Do I have the right carrier?:
Wraps with wool can help to regulate temperature and are cosy when it's cold outside. If you have a cotton wrap then you can wear your child in a multi layer carry which provides more warmth. There are great babywearing covers available to make your carrier winter-proof if you don't have a babywearing coat.
How do I dress my baby?:
The first thing to remember is how many layers a sling has and count these in how you dress your child. Your body provides some heat and especially when you're wearing your child underneath your coat it's mostly not necessary to put a thick coat on your child. Concentrate on making sure your child's extremities are taken care of. Booties, gloves, socks, hats (one's not so easily removed) and scarves.
Booties: There are a lot of brands who offer (babywearing) booties for windy/cold days. If your child already walks you can leave their winter boots or shoes on, but if your baby doesn't walk yet there are some other options around. We have had many different types. Mostly made by a WAHM or babywearing enthusiasts. We would recommend either of these lovely ladies - Mother Hubbard's Sewing Cupboard or Leopard Spots Baby. Legwarmers: These are a great way to layer on top of what your child is already wearing and can be put on once they are in the sling. Materials can include but are not limited to fleece, wool and cotton.
Shoe covers: if your child is already walking, these covers will keep the mud away from your clothing if they suddenly want to go in the wrap after running through the mud or snow. We love Stonz , as they don't require shoes to be worn underneath but are weatherproof!
Tights: Wearing tights is an easy way to keep your child's feet/legs warm in the winter. It's not only for girls, there are some very boyish designs out there too. Try Slugs and Snails :)
We find tights under trousers works well as then if the trousers ride up (which is inevitable in a sling) then there is no bare skin exposed.
Socks: Try to find some fleece or wool or thicker sock styles. You don't want tight socks as this wont help with circulation. Long socks are always a good option.
Mittens/Gloves: Good for children who prefer arms out but mostly not needed if arms and tucked in.
Babywearing Blankets: You can use any blanket really but wool or fleece, again, are very good. Fleece is windproof and wool wont be sweaty. There are some beautiful purpose made knitted or crocheted star-shaped blankets around :)
Snowsuits/Baby grows: As much as you may think these are the most definitive option for staying warm, these are not regarded as suitable for babywearing.
Baby grows aren't suitable due to their footed style. When your child's legs are bent up in the 'M' position the legs will pull up and this can pull on a child's toes and actually prevent warmth from circulating.
A snowsuit is not breathable and along with your body heat, the extra layers from the clothes beneath and the sling, as well as your coat or outer layer, you child can overheat very, very easily. You can buy fleece or wool versions or jersey style footless suits. Most have hoods which is handy :) JoJo Maman Bebe have a good polar fleece suit which works well or Frugi do Snuggle Suits, which are thick jersey.
What should I wear?:
This really depends on your situation. You need to judge how much carrying you will potentially be doing and for how long. If you will be wearing your child the entire time then you will inevitably need less.
Scarves: We find that keeping your neck warm will help keep the rest of you warm and also easily removable while babywearing. Jersey, fleece and wool, again are all good options.
Coats: You can buy a babywearing coat but these can be expensive if you don't wear baby too often, there are many options out there - this one is often on sale at Verbaudet. If you don't want to buy/wear a babywearing coat then picking the right coat involves some thought.
If you're wearing your child on your back, over your coat, then a bulky, padded or slippy coat can make things difficult. You might also want to look at the hood. Hoods can get in the way or irritate your child if they are on your back. perhaps removable hoods would be useful if you like the option when wearing on your front. If you're wearing your child in the front, it can be easier to wrap your child underneath your coat. You can choose an over sized coat for extra room or team it with a blanket, coat insert or sling cover. The best thing about wearing underneath your coat is that you can take your coat off when you're inside and you can leave your child in the sling when they are asleep.
Shoes: Shoes with grip are important if you don't want to be slipping during any icy winter weather, don't take any risks you would whilst not wearing your baby. Easily removable shoes are a must, if you don't wish to take baby out of the sling once you get indoors.
Hat: Hats are great for keeping in body heat. We always found the gloves hat and scarf with a comfortable jumper and long sleeved top was a good combination.
Babywearing coat: The easiest way to keep your child & yourself warm. Not the best choice if you have a toddler who wants to go up/down but great for a not-walking baby. There are many brands around, with different features. Find out what's important for you.