Wearing in a Winter Wonderland

If you’re in Calgary, you know that the past couple days have been just like winter out there.  Overnight the earth was covered with a foot of snow and the winter boots and shovels came out.  Babywearing changes with each season, with little (or big) adjustments being made to how we wear our babies to allow for the most comfort.  Winter is no exception, and now babywearers all over Calgary and area are adjusting their practice in response to the cold weather.

There are many options for wearing in a winter wonderland, here are a few that we’d like to share:

1.  Just bundle up!  Honestly, this is sometimes the easiest route depending on a couple things, like how old your baby is and what you plan on doing.  For instance, if your baby/toddler is 2 and likes to run and be carried, than it is sometimes easier to pick something where you are free to let your child up and down, but also be warm.  In this case, make sure you have some leg warmers for under the pants that will inevitably ride up when he/she goes in to the carrier, and you may want to pick a carrier that is really adjustable, like a ring sling, wrap or mei tai, so that it fits even with winter coats on with very little adjusting.

Another reason you may opt for the “just bundle up” route is if you are expecting and can’t quite make any of those awesome babywearing jackets fit properly.  One thing I now notice that was missed here in the picture though is the leg warmers.  Leg warmers are basically an essential if you go this route, as you can see by the little bit of skin peeking out from above the boot.

2. Babywearing jackets.  These jackets come in many different forms, all offering a solution to a similar goal… to wear your baby without double bundling and of course keeping them warm.  The jackets typically have a hole for the baby’s head, a hole for the wearers head, and then they can be used with any carrier (aside from the frame packs… this is the only time I’m clarifying this.. just assume it from now on) ;).  A common problem with a babywearing jacket is the draft that can enter through the baby’s neck hole, so remember to still dress for the weather and add either a poncho to the babe that can just rest over the jacket, a dickey turtleneck or a scarf.  Even with the draft, these jackets can be a good winter wearing alternative.  A few things to think about when looking to purchase a babywearing jacket, aside for the obvious cost  is

1.  Can I wear this for front or back wearing?  Let’s be honest here, some babywearing jackets say they work both ways, but then really just look like you’re wearing a coat backwards when doing back carries.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like reliving the early 90s and wearing clothes backwards (if this makes no sense to you… google Kriss-Kross, jump).

2.  Can it be worn any other time aside from babywearing?  For instance, can you wear it while pregnant, or even just as a regular non-pregnant, non-babywearing jacket?  If you’re looking for versatility, this may be something you want out of your babywearing jacket.

3.  Is it easy to use when by yourself?  Really, it doesn’t matter how fantastic a jacket is, and how great it is for backwearing… if you can’t easily figure it out when rolling solo, you won’t wear it.

4. Is it your style?  I don’t want to be petty, but to some extent you will care how your jacket looks on you.  Otherwise, why not just wrap yourself in a comforter and call it a day?  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but if that is your deal then you probably aren’t looking at babywearing jackets to begin with.  Although really, just think of all the money you’d save, hahaha.  New plan… purchase babywearing comforter.  😉

Some exciting news for the Babywearing Calgary group is that we have a Mama Parka on route for our lending library.  These jackets average at a $425 retail, so it will sure be nice to try before committing to buy!  I for one am super stoked on it’s arrival, man does it look beautiful!  This is one of the reasons our lending library has a 2 week lending limit though, so that everyone can have a chance to try out some of the wonderful items that we are so lucky to have.

3. Babywearing ponchos.  A babywearing poncho is exactly what it says… a poncho that is made to wear while wearing your babe.  It is essentially a poncho with 2 head holes and a little more room for a carrier.  These can be worn with any carrier and are usually good for front or back.  The reason these don’t typically look awkward for back carries is because a poncho is typically the same on the front and the back, so no awkward pockets, zippers or collars gracing your back while back wearing.  Depending on the weather you may dress your little one a little warmer (and yourself) when using a poncho, as it’s not necessarily going to keep you completely warm in our cold winter climates.  That said, ponchos are fantastic for fall and spring, or to throw over you and your little while going between car and location… or even for snuggling around the house on a cold winter day.

