I am an experienced babywearer who has come across a totally new babywearing issue that I could really use your help with. For the first time in the 8 years that I have been wearing my babes I am finding winter babywearing impossible. In the past it's been uncomfortable but now both dh and I are finding that carrying our 20 month old on our backs or hips is seriously painful after just a short walk. I know that this is due to the extra bulk we are all wearing to protect us from the cold. In the past I've had huge fleece coats that I've worn over my baby and I but it just is too cold for fleece and I've got dd on my back most often as I have 2 older dds to help as well as a dog I'm walking on a leash.
We are using either a ring sling, stretchy fleece wrap or Baby Hawk. None are comfortable. I am really commited to wearing my babies and really don't want to have to buy a stroller or a new carrier to get us through these next few months. Do you have any suggestions? If you do please share them with me! I would so appreciate them!
Mama to 3 lovely home learning, nature loving girls (10), (7), (3).
Hey there mama. I too had a stretchy wrap (Sleepy Wrap) and a Baby Hawk, but I never felt comfortable in the Baby Hawk so I sold it (on here) & bought an Ergo. LOVE the Ergo! It's still really comfortable to wear my little guy & he's 3 & 30lbs. In the winter I bundle us up & wear him on the outside of my coat. This has worked for us. Hope you find what works for you.
My daughter is a twenty pounder and I also carry her in a ring sling. I find it most comfortable to wear a sweater, put the sling on top of that (with her strapped to my front, facing in) and put a closer fitting lighter jacket on top of that. If it's very cold I'll layer a thick wool shawl over both of us and between the shawl and our body heat we both stay toasty. Doing it this way prevents us from being too bulky and makes it easy to layer down once we get into the store/library/wherever.
I'm not sure that this will help you -- it's just what works for me. Good luck. It can be very frustrating to be in pain while you carry your baby, especially when they do that jerk-baby thing and decide to arch back and straighten their legs out at the same time.
I LOVE my Mei Tai Baby, but as DS grew I found it would dig more and I grew to prefer the Ergo.
The ring sling was by far my work-horse carrier, but again as DS grew heavier it was difficult for longer carries.
If finances allow it, I would suggest a) an Ergo and b) a babywearing coat so you can keep babe close to you (I swear the extra inch or two that your coat plus babe's coat put between you in winter is enough to put awkward leverage working against you and makes it harder to properly adjust the carrier).
Laurie, wife to DH (Aug/04), mom toDS1 (Nov/05) and DS2 (June/12).
I wish I had some great ideas, but the only thing I can suggest is a vest. When I'm carrying a backpack (no kids in slings yet :)) and walking our dog, it's a lot easier for me when I've got a fleece on, and then a down vest on top. Having your arms totally free makes it easier to carry something on your back - not sure why but it really does. With a hat and mittens it's warm enough even for winter here in Switzerland.
I must say, the rain poncho on the 'babywearing coat' link above is so CUTE!
Have you considered trying to wear your child INSIDE your coat? This way there would be less slack and more proper distribution of your child's weight on your body. The fluffy-ness of your coat and baby's coat get in the way of having the straps resting directly against your body for support.
You can DIY with a Salvation Army find or buy one. Suse Kinder is a popular brand of babywearing coat.
I myself live in a cold climate. The winters here regularly go down to -20C for a spell. DD and DS2 were both worn inside my coat. Even up to 17kg in weight and tandem when the youngest was a newborn.
Good luck and stay warm!