Babywearing in the winter: Tips and Tricks

baby winter

Ah, babywearing. So simple, so easy, so practical: just you, your baby, a piece of material. But wait, what about when it’s cold? Or windy? Or raining?

My baby was born in sub-tropical Brazil, where the temperature never dips below 15 degrees. Wearing my baby was a breeze and very often the challenge was how to wear as little as possible (one reason why the wrap with its many folds of cloth quickly fell into disuse and I often just carried baby in my arms).

Arriving in wintery Portugal I was faced with the dilemma of how to comfortably carry or wear my baby while keeping both of us warm. Here are the options I’ve discovered so far.

Baby wears a ski suit, you wear your normal clothes.
Definitely one of the cheapest options (my mum picked up a second-hand ski suit for less than 5 Euros). Keeps baby nice and toasty while allowing you to switch easily from pram, to arms, to sling and back. I started baby off in a suit a few sizes to large (I just rolled up the sleeves) and I feel it gives him a bit more leg room in the sling or carrier. I also strongly recommend you get a suit in a non-slippery material. My husband got up a back-up suit from the local supermarket and it’s a bit like carrying a bar of soap!

You wear a “babywearing jacket”, baby wears normal clothes.
Babywearing jackets should be the go-to option for anyone who owns a sling, wrap or carrier except they are either hideous, ridiculously expensive or both. So frustrating. The concept is brilliant: a jacket with an insert that covers and protects the baby. Most models have front and back carrying options and work with most slings and carriers. The downsides are that carrying your baby is a bit trickier and of course he might need extra clothes when you take him out of the sling.
I bit the bullet and bough{t myself a babywearing jacket for Christmas and have to admit it is fantastic. It keeps both of us warm, has a hood for me and the baby and actually looks quite nice to boot. I especially love that I can just unzip us both when we go inside a shop or restaurant.

Alternatives

I’ve tried putting my baby in normal clothes and wrapping a big shawl around us, sometimes secured with a pin. I think this might work very well for quiet or sleepy babies, but baby boy keeps on squirming and sticking his feet out so that it’s not very practical for us. Note that wearing a shawl also makes it more difficult to carry a bag over your shoulder.
There are also sleeping-bag type covers that go over your baby while you wear him. I haven’t tried these out myself, but again I imagine a squirmy baby might be a problem. Also, once again, some of these are particularly hideous and I feel I already look odd enough with a baby strapped to my front!

Do head over to my pinterest board for some additional ideas, but please don’t faint at the price tags.

How did you solve the problem of babywearing and cold weather? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

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Julie
Written by Julie
I’m Julie, 30-year old mum to a baby boy, translator, writer and wife. After nearly 5 years in Brazil, our little family has just moved back to Europe.