As fall moves into winter, one thing on the minds of many of you Northern mamas is keeping your babies warm in the winter!  As I don’t often have this problem in sunny Southern California, LOL, I’ve asked my friend, Kristie from Washington state, to share some of her best tips for cold-weather-babywearing!
Hello all!  I hail from the rainy and often cold environs of Seattle!  One thing that’s crucial to avoiding the blues that can come with our gray, dark winters is a lot of outside walks; however, when my daughter was born at the end of October two years ago, I foresaw a challenge with keeping her warm while still getting us both outside.  Happily, babywearing gave us a chance to help keep each other warm, while also providing for lots of snuggles AND avoiding the baby bucket!  Although I was told it was a must for cold weather, in the end, our bucket seat never left our car… and I credit babywearing for giving me the freedom to manage that!
Between our trusty Moby wrap and our even trustier Beco Butterfly, we went pretty much everywhere!  “Everywhere” meant more this particular winter than it might have otherwise, as we had several weeks of record snows.  Rather than having to try to balance myself and a bucket seat on icy sidewalks, or to try to use a stroller to navigate rutted snow piles, I could easily manuver with my little girl securely strappd to me!  One trick I found with the Moby was to put a fleece receiving blanket (doubled up, if it was cold enough) in the “cummerbund” panel of the wrap to add a bit of extra warmth between DD’s little body and the elements..  For both the Moby and the Beco, I found that putting a coat on her kept her nice and cozy, but keeping it unzipped and pulled back slightly allowed more direct heat transfer between our bodies.  On super-cold days (below about 35 degrees), I put her in a fleece snowsuit, which added breathable warmth without much bulk.  A last wonderful thing about both the Moby and the Beco–I could put them both on under my coat before leaving the house, and when we got to our destination, I could pop my snugglebug right into the nicely pre-warmed carrier and take off, while still ensuring that she had minimal exposure to the elements!
PAXbaby cold weather babywearing PAXbaby cold babywearing
On this particular day when DD was about 10 weeks old, we went to visit a local community farm!  We were in the middle of a cold snap, and the outside temperature was about 25 degrees and overcast.  Inside the unheated barn was only slightly warmer, but DD didn’t notice–look at that smile!  I had my double-weight fleece coat zipped over us both, but only a thin t-shirt on underneath–my cute little oven made it so that I didn’t need much more!  Another plus–I could unsnap the internal harness of the Butterfly on one side so that DD could see the animals without me having to take her out of the carrier!
PAXbaby cold babywearing
Several months later, we participated in the March of Dimes Walk America 5K in honor of a friend.  It was about 45 degrees and overcast, with occasional spitting rain.  Here DD wore just a t-shirt, nylon jacket, jeans, and one of our favorite babywearing accessories–Babylegs!  They’re AWESOME for covering that gap between pants and socks that happens when you carry a baby, and also nice as an extra layer!  Again, I just zipped her right in my coat, and the Butterfly’s internal panel allowed me to adjust her mid-walk without stopping so that she could nurse while we meandered along!  No stopping to take her out of the stroller necessary!
The following fall, we’d moved predominately to back carries, and I decided I needed something else.  One tip I got which worked great was to get a size larger coat than I’d normally wear, then toss it over both of us, but with the neck of the coat behind her neck.  For me, this works great in a pinch, but as DD is pretty stroller-averse, I needed to explore other options.  I ended up buying a gently-loved Kindercoat, and my life was made!  Even today at 24 months, DD is content to chill out on my back while tagging along on whatever adventures that we happen to be on!
PAXbaby cold babywearing
This particular day it was about 45 degrees and alternating between a drizzle and a downpour.  Our old standbys of a fleece coat and Babylegs worked great for us this day as she helped me lead a naturalist program to 150 visitors over the course of four hours.  Our Babyhawk OhSnap! provided a lot of support while still allowing her a bit of room to wiggle as necessary!
The long and the short of it is that you don’t have to resort to a bucket seat with a huge cover just to keep your little one warm during the winter!  And now I have hours and hours of wonderful memories of warm cozy winter baby snuggles!
*May you all have happy & warm babywearing winters!*

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