Hey mamas and papas, when you are babywearing, you need to be prepared and know how to keep baby warm in carrier. Sometimes even a little bit of chilly draft will hit your baby the wrong way and wham! – at night baby’s body temperature rises, the nose stuffs up and the little person is miserable.
Its in everyone’s interest to keep the little baby warm and safe from getting that runny nose. If you have been a parent long enough to deal with the little guy’s cold, you won’t forget the long days with sick baby in your arms, the sleepless nights, and of course, the traumatic usage of the nose aspirator.
My family has personally been guilty of letting the baby get too breezy in a carrier for too long. We now make it a priority to keep the baby safely warm in baby carrier.
The baby is especially exposed to the winds and the cold in the back carry position. You need to check regularly that the baby is warm enough and protected from wind, and properly cover up when needed.
Remember that unlike you, your baby is stationary in the carrier which keeps her circulation lower. Babies have lower blood circulation to begin with and tend to get cold feet and hands fast.
Keeping baby warm in carrier outdoors during winter
Inside your coat
You can use a roomy coat to keep the baby close to your body. Maternity jackets work best, but you can make it work with a regular roomy winter jack as well. This works best for small infants that are not yet actively crawling or walking. You do not put the winter coat or boots on them here.
How I do it
- Dress the baby in a couple of layers. For example cotton bodysuit + a fleece bodysuit on top of that.
- Put a winter hat on – your baby’s head will be exposed to the outside .
- Put on mittens on your baby if she tends to put her little hands out.
- Cover baby’s neck with natural non-itchy material.
- Strap the baby onto yourself in the carrier or a wrap in an upright position.
- Put your coat on, keeping the baby inside the coat with you.
- Keep the coat’s zipper low enough to keep the baby’s nose free enough to breath easily.
Your coat should be on the longer side. This way the draft will not go up your jacket easily.
There are also special maternity jacket inserts and jackets that come with babywearing insert already available to make you and the infant more comfortable:
Now with this method while your kiddo is warm, you are not bundled up around your neck area (unless you are wearing a specially designed jacket like Diva Outerwear). I sometimes find it uncomfortable for winter babywearing. Still, this is my preferred method for a tiny baby, since their circulation is not yet strong and they are kept nicely warm from your body heat. I like to have the little baby tight and close on me.
Over winter jacket
Older baby can go be on you in a carrier on top of your jacket. It’s a fun way for your baby to be more exposed to feel and see everything better. And you can wear your favorite winter jacket as opposed to having to wear the big roomy one.
This works best with a soft structured carrier such as Baby Bjorn, Ergo, Boba, etc. You could make it work with a woven wrap as well.
I like an upright forward facing position here, so that the baby’s face is not stuck facing your winter jacket’s zipper or your scarf.
How I do it
- Put on your winter jacket on first
- Dress your baby fully for winter – winter snow bodysuit, boots, hat, mittens, etc.
- Put the carrier on top of your jacket and the baby into it.
This is definitely an easier set up. You have more flexibility. It is easier to pop the baby on and off for a little play in the snow, a feeding or a diaper change. You don’t need to keep removing your jacket for that.
Amautik – the Inuit winter babywearing way
Interestingly enough, winter babywearing has been around for longer than religion! The Inuit women from Eastern Canada have been doing this for decades. They have been using what is called Amauti – a specially made winter parka with large warm hood at the back.
Even though the baby is not visible, traditionally the baby would be worn with some of his bear skin touch the mother’s skin. This way mom would immediately feel any changes or distress.
I find it great to examine and integrate tips from ancient ways. After all they have done it for so many years to perfect the process.
Nowadays there is a modern version of amauti parka. I have never tried it, but it looks super cool I must say! It is probably real cozy for baby too.
Keeping baby warm in carrier not just in winter
Blanket over carrier
The baby needs to be warm in any season. That time when my baby got a cold in a carrier was actually in the summer! We were out hiking for too long in a back carry position. The draft picked up in the afternoon. While it was not cold for me, my stationary baby on the back did get cold enough to develop a full blown cough and runny nose for days to come.
I now have a fleece blanket on me if I am outside on days when the warmth is questionable. Once the wind picks up, I wrap the blanket all around my carrier. The blanket should be large enough to cover the baby from top of the baby’s head to well below the feet.
How I do it – using soft-structured carrier
- Place the blanket right on top of the carrier
- Wrap it over the back of baby’s head like a hoodie or place just over the neck – depending on how warm you want the baby to be
- Tuck in the sides into the top of the shoulder pads to keep “the hoodie” on.
- Tuck the sides of the blanket underneath the carrier on each side all along baby’s torso.
- Wrap the blanket over baby’s legs and feet.
- Tuck the blanket behind the bottom of the carrier – between baby’s legs and your body
Ready to use covers for carriers are available to buy. Some are tailored for specific carriers. And some are made in a more generic shape to fit most soft structured carriers.
For example there are manufactured covers for carriers such as
And some universal covers such as:
- 7AM Enfant Pookie Poncho (this one can be transformed into a stroller cover – versatile!)
- Jolly Jumper
Sweater Hoodie for baby carriers
Special hoodie sweaters have been designed for being worn over a baby in a carrier. Basically they have a fuller front side with an opening for baby’s head. They are great for keeping the baby warm as the heat generated by your body keeps the baby warm as both of you are inside the same sweater.