As we are heading towards the cold season, the days are getting shorter and the weather is changing.
It can be tempting to stay indoors with your baby/toddler during this time and so we asked Ciara Barron, from Babywearing Ireland, to put together a few tips for carrying your child during the winter.
Hopefully these tips will make it easier for you to wrap up and get some fresh air no matter what the weather!
Layers are key - This is true for both, the baby and the caregiver. Remember; you, your baby and the carrier are all heat sources and each layer of a woven or stretchy wrap counts as a layer of clothing. Dress your baby as you would indoors; vest, top, leggings and then layer up as required. I would also recommend 2 pairs of socks for extra coverage if needed (size up in the second pair to go over the first one) or tights; booties; leg warmers (can be used on legs and arms); mittens and a hat or balaclava. Fleece all-in-ones are lightweight and snug and provide a lot of warmth. Remember to size up if your all-in-one has feet so little toes won’t get squashed.
Jackets and covers - You could use a babywearing cover for the sling; these can be waterproof, wind resistant or fleece and just clip onto the carrier. You can then just pop on your own jacket. Other options include specific babywearing jackets or coats. These zip up around you and the baby and can be used for both front and back carrying. Inserts that zip onto your own jacket are available too. An oversized coat or poncho can work well. Remember not to put too many layers on yourself under the carrier, if you are moving from outdoors to inside a lot, you don’t want to overheat and have to unwrap a sleeping baby!
For toddlers/bigger babies who want to be up and down a lot, it may be a better/quicker option to wear them over your coat. An umbrella can be a useful option too!
Safety Considerations - It’s important to remember that being safe while babywearing is the most important factor not just for you, but also for the baby. Below are winter-specific safety considerations that I always recommend to parents:
-Ensure that the baby’s face is free of any excess material, e.g scarfs, excess material from wooly jumpers etc.
-Check baby regularly for signs of overheating, babywearing can be warm work, especially when you’re active on a cold day.
-Keep yourself and your baby well hydrated
-Be mindful of the surface that you’ll be walking on and make footwear choices based on this. Flat sturdy shoes or boots with a good sole are best.
-The TICKS guideline is an effective method to ensure you're being safe while babywearing.
I hope this makes it easier to stay warm, snug and active this winter so you can enjoy your outings with your little one close to you.