Babywearing in the elements… Babywearing jacket! 

24 Jul
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So I have mentioned before, we love going for walks, we also live semi rural on a gravel road with no foot paths and ditches on each side.. Walking with a pram, honestly I just haven’t tried it… I seen a few other local mama’s on occasion try it and also noticed how they have to do a mad dash scramble to the side of the road, often standing in the ditch, when they hear a car approaching.. I have seen many more mama’s locally to me, wear their bubbas and kids while walking the dog past our house though..

Winter babywearing is actually lovely and snuggly! Keeping baby and you both warm is actually much easier than keeping you both cool in the heat of summer. A friends Nana knitted me a lovely star shaped blanket with straps around it that I could wrap around Jai as a teeny winter newborn after I had him all snuggled up in a sling, the bottom two points of the star kept his feet warm, the middle two his wee arms and hands and the top one I could pull over his head like a hood…

Crowned “Princess Mummy” by Josh.. You can find lots of variations of the “Star Blanket” on Etsy and patterns to knit your own online..

But what do you do in the rain? If there is no wind, an umbrella is an awesome easy option, covers both you and baby easily and if you use a bit of ingenuity, you can stick it through the straps of your carrier even and be even more hands free 😉

Watching Josh splash in puddles from under an umbrella! It was quite warm and still but raining here… 

But we also live at the top of a valley, with the sea down the bottom.. Not just any beach either but the wild west coast of Muriwai.. So we get howling winds come up through the valley at times.

When doing a tour in tropical northern Queensland in the rain also recently when on holiday, we bought one of those plastic disposal ponchos and I just poked a hole in it for Jai’s head to pop out on my front 😉
Another option I have taken before is zipping up two of the same brand of rain jacket, making a DIY babywearing jacket of sorts 😉 another option is to thread the arms of a toddler sized rain coat with your shoulder straps of your carrier which creates a rain barrier for the carrier itself and you can stick the hood over baby when they are strapped to you.

Two adult sized rain jackets zipped together to brave the rain showers at this year’s Anzac Parade (2016)

Last winter, Jai was a tiny newborn and while we did venture out into the elements, I didn’t brave that much rain so usually put him in a stretchy wrap or ring sling and then chucked on an oversized woolen cardigan or jacket and snuggled it around us both…

Our first walk as a family of four, when Jai was about a week old 

But a specially designed babywearing jacket is something I have only just invested in… There are many other options out there, MarkoMiles is a NZ producer of 100% wool babywearing jackets which I haven’t yet been lucky enough to see or try in person!

But for me, if I was going to make the leap from DIY or make-do options, I wanted something that was water proof. It’s the times I struggle most, that I can’t wear Jai and splash in puddles alongside Josh in the howling winds, then it would have missed the point for me.

So I found the Lenny Lamb Babywearing jacket (available to order in NZ through Woven) and chose this option, which let’s me not only back carry in the rain, but even tandem carry the boys all rugged up!

When James and Josh went on a holiday adventure recently overnight to Wellington, it was like compound bonding time for Jai and I who have never spent that long together alone in his short life! I kept asking him what he wanted to do, “walk” was the reply everytime…

With this jacket it was easy that we could be warm and toasty with one layer on, the heatpump or fire also cranking, wrap him on my back and chuck the jacket over us and we were good to go for a quick walk to visit the cows or see the trucks and diggers at the nearby construction sites.. Then come home, take off the jacket and carrier and be the whole time toasty and warm!
As far as I can tell, the hood panel can only be used in a front carry, but the ability to be snuggled warm and dry together in a back carry is not something I have had the chance to try before… If you were in proper rain using the back carry option, you would need to be sure to tighten the top toggle (which I haven’t in these pictures as you really need someone else to help you with it) and have a rain hat of sorts due to the lack of hood with this option…

Recently during a not uncommon nap strike with Jai, I wanted to resort to my best option, strapping him to me for a walk around the garden, but there was howling wind and drizzle.. Good chance to give this jacket a decent test run I thought… But he demanded a feed as we walked around, with some jiggling and maneuvering, I managed to get a boob out and beat the strike despite the elements!

I am yet to honestly intentionally brave it out in the torrential rain and howling wind together with the baby strapped to me in any solution I have found… But for freezing mornings, howling winds, rain showers, drizzle… I have found this Lenny Lamb Babywearing jacket amazing and can’t believe it has taken me so long to buy one!!
You can see more about this specific jacket here on Woven’s website listing, the one I have is the Lenny Lamb Proyecto one… Though as I said there are many more options out there..

The main things I love about this;

  • The ability to back carry with a jacket bundling us up (which I can’t in any of my diy options really…)
  • The ability to tandem if i wanted
  • The well made nature of the jacket itself, it was the first thing I grabbed on a walk with my big dude, no babywearing involved, I just used it without any added panels…
  • The well thought out add ons; the panel between you and baby, the toggles to tighten both bottom and top if you want, the multiple options of panels and configurations.

There isn’t much I don’t like… Once I had managed to feed Jai to sleep on a garden walk wearing the jacket, the transfer to bed was a bit more fiddly… But the walk in the garden in rain and wind would not have been possible without it, so…

I guess that gives you a review of this beautiful jacket as well as some options to keep warm and dry wearing bubbas in winter 😉

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