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Babywearing in Summer

Babywearing in Summer – do you? Don’t you?

There’s no escaping the heat (although air conditioning helps) and babywearing is still an essential part of day to day parenting so how do you babywear in summer?

There are special consideration for babies as they are more affected by hot weather because they can’t adjust to changes in temperatures as well as adults, they sweat less which means they have a reduced ability to cool down and they generate more heat in physical demanding activities.

There are actually a few benefits of babywearing in summer including that our bodies are thermo-regulating and will help baby to regulate, it is easier to monitor them than if they were in the pram and a covered pram is actually 15 degrees hotter than the outside temperature!

I’ve gone through the main areas to consider when babywearing and tips to make different baby carrier types more comfortable and enjoyable for you both to wear in Summer.

Dressing You and Your Baby
> Always remember that the baby carrier is considered another layer so take that into consideration when dressing bubs.  It can be tempting to dress baby in just a nappy but often having another layer between the two of you can help wick any moisture or sweat away and protect more of baby’s body from the sun or wind
> Light, natural fibre clothing (such as cotton or linen) are great options for you both
> Try to reduce the amount of skin to skin contact which can feel hotter and sweaty
> Bring a change of clothes as often you both will be sweaty when you take off the carrier and this will make the day more comfortable for you both

Sunsmart
– Stay indoors in the hottest and sunniest part of the day
– Try and avoid the sun as much as possible.  Using an umbrella will cover you both or a wide brimmed hat for often covers both of you.  A light baby hat is also a good option.
– You can always use a light muslin cloth to go around the outside of the carrier to protect baby’s arms and legs from the sun while allowing airflow.  This helps in windy areas to protect from windburn.

Access to Air
> Not only do babies do most of their regulating of temperature through their head and face, it is also important to ensure they have adequate airflow
> If you are going to use the hood, either roll it and then attach so baby’s head is mostly clear or just attach the hood one the side of the back of their head so their face is clear

Monitoring
– Check your baby often for signs of overheating (warm to touch, red face, temperature but no sweating, lethargic, dizzy/confused, vomiting)
– Check in with yourself, if you are feeling hot so will your baby
– You and your baby will need to drink plenty of fluids to replace anything sweated out

Cooling Aids
*These are only recommended from over 6 months as under 6 months they can’t regulate their temperature at all
>
A damp cloth, fan or cooling towel can help keep you both cooler – just check that your baby doesn’t go from hot to cold too quickly

Now to tips on summer babywearing with the different baby carrier types!

Stretchy Wraps

  • Unfortunately stretchy wraps are one of the hottest baby carrier options as they require 3 passes over baby to ensure safety.
  • Choose a stretchy wrap made from a thinner or lightweight material such as the Hug-A-Bub Lightweight which is cooler than a thicker material
  • You can wear your baby in a stretchy wrap in a hip carry (more advanced carry option) once they are developmentally ready which can be cooler as a lot of our heat is held in the front of our bodies

Woven Wraps

  • Choose single wrap carries such as a kangaroo (front carry) or a ruck (back carry)
  • Linen or linen blend wraps have the ability to wick moisture away and are so much cooler than other materials.  Cotton is also a great option
  • Shorter wraps often feel cooler as there is less fabric to wear
  • Hip and back carries are also a better option once your baby is developmentally ready

Ring Slings

  • linen or linen/cotton blends are great
  • there can be less fabric then a woven wrap so will feel cooler for you
  • Hip carry is a great option as your warmer core’s won’t be directly on each other

Meh Dai’s & Half Buckles

  • Being made from woven wrap material will be cooler than a canvas option
  • If your are wearing baby on your front, tying the straps off under baby’s legs means that the sides have complete airflow
  • You can also use the shoulder straps to provide sun/wind protection by covering your baby’s legs
  • Hip and back carries are often cooler once your baby is developmentally ready

Full Buckles

  • Woven wrap options are often cooler than canvas
  • Finding a baby carrier that has mesh in the back panel will allow greater airflow to your baby (such as Tula Coast, Kokadi Flip Air Performance or Ergobaby mesh)
  • Hip and back carries are great options once your baby is developmentally ready

Onbuhimo

  • As it is a waistless and back carry only baby carrier, there is less around your front which is cooler.
  • Your baby also sits higher so there is less body contact
  • These are a fantastic option for older babies/toddlers as it is quick and easy to get on and off

 

If you have any questions about babywearing please pm me or contact me at info@babywearingandyou.com.au
Looking for the perfect Summer baby carrier?  Make sure you check out our article about my favourite options MY TOP BABY CARRIERS FOR SUMMER

Enjoy those babywearing snuggles,

Kylie
Certified Babywearing Consultant
Kangatraining Instructor