There is a difference between babywearing an older child (that is already walking) and a smaller one (not walking yet) and how to dress both of these age categories for interior, exterior and for a specific weather.
In principle, the most comfortable solution for both is to dress your children as little as possible and in case of need to put another layers of warm clothing and various babywearing accessories right on yourself and the baby together. When you dress your baby just a little, it is much easier and more comfortable to put it in a wrap and create the right seat. The child also feels much better in a wrap when dressed less. During longer stay outdoors, additional layers can better and more flexibly adapt to the current weather (take off your jacket and leave just a hoodie or vice versa).
You can easily find out if your child is hot or cold when watching your own self. When babywearing, you exchange temperature with your child thus both temperatures are reaching the same level (thermoregulation during babywearing, that is unfortunately lost when layering the clothing individually on you and your baby). If you feel cold on those places of body / back where your wrap is on, it is highly probable your child feels the same. If you are sweating, your child will be too. You will probably be sweating on your chests together, seeing that these are the places where the biggest temperature exchange takes place. If you find this situation uncomfortable, you can wear a thin t-shirt or t-shirt that will absorb the sweat, or put a little bib on your chest.
Let us take a closer look at specific situations:
Dressing in interior (both children who walk and do not walk)
Interiors usually have pretty steady temperature, so the basic rule is, dress the child like you dress yourself, or not at all. From its back, the wrap will provide your baby with one additional layer of clothing or serves instead of that one layer of clothing the baby is dressed in when it is outside the wrap. At the same time your body warms it from the other (belly) side, so you literally serve like a blanket or a heater. The only places you have to protect against cold during colder days and when staying in a well-ventilated flat are those body parts that are sticking out of the wrap – usually legs and a head, with older children also arms. Legs can be covered with cotton sleeves or socks. Arms do not need any special insulation in interior, just like the head.
Dressing children who do not walk in summerDuring summer, dress yourself and your baby the same as in interior – as little as possible. The legs that are sticking out may or may not be covered to protect them against sun, by bamboo or thin cotton socks; head should be protected against sun by a thin cap or a hat. To eliminate the discomfort of your child during sweating, you can dress it in functional t-shirt from merino wool, silk or bamboo that is very breathable, sucks sweat from the body and lets it pass through to another layer. During evening walks you can wrap both of you into babywearing sweater or thin poncho.
Dressing children who do not walk in winterWhen your baby does not walk yet you can still afford the possibility of layering and enjoy the comfort it offers. During winter months simply change the tank top or t-shirt for a t-shirt with long sleeves, add stockings and the rest is the same like during summer or babywearing in interior – that means, just cover the parts sticking out – sleeves for the legs (this time woollen) or some woollen boots for non-walking babies (or maybe the combination of both), a woollen cap for the head and you may also add a neck warmer that will prevent cold that might come from above between you and your baby when the child is not sleeping with its head resting against you. The additional layers you can put on your child and yourself would ideally be a babywearing hoodie and a jacket (babywearing equipment that is sewn as usual hoodies and jackets, however in their middle parts there is a special part zipped in, the so called “insert” that protects both the parent and the child against cold), or you can use a babywearing cover. In this case you leave your jacket unzipped so the baby is as close to your body as possible and you can warm it with your body heat.
In case of breastfeeding mothers we recommend to use various neck protectors – neck warmers or our loop scarf that can be used to cover your whole head.
Dressing children who walk in summerThese children do not have to be specially dressed. Seeing that they move independently you have to adapt their clothes to the weather aside from babywearing.
Dressing children who walk in winterThe layering method can be also used with little walkers, even if it is a little more difficult, seeing they are dressed for the very stay outside itself. If you only babywear your child for a moment, putting it in a wrap over your jacket is enough (the wrap is still another layer of clothing that warms). However, WATCH OUT! Since you are both wearing a jacket – you and your child – the mutual thermoregulation does not work anymore, thus you are not warming each other. If the child will stay in the wrap for a longer time, it is great to put it at least under a babywearing jacket or cover it on your back with a babywearing cover. Feet and calves always cool down more in a hanging position, thus it is good to layer them with sleeves.
In case you put your child under the babywearing jacket, you can take off its jacket. The most important thing is you are both protected from above and no cold comes between you and your mutual heating. Again we recommend using either neck warmers, various shawls or our loop scarfs.
Of course, this way you can also carry the non-walkers. However it is much less comfortable and you carry an additional weight in a wrap.
There are naturally much more combinations you can use. Choosing the right one always depends on current situation and what suits your baby and yourself the best.