The trouble with babywearing in the winter can be jackets. Trying to wrap over the babywearers jacket can be tricky, you cant sometimes get it feeling comfortable enough, and when baby is wearing a bulky snowsuit, this can be a big problem too. Some snowsuits are made out of materials that slip and slide and just make it hard for the wrap, sling etc to grib comfortably for the babywearer and the one being worn.
There are a lot of products out on the market that can help you wear your baby UNDER your jacket. This way, your child can even just be in his/her sweater, and be comfortable with just a hat and mittens and boots. There are vests, jackets, poncho's, amauti's. Some made by bigger companies, some by smaller work at home Mom businesses. Im hoping next week to be able to go into this in more detail, but tonight I would love to talk about DIY babywearing jackets.
The easiest method ofcourse to wearing your baby under your jacket is to buy a jacket that is too big for you. That way you can fit both you and baby comfortably underneath.
The only problem I have ever encountered with this is because if you are carrying a bigger child, the shape of your body with the toddler attached changes, making the arm holes of the jacket a little strange. You can kind of see it here in this photo. -------------->
so what to do....................................
Last year I came up with a solution for this problem for me and my son Zayden. I went to a local thrift shop and for 7 dollars or so purchased a wool dress jacket that has buttons up the front and a waist belt. It is 100% wool and very warm, but thin.
So I got the jacket and split the seam in the back from the collar to the waist. Wool material can be verrry expensive so I purchased some material that was "close enough" that was on clearance at Fabric Land that week. It even has a touch of stretch. I doubled it up so it would be warm.
Here in the photo, the outline in blue, inside that is the pannel I put in. It comes right to where the waist belt lays. So when you tie the belt around you, it rests right under your childs bum. I didnt worry about lining the inside of the coat so you couldnt see where it was placed in, the way I figure it is, you want to make it most affordable, and no one is really going to see the inside of the jacket anyways ;)
I put a bit of a pleat I guess you would call it near the bottom, it is outlined in the green. This way when the baby's bum is resting against it, it fills out, and when baby isnt inside, then its not hanging there as much. This made the jacket significantly larger, so I dont wear it when my son isnt on my back, which is rare LOL.
Theres is no real need to have massive expert sewing experience for it, just a good needle that will go through thick material, and a machine thats up for the challenge.
Now about the hood. Made with the same material as the pannel in the back of the jacket, I made this sucker big enough to fit over my son, and myself for those cooollld winter days that the wind is blowing like mad and you still need to get out. The measurments are for each pannel, I sewed them up together at the back of the hood. I also lined the hood with an old thick fleece blanket that was close in colour. Makes it extra cozy. I sewed this onto the neck of the jacket and voila, a babywearing jacket for under 20 bucks!
My son and I really love this jacket. This will be its second winter season this year. Its perfect because when we are going into a store, I can just take off the jacket and we wont be roasting the whole time we are doing whatever it is we need to do, and then when its time to go back out into the cold Canadian weather, we can throw it back on and away we go!!!
** please note that this jacket is not like an Amauti, you do need a carrier for this jacket to work. It simply goes over top. :)
Have fun this winter and happy babywearing!