First Technique Tips post–Winter Babywearing

There have been so many great winter babywearing posts so rather than reinvent the wheel, I am presenting some of the best here.  I’ll also be posting my favorite pictures showing these ideas towards the end.

Wrap Your Baby

How do you babywear in cold weather?  As it turns out, there are many options.

  • Babywearing outerwear specifically designed for accommodating the two of you and the babycarrier.  Babywearing outwear comes in the form of coats, jackets, vests and ponchos.  Some are for cooler weather than others.  Some are water resistant.  Some are made from natural and some from synthetic materials.
  • Babywearing covers that cover the baby and baby carrier for warmth, but do not cover the babywearer (who would wear their own coat).
  • Larger winter coats for the babywearer to wear that are big enough to close around baby as well, so that both are inside the same coat.  Mens coats, swing coats and A line coats are all good options, buttoned up just as far as baby’s neck.  As baby and wearer would be sharing the same head hole, it may be necessary to wear a scarf or shawl to cover your neck and chest between the two of you.
  • Traditional shawl, poncho, or pashmina can be wrapped around both of you.  Wool is an excellent material for warmth, water resistance, and breathability.
  • Bundling baby within the carrier, and wearing your own coat on top.

Some people do their bundling (mother and baby in winter gear) and then put the babycarrier on top of all the coats.  I am not a fan of this method as coats can be slippery and unsafe to babywear over, and the bulk makes it difficult to get a comfortably tight carry.  It also eliminates the babywearing benefit of having baby close enough to hear your heartbeat, smell you, etc.  Also, your warmth is the best way to keep your baby warm so I like to avoid layers between you.

BWI of DC-MD-VA talks about winter babywearing

The past few meetings, we’ve had a few questions about winter babywearing. One of the biggest questions is how to get baby in/out of the car when following the recommendation against wearing heavy coats. If you don’t know why they shouldn’t wear heavy coats/snowsuits in the carseat, read about it here. So, in this video, I give some examples of the kinds of clothes I dressed my newborn and now older baby in to keep her warm when going to/from the car. I often hear, “how do I wrap in the winter?” I show how to pre-wrap before leaving the house. Then your coat goes on over the whole thing and you can pop baby in and out.

BWI of DC-MD-VA gives some DIY instructions for a babywearing coat

Yes, you could spend the money on a dedicated babywearing coat, but you could just as easily convert a coat to accommodate both you and your little precious bundle.  Here is a fabulous tutorial that I used that was easy to follow even with my novice sewing skills.  These instructions were translated from German and used with permission from Nancy, with slight editing.

BWI of DC-MD-VA presents newborn winter wearing

One thing to consider when wearing a newborn is what type of carrier will be a good choice?  Many of the best choices for newborns in general are also great for newborns in winter.  A ring sling, stretchy or woven wrap can be a great choice because they are easy to put on under your coat before leaving the house.

I have had 3 winter newborns.  I didn’t wear all of them, but I did get a chance to try out a variety of ways for keeping newborns comfortable in the winter.  None of the carseat/stroller cover/blanket combinations that I tried made me feel as confident that my baby was comfortable as babywearing did.

10 Tips for Babywearing in the Winter

Winter is a perfect time to babywear, keeping your child close to you while you both stay cozy and share the same view of the world. Nothing is sweeter than being able to plant a kiss on a little head, or hand a snack over your shoulder, while walking around.

There can be a few things to remember; from staying comfortably warm, to those annoying zippers, and wearing just enough while still being able to buckle or loop your carrier.

5 Easy Tips for Babywearing in Winter

I love babywearing!

It’s a beautiful thing when you can combine snuggling close to your baby with being hands free and getting things accomplished! Wearing your baby is great for around the house and for enjoying the outdoors.

Now that the temps are starting to drop you might be feeling discouraged from wearing your baby out in the cold winter weather but don’t let that stop you! Below you’ll find my five tips for babywearing in the winter to keep you and baby toasty warm while participating in all of the winter wonderland fun.

The Stay at Home Feminist

With chillier weather on the way, the most common babywearing question I get is, “How do I continue to wear my baby in the winter months and keep us both warm and toasty?”

The wonderful news is that with babywearing becoming more and more a part of every family’s parenting arsenal, babywearing manufacturers are picking up on the fact that there is a need for products that work in all kinds of weather.

charlie

One of our local dads

winter1

One of our local dads

 

So many options!

So many options!

First Carry of the Month in 2014–January is Christina’s Ruckless Back Carry

Christina's Ruckless

Christina’s Ruckless with a Kokadi Ela im Wunderland woven wrap

Christina’s Ruckless Back Carry (CRBC) has 3 passes across the child, and the chest belt spreads the straps more comfortably than ruck straps. I have picky shoulders and can never do a simple ruck strap carry so this combines the things I love about a double hammock (with a chest belt) and adds cross passes that anchor their legs. Since there’s a pass across the wearer’s chest, it’s a very comfortable carry for larger chested women as well.

