One of the secrets to successful babywearing is knowing how to keep your baby at a consistent and comfortable temperature. The good news is that it is easier to keep a baby warm in colder temperatures, than keeping them cool when hot.
The close-up and cuddly nature of babywearing does a lot of the work for you. But you still need to ensure adequate protection from the elements to ensure a safe and fun time.
In this article, we will cover everything from clothing to accessories that will help keep your baby warm in a baby carrier when it’s cold and wintery outside.
In This Post:
Babywearing in Cold Weather
There are three main areas that will contribute to your baby’s comfort and safety when babywearing in cold weather. We will cover each of the following in detail:
- How you dress your baby – the obvious starting point.
- How you dress yourself – this is more important than you think!
- Use of accessories – products designed for exactly this purpose.
The major caveat to any advice in this article is that the degree of cold experienced by you will depend entirely on where you live and may not require the same level of detail to keep your child comfortable.
As a general guide, we will assume that winter means mild snowy conditions. You can adjust your requirements up or down based on this, with a healthy dose of common sense.
How to Dress Your Baby for Winter Babywearing?
When dressing your baby for a winter walk outside in the baby carrier there are four main items you need to focus on to take care of all extremities:
- Jacket and pants – Keep that body toasty!
- Beanie – For the head and ears.
- Gloves – Ensure fingers are warm.
- Socks & boots – Keep your baby’s feet warm.
We will not recommend any specific products in the article as there are far too many variables in sizes, budgets, and preferences for us to provide a useful recommendation.
Our comments in this section will remain general so you can then select what best suits your circumstances and taste.
Jacket and Pants
You want something that is windproof, provides good insulation from the cold weather but also does not restrict movement too much.
Higher quality fabrics will be lighter and allow better movement but it is not really necessary unless in more extreme conditions. The shared body heat does a lot of the work and the coverage from the baby carrier seat helps block some of the wind.
A puffer coat or snowsuit are both ideal options for this as long as they are not too thick.
Beanies, Baby Hats, and Hoods
A newborn’s head represents ~20% of their total skin surface area and is a critical area to keep warm in colder weather. Studies have shown that a simple bucket hat on a newborn can reduce dry heat loss by 23%.
The head is also the most exposed part of the body when your child is sitting in a baby carrier.
The increased warmth from a beanie, hood, or something else that covers the ears and head helps to regulate your baby’s body temperature when you step out into the cold.
Socks and Boots
When in a baby carrier your baby’s feet just dangle out the side and are the hardest to cover up unless you are wearing a large coat that can go over the top (see the accessories section).
Socks and booties can provide the that additional warmth as well as protection from wind and snow if there their feet are exposed.
When selecting booties also make sure that they have good grip in case you want to let your child out of the baby carrier to explore on the snow and ice. It is easy to slip!!
How to Dress Yourself for Cold Weather Babywearing
Your instinct may be to rug up and wear a heavy coat, but remember that babywearing can be hard work and your body temperature may rise accordingly.
The key here is to dress in layers so you can adjust and remove clothing as needed.
- Your base layer should be something tight-fitting and breathable.
- Your next layer should provide some insulation such as a wool jumper or fleece jacket.
- Finally, your outer layer provides protection against wind and rain/snow.
A loose-fitting coat can be handy to provide some coverage around the baby carrier. Especially to cover up those dangling feet we discussed earlier.
There are also coats that have been designed specifically to fit around a baby carrier out front. We discuss this in the next section.
Baby Carrier Accessories for Winter
These accessories range from the clever and practical, to the almost bizarre (yet still practical) and can be especially useful for those who will be babywearing in sub-zero temperatures.
Babywearing coats, jackets, and ponchos
These are designed to be worn over your baby carrier and keep both you and your child warm in the simplest way possible.
They are very easy to use and great for parents who need to be a bit more mobile while babywearing. You can take this on and off very quickly – especially when compared to our next babywearing accessory…
Turtle-neck Double Dickey
You won’t win any fashion contests with this unusual (but practical) baby carrier accessory.
The turtle-neck double dickey is a piece of cloth that is positioned like an apron that runs down your chest and covers all of the exposed areas around your baby’s neck.
There are two neck holes at either end – one for you, one for your baby – with a turtle-neck design at both ends.
Most major baby carrier brands manufacture winter weather covers for their baby carrier designs. They are an extra purchase but can be very useful if you live in a colder climate.
Most covers are made of a waterproof material that will prevent snow and rain from dampening the material with your baby inside.
The additional layer also helps block the cold air – especially in those fancy carriers with built-in ventilation!
Tips for Safe Winter Babywearing
Just as with any other type of babywearing, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind when wearing your child in cold weather:
- Make sure the baby carrier you select is appropriate for the weather conditions. We recommend a carrier with plenty of coverage and a broad panel at the back of the seat such as the Boba 4G.
- Avoid walking on icy surfaces. Slipping and falling is a greater risk to your baby than temperature in most circumstances.
- Avoid walking in extreme cold, windy, or snowy conditions.
- Have a quick warm up stretch before taking on the weight to minimise risk of back injury from the baby carrier.
- Monitor your child’s temperature to ensure they are not too cold or too hot.
- If you are unsure conditions are safe then opt for a stroller suited to wintery conditions instead with appropriate covers in place to protect from the elements.
Preparation is the key to a safe and comfortable experience when babywearing in cold weather.
Dress appropriately and then pay attention to any signs that your child may be overheating or is just too cold (hot tip – they often cry!!) and you will be sure to have a fun time.