What a winter this has been in Boston! For Valentine’s Day, we are not only going to have several feet of snow on the ground, but the weather is going to get below zero with wind chills well below zero throughout the day. Adding a two month-old to this equation of snow + cold could result in a whole lot of being stuck inside, especially since our daily lives involve walking without an easy way to pop a baby quickly into a heated car. I spend at least half an hour a day outside with Perry, and here is how I keep him warm:
The first thing you should know is that I carry Perry around in a carrier. More specifically, I wear him in a Baby K’Tan, a type of wrap that goes on quickly and easily, and gives its own insulating layer. If he were older, I would use an Ergo, a type of soft structured carrier that distributes weight better on my hips. I find that wearing him close to me allows him to benefit from my body heat, and I prefer this to putting him in a stroller with a snowsuit and lots of blankets.
I get started with regular old Perry wearing his normal cotton outfits—usually pants and a onesie. If the weather is above 30 degrees, this is usually all I need. I just make sure I have something fairly warm, like fleece booties on his feet. If it is a bit colder, say in the 20’s, I might just go with a fleece one-piece outfit, again making sure his feet have something warm on them. But when it is in the teens or below, I pop him into a fleece suit (not a full snowsuit) before I put him in the wrap. No matter the scenario above, I put a warm winter cap on his head. My favorite is from Hanna Andersson, because it fully covers his ears and head, and then ties under his chin to keep it securely in place no matter how his head moves.
Once he is suited up, I pop him into the wrap, making any adjustments needed to make sure he fits comfortably given the extra bulk. On fleece suit days, I put the hood over his winter hat, and I pay careful attention to make sure his airways are clear.
The last step is to put a coat over both of us. I am very lucky because I own a special coat made precisely to be worn over a baby in a carrier. It has an extra panel that zips into the coat to make room for Perry, and has a little flap that can entirely enclose him in the coat, or be left open. The flap allows breathing room while protecting his face from cold and wind, and the coat is designed so that he can be worn on front or an older baby could be worn on the back during milder cold. That said, I have seen people zip a baby in a carrier inside a generously sized coat. I can, for instance, zip my husband’s coat over me and Perry, no problem.