… at least, I think it can still be said that Birmingham has a winter season. It’s not here yet, that’s for sure, but we have had a freeze. These 70-degree days will, at some point, turn into 40-degree days. (Shoot, we’ll probably even have some 20-degree days.) Chilly, and even cold, weather need not stop us from enjoying the outdoors with our worn babies and toddlers.
On sweater-weather days, there’s no real trick to babywearing: the caregiver and baby can simply don a sweater or light jacket and go about babywearing as usual. When it’s colder, though, a layer on top of the caregiver, baby, and carrier is nice and has the added benefit of encouraging people to ask you how in the world that baby is holding on to your back, creating a great babywearing advocacy moment. (Or, if you’re feeling snarky, you could just say the baby’s hanging on you like a chimpanzee.)
There are dreamy wool ponchos and jackets designed especially for babywearing, like the Mamaponcho and the Mamajacket, but $200 or more maybe overkill considering how mild Birmingham winters typically are. There are perfectly serviceable ponchos, jackets, and vests for substantially less, including the El Nino babywearing poncho, the Divine Ride babywearing jacket, and the Nori Peekaru babywearing vest. All of these products work regardless of whether you carry your child on your back or your front.
If utility on a budget is your thing, though, you can’t beat a DIY job. Lisa, one of our members, made this great no-sew babywearing jacket last year for just a few dollars. All you have to do is acquire a cheap coat and some fabric glue and know how to operate scissors and use glue. (See? Everything you need to know, you DID learn in kindergarten!)
If the coat is a style with a puffy back, get one size larger than you normally wear. If it’s a fitted coat, get two sizes larger. Cut a 10-inch slit down the back of the coat, starting from the top of the collar. To keep the coat from unraveling where you cut, put some fraycheck (fabric glue) on the edges. Or, if you sew, just do an overcast stitch. If your coat is fleece, you don’t have to use glue or sew, because fleece doesn’t fray.
There are other DIY options, too. Some people are sufficiently talented to crochet or knit their own babywearing ponchos with neck holes sized and placed just right for caregiver and child. Cutting some fleece is a bit more my speed, though. My next project is to make a no-sew fleece babywearing poncho for our lending library, so check back in a few days to see how I did!