Its origins are on a TBW.com thread here with picture tutorial.

Christina's photo tutorial for her carry

Christina’s photo tutorial for her carry with a size 5 Didymos Nino

Our CotM playlist for January

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx85poiqdSw&list=PL9OD4ahOIfZ1iWNsV_gHoLfgC4Exhuqul

Babywearing Faith does a wonderful job explaining the carry using a 4.2m (size 5) sized woven wrap.  Usually this carry can be accomplished with a size 5 or 6 but size of the child and wrapper, along with the thickness of the wrap could could mean you have to size up or down.

Additional wonderful Christina’s Ruckless videos:

Wrapping Rachel uses a 4.5m wrap (short 6/long 5):

WrapYourBaby uses a 4.7m wap (size 6)

 

Beginning in February 2014, the CotM series will become “Technique Tips” and we will focus on one technique each month.  Look for the first Technique Tips at the end of the month.

Carry of the Month December 2013

Happy Holidays!  We are taking the month off of CotM but in its place, enjoy these holiday themed carriers!

Natibaby Astrell: 70% Cotton/30% Wool

Didymos Chestnuts: 100% Cotton

Natibaby Winter Trees

Pollora Noel: 100% Cotton

Didymos Ice Crystals: 55% Cotton, 5% metallic yarn, 40% Linen

Kokadi Christmas: 50% Cotton/50% Linen

November carry of the month-carries for LONG wraps

Carries for sizes 7 and 8 (or 6 if you’re very petite)–lengths would be ~5.2m and ~5.7m (size 6 is 4.7m)

A 5.1 or 5.2 meter woven is called a size 7 wrap.  This is the LARGE full length wrap.  Plus size moms and dads will use this size for all of their full length wrap carries.  It can also be used by someone who normally uses a size 6 but wants more room for tandem babywearing, or doing extra long carries.

A 5.7 meter woven is often called a size 8 woven wrap.  This size is for full length carries for those who wear larger than a size 22 dress size (US) and should work well, for example, for a parent or caregiver who is in the range of 5’10 and 300 lbs. For reference, most popular brands of stretchy wrap are one-size-fits-all, and that size is around 5.5 meters.  Just about a size 8.

[from wrapyourbaby.com]

** If all else fails, you can use it for a conversion.  🙂

Option 1: Chop it for a mei tai, buckle, or half-buckle (reverse half-buckles too)–will likely use all of wrap

Option 2: Chop it in half to get 2 shorty wraps that are ~2.6m (size 2)

Option 3: Chop it for a ring sling and 1 shorty wrap–depending on size of sling, you may have a size 3 wrap (or more)

From Sleeping Baby Productions' page

From Sleeping Baby Productions’ page

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Back to the wrapping!

I’ve found that many people ask what length wrap to use for each carry but like I’ve said previously, the size wrap needed is determined by:

  1. size of wearer
  2. size of wearee
  3. thickness of wrap
  4. any fancy add-on chest belts or flourishes

To get an idea of what a wrap length looks like on a range of bodies, check out wearyourbaby.com’s “Visual Guide to Figuring Out Wrap Sizes”.  Each model shows varying wrap lengths when you click through to their page.

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Coolest Hip Cross Carry (CHCC)

 

Christina’s Ruckless Back Carry

 

Jordan’s Back carry (JBC)

 

Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC)

        • Regular (ruck straps)
      • Starting with a half knot
    • Sweetheart neckline

 

Wiggleproof Back Carry

 

Taiwanese Back Carry

 

Double Hammock (DH) with chest belt variationssee July’s CotM

 

Tandem CarriesCheck out the Tandem Wearing group on FB for details.

 

Adding a chest belt or flourish to a back carry also uses up length so if you try a carry with a size 6 and want to add a chest belt, you’ll need to size up usually.

October Carry of the Month explores shorty wraps

Usually people consider size 2 (2.7m) or less a “shorty”.

This month’s Carry of the Month explores these short wraps.  Since we’re all different sizes, I expanded the range up to size 3.  I can do a ruck tied under bum (RUB) with a 3 with my 35lb ~3YO but if I was wrapping a newborn, I would have enough length to tie in front.  While the above chart gives you a general idea of what sizes can do what, the size of wrap factors in with wearee and wearer sizes to determine the type of carry possible.

If you tie under bum, you can often shorten the size wrap needed by at least a size. Likewise, using sling rings between two passes (like the torso pass in DH) also can shorten the amount of wrap needed.

By no means is this a comprehensive list.  🙂

Watch all selected videos in a playlist here.

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Front/Hip Carries

Robin’s Hip Carry

No-sew ring sling

Rebozo (can also be done on back)

Kangaroo tied under bum

Short Cross Carry (SCC)

Simple Hip Carry

Poppin’s Hip Carry

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Back Carries

Ruck

There are many variations (some may need a longer wrap):

  • Ruck tied under bum (RUB)
  • Ruck tied in front (TIF)
  • Reinforced Ruck- spreading the passes after the first pass
  • Ruck with chest belt finish (TT, TAS, etc.)

