Babywearing is a wonderful way for us mommas to bond with our children and keep them calm, while still being able to move around and get work done. Because your hands are free, you enjoy both freedom and flexibility! *cue the applause* In the summer, they’re especially great for taking your little one with you outdoors, hiking, vacationing, and just visiting with loved ones.
However, comfort for both you and your child is key in maintaining any semblance of sanity while babywearing during these warmer months. We all know the summer temps can be incredibly sticky and hot, and the idea of having any more body heat pressed up against you can make even the toughest of moms start to sweat.
That’s why finding the right form of babywearing for you is a must. While there are pros to each kind of carrier, it’s up to you to weigh out your options and needs. Here’s what each type has to offer in the sweltering summer heat.
Because Meh Dais tend to have openings on both sides and cut outs for the baby’s feet to dangle, they allow for more air flow and can be a cooler summer babywearing option.
When it comes to wraps, the fabrics you choose will make all the difference. Opt for thin, light, and woven materials that let air in such as cotton or linen. Another bonus to wearing a wrap during the summer is the adjustability and versatility in terms of positions available to you. If one position is making you hot, try a new one! Just try and avoid the stretchier fabrics that trap in the heat.
Slings are great in the summer because they have an extra bit of material that you can use to shade your little one from the sun, fan yourself with, or use as a breastfeeding cover.
Soft & Structured
While backpack like carriers tend to have less body contact, making room for a cool breeze or two, they usually have more padding that can pack on the heat. However, there are also more storage compartments for things like sunscreen and water to help you beat the heat, as well as head covers.
How to Keep Cool While Wearing
- Avoid direct skin contact if possible by making sure there’s a thin layer of fabric between you and the baby. Keep in mind that wraps and slings practically act as another layer of clothing, so don’t overdress you or your child and consider loosely fitting outfits for you both.
- Take breaks! Don’t be afraid to remove them every once in a while so the both of you can move around and stretch. Rotating positions from front to back is also helpful if the breeze shifts in a different direction. If all else fails, you can undo your wrap and use it as a blanket for them to lay out on.
- Stay hydrated. If your child is less than 6 months, they’ll need to be breastfed more often if it’s hot out. Just make sure their face isn’t completely covered while doing so.
- Stay in shady areas and check on your little periodically, especially if they’re positioned where they’re not facing you. If you’re hot, your baby probably is too.
- Consider using a cooling towel to help them from overheating. Just be aware that younger ones may not be able to tell you if they’re too hot or cold, so it use with caution.
Safe Summer Practices
- It’s especially important during higher temperatures that you can always see your baby’s face, mouth, and nose while babywearing. This is crucial in preventing anything from blocking their airway.
- You should also make sure they’re securely placed in the right position for their age. Younger infants or newborns for example, should be kept in the front versus the back, and upright with their head and neck gently supported.
- A hat or a cute pair of tiny shades can go a long way in shielding your child from the harsh sun rays. Look for a hat that is floppy, wide brimmed, and has strings you can clip onto their clothing so you won’t lose it if it falls off.
- Even though you want to protect any areas of their skin exposed to the sun, be weary of using sunscreen on babies six months or younger and go for natural and gentler options instead like shea butter or coconut oil. If they are six months or older, lather them up with SPF!
Lastly, while anyone can babywear (including dad, the babysitter, grandparents, siblings, and even friends) not everyone knows how to. If you’re trading off during a vacation this summer, make sure the person carrying knows how to properly babywear. This means steering clear of jewelry that can act as a choking hazard and not wearing strong fragrances that may be overwhelming.