Sunday, December 13, 2009

Babywearing in Winter

Here's us at Cove Island Beach in Stamford CT in November. It wasn't even that cold, but on Long Island Sound, it was windy and chilly.

I'm a big babywearer. It started when Q was little. I did not want to grocery shop with him in the stroller because I was a germ freak and people were always ALL UP IN HIS BEESWAX. I did not want anyone to breathe on him or God forbid TOUCH him. Enter, babywearing!
We used a sling, then the Moby Wrap, and now we're onto the ERGO Baby, which is covered in food and snot but sees too heavy daily use to actually get washed.

So far, we've made it through mid-December with me just wrapping my coat around him and sticking a hat on him, but there are a couple problems.

1. The only coat that fits around us is my men's ski jacket from 1991. (No offense, jacket, because you've served me well, but I want to babywear more stylishly now.)
2. Even when I stick a hat on the babe, the space between his face and my chest is exposed- essentially, both of our necks are exposed.

I have been researching and have found two options.
1. This Baby Burrow poncho, right, which seems really cozy.

2. This Peekaru vest, which when I saw on a lady in the street a couple weeks ago, was very unflattering. (Maybe it will look better on me.)

I was leaning toward the poncho because it looks like a big cozy blankie. However, a cool online Canadian babywearing boutique (called Parenting by Nature) that I follow on Twitter only carries the Peekaru vest and hasn't heard of the poncho. If the expert uses the vest, maybe I should too. Now that I think about it, the poncho, in wind, would blow and expose the baby's leg and my back. The vest, although it makes you look like an apple, completely encloses your bottom half AND both your and the baby's neck. Parenting by Nature said the vest transitions nicely from fall to winter to spring.

I realize I seem obsessed with babywearing products: first the Kokopax, now a carrier cover. I don't mean to seem materialistic. Truly, the product I have now- the fabulous ERGO- does not meet all of my babywearing needs. I need the kid to be warm (Peekaru) and I need a back carry that does make me feel like leaning forward on my messed up hips.

My dear parents have offered to get me the vest or poncho for Xmas (and the Kokopax). The husband says we should instead ask them to get us a baby gate for the fireplace, but I'd rather just park my butt in front of the fireplace and monitor the kid. This babywearing is a quality of life and comfort issue for me. It's not my problem that the husband would prefer to monitor the baby from the comfort of the couch with laptop, rather than on the floor where he climbs all over you. When money is scarce, you gotta pick your perks.

Babywearing is so handy to me in so many ways- snuggle if he's fussy but I need to get laundry done, wear him upright when he's congested or has fluid in his ears, wear him while making dinner if he's tired and doesn't want to be put down, wear him close to me in a crowded place, snuggle him in the cold...

(Here's me wearing him at the super-crowded Pike Place Market in Seattle in August! He fell sound asleep.)

Ideally, I'd love both the poncho and vest to have options, but with me not getting a paycheck until Feb 1, we do not have that extra cash. If I have to go with one, I think the vest makes the most sense.


Mama Ball said...

Bubelah -- come check out our around-the-fireplace gate over Christmas. We've been just too distracted to take it down. Mom and Dad gave it to us when Jake was tiny, and it has served us well. I'd love to loan it to you all for a few years if it suits your needs.
Let me know if you're interested!
Love you -- K

Beverly Diaz said...

I just found you via the tweet from PhD in Parenting to the indiscreet breastfeeding post. I'm another Ergo mom and in chilly Philadelphia. What did you end up choosing? I really love the idea of the vest but they are not sized well for chunkier women like myself. I also thought of the flying around problem the poncho has. I'm considering two options. Try cutting a head hole out of a 3X men's sweatshirt. Or order a poncho and add iron on velcro to the bottom. I'm leaning toward swatshirt for my ease of mobility. But I'd love to hear a review of either product.

KOR said...

Hi Beverly!
I love Philly- one of my good guy friends is from there and I've visited him and his fam a bunch, even spent one New Year's there!
I haven't gotten the poncho OR the vest, mostly bc I'm not convinced either one will be worth the 80+$. I mostly go from car to building in the winter, rather than spending much time outdoors. If I were a city person with no car, I'm sure I'd be more motivated to get a warm babywearing coat. Like you, I can survive with something more makeshift- in my case, that ratty winter coat! A woman from my AP group offered to let me try her Peekaru but I haven't heard back- I'll try to get in touch with her again and will be sure to blog about it if I try it!
The sweat shirt isn't a bad idea, but if I'm gonna spend 20 bucks on a sweatshirt, I'd spend 80 on the cuter vest (IF I thought I needed it, which I'm not sure I do. I like the fact that the sweatshirt has sleeves, obviously. you sure the peekaru wouldn't fit you? Although I will say, it is NOT flattering even on the most modelesque figures...)