Torso carry

Short Back Cross Carry (SBCC)

RRRR- Reinforced Rear Rebozo Ruck

Shephard’s Carry

Double Hammock Rebozo

Double Hammock with ring slings (one or two)

September 2013’s Carry of the Month is the Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC).

September 2013’s Carry of the Month is the Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC).

The FWCC is probably one of the first carries most people learn to do.  It works from birth and is a great option for nursing.  Its cousin, the Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC), is sometimes known as the Moby carry.  Because of the popularity of stretchy wraps and the ability to pre-tie the carries, FWCC and PWCC are our Carry of the Month for September.

FWCC with a beautiful Ellevil Zara Tri-Pink

 

Starting out with the simplest forms

FWCC with a newborn using a size 6 wrap- BabywearingFaith

FWCC with an older infant using a 4.5m wrap- Meredith Sinclair

FWCC with a toddler or preschooler– WrappingRachel

PWCC using a stretchy wrap like the Moby, Wrapsody Hybrid, or Boba wraps (Moby’s “hug hold”)

You can leave the passes bunched to be cooler or spread them for more support.

  • This video also does a great job explaining the tightening process.- WrappingRachel
  • This video talks about sandwiching the passes.- BabywearingFaith

Nursing in a FWCC or PWCC- Wrapyourbaby.com

Variations

FWCC tied under bum (FWCC-TUB)- WrappingRachel

FWCC tied at shoulder (FWCC-TAS)- WrappingRachel

For extra credit, two mothers of twins show how to use FWCC for twin newborns using a long wrap.

  1. Video 1– WrappingRachel shows a version where each twin is in their own horizontal pass (size 6 wrap)
  2. Video 2– Wearababy.com shows a version where one baby is in the horizontal pass while the second is in one of the cross passes

Starting out with a ring sling

I’ve had a lot of requests for this video playlist recently so I thought I would reblog it here.  It can be seen on my personal blog as well.

Starting out with a ring sling.

via Starting out with a ring sling.

Hello to all the mothers- and fathers-to-be out there or the caregiver who would like to have a hands-free carrying option!  My sister in law is pregnant (she’s since had her son) and I remember all too well how sometimes newborns just want to be against you 24-7.

Since sitting on a couch, holding your infant is not completely realistic for most people, babywearing can really be a great tool for new mothers and mothers with toddlers to chase around.

I thought it would be useful to have a comprehensive how-to all in one place for people who can’t make it to a Babywearing International meeting for hands-on help. [if you are looking for a local chapter, the list by state is here]

I made a playlist for new users and hopefully this will be useful for my SIL as well as others.

Leg straightening a problem? Try something with a deep seat combined with carries featuring cross passes and/or reinforcing passes.

Yesterday at the Earth Fare meeting we met some very strong and athletic little ones. When you are putting your baby/toddler into a carrier, the ideal positioning is like a capital M. Called the “Spread Squat Position”, the bum is the lower than knees. If you have a leg straightener, having a seat super deep prevents them from popping the seat because of the mechanics of bringing their legs together.

Spread Squat Position-via BabyWearing Institute

Here are two great videos using slings that show how to make a deep seat and the Spread Squat Positioning.

There are two types of passes that are better for leg straighteners- the Cross Pass and the Reinforcing Pass.

Cross Pass
A Cross Pass passes over the baby on a diagonal, with one end going under the baby’s leg and under the wrapper’s arm and the other end going over the baby’s shoulder and then over the wrapper’s shoulder.

Reinforcing Pass
A Reinforcing Pass comes under the wrapper’s arm, across the baby diagonally, under the baby’s opposite leg and then under the wrapper’s opposite arm.

Reinforced Ruck– uses 2 reinforcing passes over a ruck pass

Back Cross Carry– uses 2 cross passes and resembles a mei tai

Front Cross Carry– you can pre-tie this; uses 2 cross passes and looks like PWCC without the torso pass

Semi-FWCC– you can partially pre-tie this; uses a torso pass and a cross pass and looks like FWCC without one of the cross passes and instead is tied at the shoulder

DH-TAS (Double hammock tied at shoulder)- after the torso pass, instead of pulling that  pass up over shoulder, tuck it under baby’s leg and loop back over the shoulder for 3rd pass across baby and under other leg; ends up being tied at shoulder with short portion of original pass

You can also substitute in a cross pass for a rebozo pass for many carries, which means instead of the pass going across both legs, it goes under one.  This results in the wrap keeping that leg in place.

  • As an example, a double rebozo carry could turn into a double cross carry by using 2 cross passes instead of rebozo passes.  However, this substitution usually means the pass is lower on the child’s back than the original rebozo passes would be.