Thursday, January 2, 2014

Babywearing in the Winter: How to make the most of your carrier

With living in Minnesota, sometimes I feel like we only have three months of actual summer weather.  While I love getting out for walks and outings with my family, it is a challenge to do this when the temperatures become dangerously cold.  Despite the weather being uncooperative for outdoor play, this has not hampered our babywearing. 

I find that there are lots of opportunities for me to use my Boba baby carrier (aff link) around the house. Our little one is now almost 10-months-old.  He is dealing with teething, new developmental skills, and days where he feels like he must be with me at every waking moment.  He loves to be held, and sometimes when I set him down he'll collapse to the floor and cry until I pick him up again.  This makes it impossible to do anything, that is, until I get out my carrier.

With baby safely strapped to my back, I can interact and play with my older child, take care of household chores, or do a little baking. I can do things I'm interested in doing without feeling guilty about not addressing my baby's needs.  Baby is happy because he has a good view of what's going on, he's with me, and my movement helps relax him.  Don't be afraid to get creative and use your carrier around the house.  We see a lot of pictures of hiking with baby carriers, but 99% of the time you're going to be using a baby carrier for comforting the baby or accomplishing daily tasks.  
Enjoying a morning of baking, or comforting the baby? 
 

Here are some of the situations where I like to babywear during cold months:

  • Vacuuming: Some babies can develop a fear of the vacuum, but babywearing while vacuuming helps your child learn to relax while the vacuum is on.  Oh, and you can get your cleaning done.
  • Preparing meals and treats:  With baby in his carrier, I can prepare food for dinner or make a special treat.  It usually takes me about twenty minutes to cut up or mix food for the actual cooking or baking.  After baby is in his carrier for the food-prep time, he is relaxed and is ready to get out of the carrier and play on his own while I cook or use the oven (don't wear your baby around hot oil or hot cooking surfaces)
  • Shopping and outings: When we do get out of our house in the winter, we're usually visiting a museum or shopping mall.  I love babywearing in these situations because, if we do bring a stroller, it's usually loaded with jackets or purchases (there is no room for baby).  We'll often ditch our jackets at a coat check and completely forgo a stroller when we have the baby carrier.  It's nice not to be weighed down with extra stuff when you're trying to enjoy an outing.
  • When I'm outside with the baby for extended periods: Winter doesn't put a halt on parades, marathons, and outdoor festivities. Keeping baby warm during outside time is much easier to do in a baby carrier than a stroller. I like to put my baby carrier on under my jacket and wear baby in a front carry.  I can zip my jacket over the baby carrier (or use a blanket) and keep a warm hat on baby. My body heat helps keep baby warm, and, since baby is so close, I can easily tell when we need to take baby inside for a break.


Tips for getting your baby into the baby carrier in the winter:


In the car method, while parked:
This is really easy if you have a minivan (where you can walk into the backseat) or only one car seat in the back of your car.  Sit down in the backseat of your car, get baby into the carrier, cover him with a blanket, and you're ready to go.  If you do not have enough space to utilize the backseat, you can quickly take baby out of his carseat and go to the passenger seat of the vehicle.  The passenger side has more room for you to get baby into the carrier and covered by a blanket before entering the store or destination.

In the store/destination method:
This is the easiest way to get older babies into their baby carriers (especially when you are carrying the baby on your back).  An older baby will probably already be wearing a thin fleece jacket and hat and can be carried in your arms into the store.  Once in the store, find a bench to stop and get him into the carrier.  Babywearing with your older baby will allow you to ditch the shopping cart and grab a shopping basket: you'll save money by buying fewer items.

Disclosure: I’m a Boba Ambassador. I participate in Boba events and online conversations, and receive thank you gifts for my participation, but all opinions and experiences expressed are
my own.


4 comments:

  1. Great post! I'm planning on carrying our LO whenever I go grocery shopping or while doing house chores. How old were the kiddos when you started back-carrying them?

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    1. Boba says 20 pounds for back carry and I agree with that 100%. Our little guy is just 20lbs now and I just transitioned him. He really didn't like the back carry at first and I have an upcoming post about making the transition from front to back. I have heard some people who end up not continuing to babywearing because their babies have a hard time making the change, but it just takes a little time to get the baby used to it. I really prefer back carry- it's just like wearing a backpack!

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  2. I miss my son being carry-able. He's just. so. big. now!!! It was a life saver last winter, especially on public transit. As for the back-carry, we started at about 20 lbs also!

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  3. I live in Michigan, so it's nice to have some tips about what to do in the winter! Little Man is getting too heavy to tote around in his infant car seat, and I've been trying to figure out how to use our carrier without him getting too cold. Thanks for the ideas!

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