And more exciting news for the Babywearing Calgary group is that we have a Mamaponcho on it’s way to our lending library.  It hasn’t arrived yet, but it is on the way and will be available for rent very shortly!!  Thank you Mamaponcho!

4. Carrier Covers.  These are accessories that you can attach to your carrier to go over baby to keep them warm.  This eliminates the need to completely bundle up your babe, and is a pretty easy and quick option for cooler weather.  Again, you want to check to make sure the cover can be used easily for back carries, although the covers typically attach to the carrier straps, making them generally easily usable for front and back carries.

This looks like a pretty hardcore cover, but there are really so many options.  You can get fleece covers, covers that wrap around the baby’s feet or simply hang down shielding the wind, and covers with or without a hood.  I like the hood idea, but that’s just me.  Sadly, we do not have a carrier cover in our lending library, but we are working on it!  If you are someone who makes/sells carrier covers and you happen to be reading this, please send us a message at babywearingcalgary@gmail.com to discuss becoming a lending library sponsor!  😉

5. Fleece covers.  Probably one of the more popular winter babywearing options are the fleece covers, which can be found in either vest form or full sweater style form.  Either work good, but if it’s really cold these typically don’t hold up without a little extra bundling.  Or if you live somewhere that is constantly windy (ahem ahem.. Lethbridge), these will not keep the wind out.  These can typically be used for front or back carries, but some will work better than others to avoid that “I’m wearing a fleece backwards” look.  Similar to the ponchos, these are fantastic for fall/spring and running between vehicle and location.  With a little extra bundling either under or over, these covers can provide just the right amount of warmth (dependent on temperature outside of course).

This is another item we need in the lending library, so if you have something please shoot us an e-mail!

6. DIY.  Do-It-Yourself.  I truly envy anyone who can actually DIY…. what some people can do with their hands amazes me sometimes. That said, it doesn’t have to be difficult, you can DIY without sewing.  If you’re interested in learning how to make your own “no-sew babywearing fleece” check out these instructions.  Then, once you’ve made it, please take a pic and send it to babywearingcalgary@gmail.com

7. Amauti.  An Amauti is a tradtional Inuit parka designed to carry baby in a back pouch while keeping mom and baby warm.   Often people typically think that the babies are carried in the hood of the parka, although while the hood is definitely large enough to cover both babe and mom, the child does not actually go in the hood.  The baby sits in a pouch created from the back of the parka against mom’s back.  According to amautibaby.com “you can amaaq (carry) a child to 2-3 years in an Amauti”, although the parkas are often large enough to carry bigger children as well!  I just carried my 4.5 year old in an Amauti, and it is now her favourite way to “ride”.  Things to think about with an Amauti is what you are planning to do.  Because the baby/child goes in to the parka with no shoes and without much winter wear at all, this is a carrier that you would use if the baby/child did not need to get out (unless you have outerwear handy).  Also, remember to still dress for the weather and wear a scarf and/or toque, if the hood is down you will likely feel a draft.

Authentic Amautis are hard to find and often need to be custom made, unless you live where they are made locally.  The intellectual property of the Amauti pattern is protected and the seamstresses will not (and should not) disclose their design to anyone, so you must go through a legit seamstress from up north to get one.  You can contact a seamstress at Amauti Baby to inquire about having an Amauti made for you.  We are lucky here at Babywearing Calgary to have a co-leader who happens to own 4 Amautis (yes, you read that right… FOUR), so if you would like to try an Amauti, come to a meeting!  They are not available for the lending library, but I know Jen would love to help you try one on at a meeting.

