Going out and about with a baby is never simple. Between the diaper bag, stroller, car seat, and other necessary baby paraphernalia — plus your actual baby — you have your hands more than full every time you leave the house. Babywearing is an option that frees up both of your hands, allows you to leave the stroller at home, and keeps your baby cozy as the weather gets chilly. But babywearing can be somewhat of a learned skill, and learning how to wear your baby and a coat at the same time isn't always simple — or comfortable. It is, however, a necessary skill to learn if you plan on babywearing in the winter and not freezing.
Before getitng into the specifics of how to do it, learning about the many benefits of babywearing can act as an incentive to stick with it through the colder months of the year. According to La Leche League International (LLLI), babywearing promotes a healthy breastfeeding relationship, keeps your baby calm, secure and reassured by physical touch. Similarly, aside from making your life much more convenient and hands-free, it has been shown to strengthen parental bonding with baby.
Although there are coats made specifically for babywearing, if you don't have one or want to make the investment, you might have to get a little bit more creative by bundling up the old fashion way. Whether you use a wrap, sling, or baby carrier, it's possible to keep both of you warm at the same time.
One option for wearing your baby is to wear them underneath your jacket like you normally would, and simply put your jacket on over the top of your wrap. Obviously, this works best for wearing your baby in the front. You can either partially zip your coat up around your baby, or wear it unzipped, as long as your baby has enough layers on under their wrap.
Alternatively, you can wear your baby over your coat. Just put your coat on as normal, and then wrap or harness your baby over the top of your coat. This version works best for jackets that aren't overly puffy, since you'll have to expand the straps or fabric to fit around you and the coat.
Whenever option you find easiest, know that your baby is still getting all of the benefits of babywearing while you enjoy being hands-free — maybe with a warm cup of hot cocoa.