As we grow up in the tropics, we usually require more effort in planning how to dress for the cooler weather. What's more, with the little ones, how should we dress them appropriately for our dream winter holiday?
If you're babywearing, you might get even more confused. How should we dress the little ones when they are in the carrier? Will this change the plan of what we will wear, and how they will be dressed? Should we buy a new carrier specially for the trip? Should we invest in babywearing jackets to keep baby warm?
Can I use my current baby carrier?
Good carriers do not come cheap. To be practical, you would not want to spend on a new thick carrier that you will use for only 1-2 weeks but too warm for Singapore's weather once you return. If you have an existing carrier, you can work around it, pairing with the ideas below.
In extreme cold winter, dress your baby without considering the baby carrier first. An extra layer from the baby carrier will not make much difference in very low temperature.
However, the winter clothing on both you and baby gets bulky so you'll have to readjust the settings of your carrier. Water-resistant jackets tend to be slippery so the straps could slide into uncomfortable positions even when you have adjusted the carrier tightly. It may take a few tries to reach your preferred adjustments. You may also need to readjust your carrier when wearing different thickness of clothing through your trip.
*My shoulders died when I was using a satin material ring sling while wearing a leather jacket as it kept slipping off.
Photo: Both mum and baby dressed appropriately for the weather without considering the baby carrier. Note that baby's pants was riding up above ankle.
As your baby sits in the carrier, the long pants will usually ride up their legs. If the length of the pants fits just nice, they could ride up to as high as the mid-calf level. Take note to adjust the pants back to ensure their legs are kept warm and nice.
In some cases, you may use a blanket and tuck them over your baby in the carrier, using clips to hold the blanket, or simply stuff it under your shoulder straps to prevent it from slipping away. This is especially useful if your baby is very young as their small body loses heat quickly. There are babywearing covers/coats available but the blanket hack works similar. They may look messy and "non-instagrammable" but we are talking about no-frills here.
Apart from using blanket over your baby carrier, you may also use a large jacket and zip up with your baby inside. This is so practical as you could simply use your husband's jackets.
If the winter is mild or if you feel warmer when using the carrier, you may consider taking off a layer or two from you and baby. With baby's weight on you, you will feel warmer once you start walking around. Being overdressed could make you persire that the wet clothing may make you cold and uncomfortable, so do adjust accordingly. Touch baby's cheeks or nose occasionally, or check his neck to see if he is perspiring.
Photo: Removing thick layers of clothing when indoor.
⚠️Don't forget TICKS even in the thick winter clothings.⚠️
Caregivers should ensure that the baby’s face is always visible and free from the winter clothing extra fabric. Check your baby often and follow TICKS.
⚠️With thick winter clothing, your movement could be restricted and baby's additional weight could throw you off balance. Be extra careful, especially on the slippery icy walkways!
It's best to do your own research as local weather changes. Check your planned activities during the trip as the same temperature of 5°C near water body with strong wind could feel a lot colder than 5°C in the sun.
The head and neck areas lose heat most quickly. Remember to cover them up.
Photo: Baby was wearing a double layer beanie to cover his head and ears. He was also wearing a fleece infinity scarf (adult size) from Daiso Japan.
Apply thicker layer of moisturiser on baby's face, especially on the cheeks and around the lips area as this is the main area they will be exposed to the extreme weather. Don't forget lip balm! If the pants tend to ride up, the shin could get rather dry too.
If you need to breastfeed on-the-go, you can wear a Uniqlo bra top under your thermal wear. As you pull up your layers of clothing, baby will be covering your tummy so that you will not feel cold. In extreme winter, it's still best to take a break in the warm cafe. You wouldn't want to catch a cold and spoil the rest of your trip!
Photo: Breastfeeding with a Uniqlo bra top, layered with a high-neck thermal fleece sweater and 100% wool cardigan (took off thick wool jacket). Baby was wearing a layer of thermal wear and a cotton long sleeve romper (took off wool jacket and puffy jacket). It was -9°C outside!
As every baby is different and everyone has different parenting style, these tips should help you to start planning for your winter trip but do use your own discretion when babywearing. Enjoy your holidays!
Photo: Mt Cook, New Zealand