Well, I hope this breakdown of all the winter wearing options has given you a few things to think about, and has not completely complicated the issue for you.  😉  What I have found in my experience is that winter wearing options are just as personal as carriers themselves, and all good in their own respect.  There is no one solution to all your winter wearing needs, and not one option will suit everyone.  It’s a matter of determining what is important to you in a winter wearing option and then seeking a solution that will support your needs.  We are working to make these options available for you to try out at the Babywearing Calgary meetings, so please come out!  Or, if you have a great winter wearing item, please bring it to a meeting and share!  And lastly, if something awesome was missed here, please e-mail babywearingcalgary@gmail.com and I will add it to the post.

Happy {winter} Babywearing!


Strike a Pose

Hellloooo Calgary!!

As we announced in our last blog post, Babywearing Calgary is now on Instagram!  The nature of Instagram is photo sharing… which brings us to this post.  We would love to showcase the members of Babywearing Calgary (and global babywearing community really) on our feed, so if you have some babywearing pictures you’d like to share, please e-mail them in to babywearingcalgary@gmail.com.  Of course we will give due credit as well….

Or if you have an Instagram account, just tag us @babywearingcalgary on your picture and let us know we can use it!  We will then repost it and tag you in the repost.

We also need pictures for this blog!  Specifically we are looking for winter babywearing pics at this point, but we can use any babywearing pictures really.

Thanks so much, and Happy Babywearing!

Taking Social Media by Storm

Babywearing Calgary has been around a while (since 2006 actually)… so we’ve got all the typical social media presences…. like Facebook, Twitter (not active currently though… we got bored with twitting)… and the rockin’ old school Yahoo group.  All we we’re missing in that list is MySpace.  Well, the latest social media program to rock the world is Instagram.  If you haven’t heard of Instagram, it’s an app you can get on an iPhone, iPad, iPod, and now Android as well!  It’s basically a photo sharing app, where you take pictures and share them with the world (or not.. if you choose to have a private account).  You can tag people, comment on pictures, and basically just have a lot of fun.

Well, I {Andi} have a personal IG (short for Instagram, consider yourself in the know *wink) account, and thought it would be fun to introduce Babywearing Calgary to the IG world.  So there you have it, Babywearing Calgary is now on IG!  If you want to see some behind the scenes photos of Babywearing Calgary and all things related to babywearing, please search us up on IG.

Here is a little sneak peak of a couple pics already uploaded.

The picture above is of one of the woven wraps we got donated to the lending libary, and I am just softening it up.  😉  This carry is a double hammock with a double lexi tie.


Testing another carrier with a monkey on my back… This one is an Ergo Performance.  Things sure have changed since I bought my first Ergo.

If you are on IG, please follow Babywearing Calgary.. and also tag your pictures with the hashtag #babywearingcalgary and tag us at @babywearingcalgary!  We are looking for babywearing pictures to share with the world, so if you have any, please send them to babywearingcalgary@gmail.com or tag us on IG.

Also, while you’re at it.. look up @carrythem.  Absolutely stunning babywearing pics.

Oh wait… don’t have an iPhone or Android?  No worries!!  You can stalk our pictures on Statigram from your computer!

Thanks for visiting our blog, maybe we’ll see you on IG as well!  🙂  xoxo

International Babywearing Week Picnic

Last week (for International Babywearing Week) we organized a picnic to take place at Prince’s Island park.  Of course, and to no surprise, it snowed the day before.  We opted for our indoor location, which was at Eau Claire Market, and carried 🙂 on with the event.

It was really great to connect with some babywearers and bond over the notion that we all share this child rearing practice.  Here’s the thing about babywearing… it doesn’t matter what else you’re doing in parentland.. you will bond and connect over the things that you have in common with other mothers, and in this case… it is babywearing.  It is a middle ground, a practice that crosses the “parenting style” barrier and creates community among a huge group of people who may not have formed a community otherwise.  I love that about babywearing.  Of course I love finding my “parenting style” tribe, but I also love the babywearing tribe, it gives me warm fuzzies

So of course there was a Chinook (in true Calgary style I suppose) on the Friday after we already decided to head indoors, but it still worked.  People came and went over the course of the 3 hour event, wearing their babies, wearing their toddlers, and just generally happy to connect.  I’m going to say it again, I love that.

