I love walking in the woods around our home. We have trails going in either direction from the property. They meander through the spruce and aspen, bordered by carpets of bear-berry and creeping twin flower in the summer months. The rest of the year, as the snow grows deep and deeper, I like to strap on my snowshoes and carve out my own trail, alongside those of snowshoe hares, squirrels and grouse.
Having a tiny baby to take out with me has presented a bit of a problem. Throughout my pregnancy, I dreamed of sharing my love of the natural world with my child. And right now, baby-wearing is the way to go. I can watch his face as he takes in the sights, and tuck his head a little closer to my chest when he nods off. Plus, taking a stroller on a forest trail is pretty much impossible!
But how do I safely wear my baby out at 20 or 30 below zero?
|Still warm out in late September|
It's a real quandry I've been in since the onset of the cold season. In the late Autumn, I'd snuggle him into the Moby wrap and button one of P's quilted flannel jackets around us. Shared body heat is pretty amazing for keeping us both warm, and on days warmer than minus 20, this is the way to go.
What about a day like today, when our high is about -33? I know I can keep Aedan's core warm, but what about his little face, peeking out of my coat to gaze at all the snow? I've tried a couple things: wearing a big fluffy scarf myself, or cutting up a pair of old merino-silk long underwear to make a little neck warmer. For whatever reason, these didn't work too well. I've thought about rubbing thick fat or grease on his face, like I've been told Inuit ladies did with their babies. But I don't think the clean-up job would be worth it!
Today, I think I finally hit on the solution. I dress Aedan in a fleece sleeper, and then a lightly lined, hooded snowsuit. I put on a hat, and pull the hood up. Lately I've been going with our Ergo carrier. It's so much easier to get him in there with all the winter layers! Then, I fold up a fleece receiving blanket and tuck it loosely across the lower half of his face and down into the back of the carrier. It works perfectly! He can still see out, and I'm not so worried about his delicate, brand-new skin getting frost-bitten.
What about me? I wear a couple light layers of merino wool, and then I zip us both into an old army surplus parka. Having a baby on your chest is like your own little portable heater!
This way, we can both comfortably enjoy a walk in the woods with the dogs, without being too cold or overheating!
How do you (or did you) dress your baby to deal with cold temperatures?