Brrr! The snow is on it's way and you might be wondering how you can keep your baby cosy in the sling as the mercury falls! There are some great articles discussing safe winter babywearing (my favourite is here) but I thought you might like a little look at the winter 'gear' I think is great for babywearing, especially up here in Aberdeen.
1 - JoJo Maman Bebe polarfleece suit.
The thick, padded type snow suits aren't great for using with a sling. It's hard for baby to regulate their temperature, which carries a risk of overheating. They can sometimes prevent baby getting their legs and hips in to an optimal position. So these lovely, soft cosy polar fleece all in ones are a great middle ground. They give the all over cosy cover that you would like from a suit, but allow baby to move freely and not get too toasty!
2- Aiska Babywearing Poncho.
Isn't this gorgeous? Never mind for babywearing, I think I'd like to wear it all the time! There is a huge range and variety of babywearing coats, hoodies, soft shells and fleeces out there to suit all budgets- from £25 to £150+ They usually have holes for the babies head, as well as hoods, and most can be used for back and front carries.
I drove myself mad with my first born trying to find soft shoes/socks that would actually stay on his feet, until I discovered Moccis! They come in a variety of designs, have a soft leather sole (so perfect for tiny toes) and stay on (despite my babies best efforts to get them off) You don't want babies feet to be exposed to the elements, so a pair of soft booties or moccis keeps them toasty!
When I was young, it used to get so cold in the winter, that I would often be found with tights on under my trousers to keep my legs warm on the journey to school. The memory has endured as now I always pop a pair of tights on under M's leggings or jeans just to give her legs that extra little bit of protection from the cold and wind. This pair is from slugs and snails, but you can pick up cheap pairs of tights for as little as £2 from Amazon.
These popped up on my Facebook feed and I immediately ordered a pair! They are dungarees designed to go over your babies clothes (but under any coats) that have thicker material along the length of the lower leg. They also have little stirrup straps that stop the legs from riding up and exposing any bare bits to the cold. You can choose your fabric (I couldn't resist the unicorn) and they are hand made to order.
6- Baby Balaclava
Even with baby dressed warmly, with a hat, their little faces can get cold and a gap at the back of their neck can appear. A baby balaclava solves both these problems - covering their little cheeks and making sure their necks aren't feeling a draught. The one pictured is from Jojo Maman Bebe but there are lots of be found on Etsy. Or if you (or your mum) is handy with a pair of knitting/crochet needles, you could always try making your own!
How have you been keeping warm while babywearing this winter? Have you got a favourite item of winter babywearing 'gear'?
I've wrapped since Toby was a little baby, and happily swing between wraps and buckles now for carrying his little sister Molly. But I will confess that one of the first slings that I purchased was a ring sling, and I quickly passed it on because I just couldnt get to grips with it at all! 3 years on, and my ring sling skills have thankfully progressed. However, I still didn't have a ring sling in my personal sling stash. So when I was offered the opportunity to test and review the gorgeous Joy and Joe Poinsettia Fluffy Shade of Feathers ring sling, I jumped at the chance.
Despite having admired them for a while, I'd never actually seen or wrapped with a Joy and Joe wrap or ring sling before. Most of my wraps have come from the same wrap brand, and I wasn't convinced I could be swayed any other way. That said, I was quite taken with the ring sling when I first saw it at one of our local sling meets with the first Aberdeen tester, so I was looking forward to it making it's way to my house.
Before I had children and became slightly obsessed with slings and wraps, I used to love handbags. Joy and Joe must have known, as they provide a matching tote bag with every sling they sell. Half wrap material, half black canvas, it's a sturdy little number perfect for storing your wrap, or using as a small shopping bag. There is also a lovely and detailed instruction booklet which would be very handy for new babywearers to refer too.
I was pretty excited when the postman appeared with Poinsettia, and the first thing I did was grab some pictures of it! I was lucky enough to have it over the Christmas period, and the colour couldn't have been more apt. A bright, vibrant, festive red with white feathers, the ring sling is understated yet
intriguing - I found myself admiring the feather pattern for quite a while (and I hadn't even put my baby in it at this point!).
There is a slight difference between the right side and the 'wrong' side, both are aesthetically pleasing which is great with a ring sling when both sides are openly visible. Straight out of the bag it is super soft, with a blend of 50% italian cotton, 50% combed cotton. It is a reasonably affordable ring sling, retailing at £90 but the blend feels far more luxurious than the price tag would indicate. In hand, it feels floppy and the feathers give a slightly textured feel although the overwhelming feeling is one of softness.
Using it for the first time, I was surprised how easy it was to tighten this ring sling. So often, ring slings can be quite hard to tighten when new till the material has been broken in. Being used to linen and hemp blends, it was a treat to be able to easily put on and adjust the Joy and Joe Poinsettia ring sling with very little effort. Molly is 9 months old and approximately 19lbs, and felt relatively weightless in the ring sling. I do usually prefer having her weight distributed across two shoulders in a wrap or buckle carrier, but I was able to wear her quite comfortably without any pain or discomfort in my shoulder or neck. She loved the change of vantage point that a ring sling can offer!
It's a relatively wide ring sling so I popped my toddler in it too. He's 3 and on the 91st percentile for height (and weight) so not exactly small - the ring sling covered his back entirely while still having enough material for a good deap seat and he felt well supported. Usually I feel like I need blends with linen to carry him comfortably, but I was impressed with how supportive the cotton blend felt despite the heavier load.
We made good use of the ring sling at home for 'quick ups' and when she needed to be with me, but I needed hands spare to get things done. The Joy and Joe Poinsettia ring sling can turn it's hand to many occassions. As well as being useful for day to day babywearing, it would make the perfect occassion wrap to go with a wedding outfit, and I wore it on Christmas Day to go with my Christmas jumper!
Overall, I really enjoyed having the Joy and Joe Poinsettia Fluffy Shade of Feathers ring sling here to play, and it's ignited a previously quashed love for ring slings in general. I would however love to try a fluffy shade of feathers wrap as I think the blend would be super cushy in wrap form. From this last picture you can tell that Molly enjoyed having it here too! Thank you to the wonderful Joy and Joe team for sending this ring sling up to Aberdeen for us to test, and I'm sending it with sleepy dust in to the next mama in line!