Here are a few pics from the event…


This is the mei tai that Jen was wearing… it is so beautiful I just had to snap a shot of it.  Also, for the record I like to play with photo filters, so basically nothing to true to color on this post.  😉


And here is the same mei tai in use!


Here we have V, S, and C.  That’s right, I’m being uber sneaky and not actually putting names here, it’s a privacy thing.  This was the first time I {Andi} met these ladies, and I have to say… it was a pleasure.  So happy they could join us!!


I love this pic… you know.. the moment Jen looks up and realizes I have a camera phone pointed at her, hahaha.  I mean, babywearing in action, who wouldn’t take a pic?!


I love this pic as well.  This is V with her little one on her back in a mei tai.  This was the first time she had babe on her back, and I was actually quite surprised to see how easily and naturally she just scooched (yes, it’s a technical word) her babe back there and tied him in.  It’s not always easy, but she was really comfortable with it, which always makes it easier.  Now she just needs to wear a high bun and get a babywearing necklace/teething necklace to keep little fingers out of her hair!

Again, thank you ladies for coming out to the Babywearing Picnic, we hope to see you all again very soon!  Just a reminder, the next Babywearing Calgary meeting is this Sunday from 10-12 at Made by Momma.

And until next time, Happy Babywearing!

Carrier Library

Did you know that Babywearing Calgary has a lending library with carriers that you can rent out to use on your own time?  Well, it’s true… we do.  We are currently in the process of getting everything organized so that you can easily see on this blog what is available for you to take home!  Thank you so much for being patient while we get everything organized for you.

In the meantime (and ongoing really), we are looking to build the library.  If you have a carrier that you would like to donate to the library, please send a message to babywearingcalgary@gmail.com

We are also looking for businesses who are interested in being lending library sponsors, if you are interested in this please pop us a message and we can discuss what that looks like.

**this is not our lending library, but who doesn’t love a picture of a pile of carriers?  Seriously.

International Babywearing Week

Today marks the beginning of “International Babywearing Week” (trusting that I finish this post by midnight, haha), and thus, we thought it would be fun to launch this blog right along with it. Babywearing Calgary has been spreading the babywearing love in Calgary since 2006, and it is continuing to grow larger every day. Our group is composed of numerous experienced babywearers along with plenty of new babywearers, with everyone being welcome of course. It is a place of resource, and an environment for newer babywearers to come learn what it is all about, and a place for more experienced babywearers to share their knowledge.

In 2010, Babywearing Calgary won the Best Babywearing Outreach Program from Babywearing International.

“As part of Babywearing Calgary’s International Babywearing Week activities, they organized a carrier drive to benefit Elizabeth House. Elizabeth House provides care and support to women in crisis pregnancies. They offer shelter, and education on many aspects of parenting and life to help women become self-sufficient. At the end of the carrier drive, Babywearing Calgary held a class at Elizabeth House on proper carrier use and then match the carriers they had collected with the mothers there to help ensure comfort and safety for moms and babies.”

This program is in collaboration with Babes in Arms and is ongoing, the next workshop at the Elizabeth House is on November 1st.

If you are new to babywearing and want to learn more about the benefits, check out our “Benefits of Babywearing” page. If you want to know more about who is behind the scenes, go meet the Babywearing Calgary co-leaders. And if you want to meet other babywearing mamas, then jump on in on our Facebook group and come to one of our events!

The next event will be on Friday, October 12th at Prince’s Island park from 12:00pm-2:30pm. We are having a picnic in celebration of International Babywearing Week! C’mon Calgary, let’s show this city how much we love babywearing! The event on Facebook can be found here.

Thanks for stopping by at our little spot on the web… hope to see you at a meeting soon!