Oregon means rain. And a lot of it. Like six months or more of it. There is no escaping it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t wear your baby for half of the year here. Here are a few tips to babywear in the rain and keep you, baby and carrier dry!
Don’t worry too much about your carrier. Mud washes out. Wet dries. It takes a lot to truly ruin a carrier. Even a silk woven wrap will probably be okay after a romp in the rain. That being said, if you have a very special carrier, it might be best just to leave it safe at home.
Always make sure baby’s airway is unobstructed, so any hoods, covers, ponchos or whatever you use to keep dry must not cover baby’s face. Breathing is always more important than dryness. And never alter the design of the carrier or put added stress on it. No babywearing accessories should compromise the integrity of your carrier. Safety is also more important than dryness.
I know it’s very un-Oregonian to suggest this, but an umbrella is an effective and easy way to keep dry while babywearing in the rain. It’s also inexpensive. Just put on baby’s and your normal appropriate outerwear, pop open the umbrella and go!
This is a good option for when it’s just sprinkling or raining on and off. Or when it’s not cold and there’s no jacket trapping in body heat. If you get a large enough umbrella—like a golf umbrella—this makes a great option for tandem wearing.
The downside is you need to hold it the entire time. It also may bounce around as you walk and may not always cover baby (especially in a back carry). If you are tandem wearing, you’ll need to pay extra attention to keep both kids covered. And another thing to consider is that kids like to grab them and possibly whack you.
A babywearing jacket is designed to accommodate baby and carrier. Some are even designed for tandem wearing. They either have an extra panel zipped in or are bigger, with a cutout or hood for baby’s head. Put baby in the carrier, put on the jacket and enjoy some hands-free wearing in the rain!
However, there are a few downsides. First, they can be expensive (though they do come up for reasonable prices in co-ops often). You also need to make sure you get the right size for both you, baby (babies for tandem) and carrier. And keep in mind that baby will grow, so you may need to buy on the larger side so it lasts longer. They are not commonly found it stores, so trying on for sizing is not usually possible.
But most are wonderful at keeping you, baby and carrier dry, so once you get one you like and that fits, you won’t regret it!
A carrier cover is a great way make sure baby and the part of the carrier in contact with baby stays dry. This is a piece of waterproof fabric that goes over the front of the carrier with a hood for baby. You still need to put a jacket over you and the back of the carrier (if your carrier isn’t waterproof). Put baby in carrier, put on cover, then your jacket, and enjoy come snuggles in the rain.
Most buckle carrier brands make covers designed for their specific carrier. There are also generic ones that can work with most carriers as well, including wraps and ring slings.
The downside is the cover is separate from you, so there is the risk of rain leaking in. Also, the cover doesn’t go around your back, so the back of your carrier may get wet or you may still need a babywearing or larger jacket over your back. Keep in mind that they are designed to go on easiest for front carries. You can use them for back carries, but someone else may need to put it on for you, and you’ll need to buy two of them.
If all else fails, just put a waterproof coat on you, one on baby and dry your carrier later. A little water doesn’t hurt; it might even add to your fun! Just make sure baby doesn’t get too cold, risking hypothermia. Keeping baby as dry as possible in a waterproof layer and snuggled close to your body should keep baby warm. For information on layering baby to stay warm for the cold, check our post on layering for the cold!
Happy babywearing in the rain!!!!
What kind of creative ways do you try to babywear in the rain? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below.
- 5 Comfy and cozy winter carriers for babywearing
- Tandem babywearing tips – How to carry two small hikers
- How to layer when babywearing in the cold
Photo by Amy Diebold.
This post was sponsored by Onya Baby.