrier can help keep your baby warm.
- Don’t ever wear baby while ice skating, skiing, or other situations that you could fall or wouldn’t wear baby while holding them in your hands.
- Be extra careful near ice in parking lots and sidewalks while babywearing. Your center of balance is different than you are used to from being pregnant or before pregnancy.
- Any well made ergonomic carrier is excellent in the winter time. Practice before the storms come setting your tails of your wrap or mei tai in your vehicle or between your legs to keep them off of the wet ground. You can also practice inside several times before venturing out. It takes a little extra maneuvering and practice but tails can be kept off of the wet ground (it’s not the end of the world if the tails get wet though either-if they’re really wet you may want to pat dry with a towel to keep you and baby dry and warm).
- Keep to light layers for you and baby. It’s better to wear a babywearing coat or poncho (purchased or free/cheap homemade versions or a large coat that you can zip over you both or even a maternity jacket with a few fixes so it doesn’t get in the way of baby’s face or airway). If you stick to light layers you will use your own body heat to keep baby warm and also be able to tell if baby is overheating much sooner than if you each wear a jacket or coat.
- Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is just as important in the winter as in the summer. We often forget to drink water when we aren’t sweating as much but you do need to drink about the same amount of water in the winter as the summer.
- Breastfeeding in extra layers is a little more tricky. If you practice at home you will have more confidence before going out. An outer layer is much easier to remove if needed to get baby situated to nurse than a coat inside the carrier (plus baby coats are usually not safe in their car seat).