The British climate can be so changeable at this time of year, and even when the weather is cold outside, homes and shops can be very warm inside, so dressing your baby suitably for the cold weather conditions can be tricky.
We recommend using thin layers as they are easy to add to or remove when the temperature changes and easier to wrap over than bulky coats etc.
As with warm weather, we suggest that you consider the heat sources and manage those sensibly. On a cold day, the warmest thing near your baby is likely to be your own body. Keeping layers light in points of contact between the two of you allows you to share your body heat, then having layers that go round both of you helps to trap the warmth inside them.
Very small babies find it harder to regulate their own temperature, so treating the two of you as one single unit and using things that cover the both of you is helpful. They can be dressed pretty much as normal then tucked into your own cardigan/coat so that they are essentially an extension of your own body still.
By the time your children are older and more independent, it becomes easier to dress the two of you separately, wrap them over the top of your own coat etc, especially if they are in a phase of wanting to frequently switch between walking and being carried. Natural fibres help to regulate temperatures well, and wool is particularly good at this.
Dressing babies for cold weather
Here are pictures of 6 month old Ciaran ‘layering up’. On colder days we would team trousers with tights (for both boys and girls). Whilst sleepsuits can pull on the foot and compress the toes of a baby in a sling, the stretchy, tights are not affected by the carrier in the same manner.
You can add more or fewer layers depending on the relative temperature. Extremities (hands, feet, head) need more protection from the cold but heads must be uncovered as soon as you go indoors.
Legwarmers and hats are handier than integrated layers as they can be removed without having to unwrap the baby; there is nothing more frustrating than having to unwrap a sleeping baby and risk waking them in order to avoid them overheating when you go back indoors!
If Ciaran was going underneath an enclosed babywearing coat then he wouldn’t need any more layers than this as he has his mum’s body heat available.
We would add an extra layer if he wasn’t being fully enclosed by his mum’s clothes
Wrapping older children
George is four, and only needs the occasional carry from his dad, so they are both layered up independently to suit the weather. His dad is using a slightly longer wrap than usual to allow for the extra bulk created by coats and jumpers. If you don’t have a longer wrap then you might want to try a different carry that uses up less of the cloth and leaves you enough length to knot securely.
Is it safe to babywear in the ice and snow?
Once you’ve got warmth sorted, your next worry might be preventing falls on slippy ground. Whilst prams and buggies might struggle in the ice and snow, wrapping can offer you the freedom to get out and enjoy the best of the weather! The wrap holds your baby so that you have your arms free to use for balance, and you can also use a walking pole or stick if that gives you extra confidence. If the snow or ice is thick and compacted you can buy ice grips that slip over the soles of your shoes like these from yaktrax. If the floor is just slippy/black ice then an old pair of socks over your shoes will look ridiculous but give you the confidence that you’ll not slip over!
Do I need to buy a babywearing coat?
There are lots of specially designed babywearing coats out there. with a hole at the back for back carrying or extra space at the front for front carrying. They range in price and can be quite an expensive investment! For front carries we recommend the budget option of just buying a bigger coat or cardigan that will reach round both of you. There are also inserts that you can zip or button in to your regular coat- you can buy or sew these yourself if you’re crafty.
Back carries are trickier and we’ve tried all sorts of options over the years.
You can adapt an existing coat by cutting a hole in the back, but unless you’re a dab hand at sewing alterations this can easily go wrong, leaving you with a gaping or impractical coat.
There are some beautiful made-for-purpose babywearing coats out there if you can afford the price tag. They’re often great once you’re wearing them but can be a right pain to actually get on and off over your baby without help!
The best shop bought babywearing coat that we’ve both liked is the MAM Äiskä babywearing poncho. It is easy to put over your baby’s head without either of you getting stuck and looks very swish and classy. They can be tricky to find in stock though.
Buying second hand from one of the babywearing sales groups can be a more affordable option.
Here are some in-stock woven wraps that are great cold weather options! For more information, help choosing or a chat about your individual circumstances please contact us via our chat bubble. Happy shopping!