Depending on the time of year your baby is due, you may be one of the lucky ones who manages to get to your due date without having to squeeze your growing belly in to your favourite coat. If like me, you were the size of a small country over the winter, then you’ll be facing the prospect of borrowing an extra-large jacket simply so you can zip it up around your belly, while having excess fabric flapping around everywhere else, or having to spend out on a maternity coat which will be redundant in just a few months’ time; the phrase ‘rock and a hard place’ springs to mind.
So, let’s start by talking about maternity coats. It always amazes me that the options for active outwear for pregnancy is so incredibly limited. As a keen runner, I’d had no intention of seeing out my 9 months indoors with my feet up. I continued to run, hike and generally explore the beautiful outdoors. I made it to month 7 before I had to accept the fact that my favourite waterproof jacket wasn’t going to zip up anymore. Having spent quite a lot of money on a really good technical jacket, I really didn’t enjoy the idea of having to shop for a replacement. My mood was made worse when I discovered that it was almost impossible to find a maternity coat that was wind resistant and waterproof! Even a high street fashion maternity coat was going to set me back by at least £70, which for less than 2 months use seemed crazy to me. I resorted to stealing jackets from my husband or continuing to wear the jacket I loved with my big belly sticking out the front and the top pinned closed.
If you could buy a bra expander, why could you not also buy a coat expander or maternity coat panel rather than having to spend out on a maternity jacket?
This was the start of something new and not long after, Zip Us In was born. Having developed the Zip Us In jacket expander panel, I wanted to ensure that my company was going to help the UK (and soon after, the world), take positive steps towards reducing the amount of fabric that ended up in land fill. With this in mind, I wanted my jacket extender to have the longest life possible.
When my daughter arrived, I couldn’t wait to get her in to a baby carrier and take her outdoors for some family adventures. I then discovered another outerwear issue! How was I going to do my jacket up around the carrier too?
If you use a baby carrier, what solutions have you found to keep both you and baby warm when out walking?
You may have come across a very small offering of baby wearing coats which are supplied with a removable expander panel to enable you to fasten the jacket around you both. Or maybe you used a babywearing cover. Both options have some advantages and the variety of products available is certainly growing. Like the babywearing hoodies, a lot of the jackets don’t offer the technical qualities that you’d find in a high-quality winter coat. Do you really need to invest in a specific baby carrier coat?
The chances are you probably already own a coat that you love. Surely the ideal solution is to simply use a zip extender to expand that very jacket. One of the biggest advantages of using the Zip Us In panel is that you can easily take it out and have your own jacket back. If two of you are out for a walk and swap the carrier between you, the Zip Us In Universal panel can also be swapped between coats. So when you’re not carrying the baby, you can fasten your own jacket as normal.