It’s getting colder and wetter and windier … and the questions of how to keep baby comfy in a sling out and about are on the increase. Here are a few ideas for you to try. There’s no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing and all that 😉
It’s most convenient for everyone involved to keep baby close, directly on your body. So whatever layers you decide to put on, baby is under them with you. That way, your body can help regulate your little one’s temperature – and your little one will keep you warm too. An added bonus: when you spend a bit longer in a shop, or on a bus, you can take layers off, rather than having sweat pour off you…
Three things to remember, for baby under layers with you:
- One layer of sling generally replaces one layer of clothing. Unless it’s really arctic outside, all baby needs is what they are wearing indoors plus a warm hat, long warm socks or tights and maybe a pair of leg warmers if baby’s legs are longer than the socks. And weatherproof booties if the little feet are sticking out from your outer layer.
- Whatever your outer layer of choice, baby still needs to be visible, their head not covered.
- Mind the toes. The baby’s, that is! Make sure they’ve plenty of wriggle room in whatever keeps them cosy when they are seated in a deep squat in the sling. More about the why and how here.
For the outside layer, you’ve several options. Let’s start with the DIY options.
1. Oversized Rain Coat
Get a raincoat one size bigger, or use your partner’s, and close it up over the sling (baby’s head sticking out). As baby gets bigger and your zip doesn’t close up as high anymore, you can tuck a kid’s raincoat in the gap, hood on baby’s head. You’ll even get away without an umbrella that way! Rain Coats with adjustable elastic in the bottom hem work best.
2. Oversized Fleece
Same as above but with a fleece and you can take it one step further! Bear with me for a sec just. For the “baby growing zip not as high anymore” part here, you can use a baby fleece blanket to fill the gap. Fleece is water repellent.
Now the one step further: When baby moves onto your back, you can make a cut in the back of your oversized fleece and hey presto, you’ve a babywearing fleece for back carries. Fleece jackets with adjustable elastic in the bottom hem work best.
3. Babywearing Cover
Most of these covers can be used with any type of sling, on your front and back and hip and are one-size-fits all and adjustable for baby. On your front, you would close your coat up to the cover. For hip and back carries, baby is on your coat and the cover over baby. I’d suggest buying a cover with drawstring or elastic at the bottom and sides to ensure a snug fit as baby grows and prevent the cover just hanging down like a blanket – and being kicked off like one too!
And for that awkward gap between you and baby on your chest, there’s an innovative solution from the Ruckeli lads: a loop scarf with a chest extension!
4. Babywearing Coat or Jacket
There are some reasonably priced babywearing fleeces on the market that have the space for baby sewn into it, some can be used on front only, others on the back as well.
Going up in price a bit, you can get coats and jackets that work during pregnancy, for front and back carries, and as just a bog standard coat or jacket when you don’t have baby with you. These are fitted, so can’t necessarily be worn by anyone else wearing your little one.
5. Wearing Baby over Coat
If you choose to wear your little (or bigger) one over your coat, here’s a few tips how you can work that.
- Don’t use puffy coats or snowsuits. Just like with car seats it is impossible to tighten a sling or carrier properly when there’s puff involved – potentially compromising your child’s safety and most definitely both your comfort. (I’ve personal experience … that mum in the second last photo on this page … moi!)
- Use layers. Several layers of thin clothing will keep you and baby warm – and if you get warmer than you thought you would, you can always remove a layer. Fleece suits work great as the last layer for the little people, leaving no gaps in clothing. And a good quality fleece is water repellant without being sweaty.
- While you are keeping warm with movement, baby isn’t so much. Extra layers on arms, legs and feet are a good idea. We like using tights or long socks, leg warmers (for arms too!) and weatherproof booties work great.
Enjoy your babywearing adventures … in any weather 🙂