The weather finally seems to be cooling down and it’s time to start thinking about some tips and tricks for wearing your little one in the cold.  We often worry about in-numeral things while caring for a child, but you don’t have to worry too much about keeping your special kiddo warm during the cold months.  There are many easy ways you can be sure that you and your little are snug and warm no matter the weather!

Dress the child:

Be sure that you’re not overheating baby.  If you put your little one under your coat, there is no need for them to wear their own coat.  And remember, your carrier is an added layer to whatever you already have on baby.  While we want to keep them warm, we don’t want them too hot!  
When children go in a carrier, their pant legs often ride up exposing their skin to the cold and lovely Kansas wind.  Fear not! There are some ideas you can choose between to keep your little one’s legs toasty warm! 
  • Use leggings
  • Add tall socks (knee socks for older kids work wonderfully
  • Dress them in footie pajamas – they can’t ride up!
Put a hat on you kiddo.  Often in a carrier the only parts of a little one exposed are their head and feet/legs.  We got their little legs covered, so let’s cover their little head!  Add a hat (especially one that covers their ears) to keep them warm.  If an older kiddo is on your back or even a younger child who likes to use their hands, try to use a hat that snaps under their chin so they can’t pull it right off.  If possible, attach the hat to the carrier or child (use a pacifier clip!) so if they do toss it off, you don’t lose it during your adventures!

Dress yourself: 

By now I’m sure that you’re fully capable of dressing yourself for the weather, but there are a few secrets to properly dressing yourself for the cold weather when babywearing.  
It’s best to wear the carrier under your coat instead of slipping the carrier on over your outer-layer.  This holds especially true for big, puffy coats.  Not only is it bulky to wear the carrier over your coats, but it could cause some safety concerns.  You could have a difficult time getting the carrier tight enough and it might slip.  A carrier that isn’t tight enough can also be uncomfortable for the wearer, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to use their carrier under their coat/jacket.
Which leads right to the next point – If you’re interested in finding a coat that works for babywearing there are a lot of options (including DIY) 
  • Look for coats specifically made for babywearing which include a head-hole for both you and baby (Peekaru, kindercoat )
  • Make a babywearing poncho
    • There are a lot of great turotials out there; here is one for a no-sew poncho.
  • Buy a large jacket or hoodie that zips up and zip it over the two of you.  Some people prefer to wear it backwards when baby is on their back.
  • Buy a jacket or fleece and simply cut a “hole” for your little one’s head.  If you use fleece, it won’t need to be sewed as it shouldn’t fray.

    Wear sensible shoes.  Save the heels for when you don’t have a baby strapped to you. Try to find shoes that have good traction if you’re walking on ice.  Try to avoid ice or other slick surfaces as much as possible and stay away from uneven ground!
    Don’t forget your own hat and scarf!  Just be sure the scarf (and all other materials) are away from your little one’s face.  It’s extremely important that you monitor baby’s airways when you are both bundled up!

    Dress your carrier:

    You’ve dressed yourself, you’ve dressed your kiddo; the only thing that’s left is to dress your carrier.  Companies make covers that go over your carrier (usually a soft structured carrier or Mei Tai) to keep babe warm.

    Or you can simply wrap a blanket around the front of your carrier.

    Don’t forget to take advantage if your carrier has a hood – it makes a great wind block!

    If you’re using a wrap or a Mei Tai, consider tucking the tails into your pockets while you are getting you kiddo secured to you so that the tails don’t drag the cold, wet, sludgy ground.  You could also tie knots in the bottom of your wrap tails so they are shorter (less likely to drag on the ground) and weighted so they don’t get caught in the wind!
    Now you’re all ready to brave the cold with your special little one.  Just don’t forget the hot chocolate when you get inside!

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