Baby, It’s Hot Outside!
|Staying cool by enjoying Popsicles at the Farmer's Market|
Let’s face it one
of the top concerns, other than basic safety questions is, “but won’t we be
hot?!” when discussing babywearing. This is especially a common concern in the
South, where I happen to live. Sometimes, starting in May, temperatures can get
up up 80-90 degrees. In July and August it’s not uncommon to see temps in the
100’s. I’m not the type of person that
spends my life indoors either. .
Again, let’s face it, there are also some real concerns associated with
being too hot so we need to address a few good tips, some good tricks, and some
overall good practices when it comes to babywearing in the heat.
Babywearing in the Water
it’s about 85 degrees I like to have water available. Thankfully because I am
in the South there are no shortages of splash pads, water parks, pools, and
other streams and creeks that one can find themselves near to cool off when
Water comes with its own potential dangers that I do take very seriously so it
is important to me to be very cautious of this element during the warmer
months. One of my favorite ways to keep the baby cool with me AND safe is to
use a babywearing product designed for water wear. My personal favorite is a
babywearing water sling which is made out of a mesh sturdy material that threads
through two rings and drapes over the wearers body, allowing you to drop the
baby into a ‘pocket’ created with the fabric against your body. You can either
wear baby tummy-to-tummy against your chest or an older baby with head control
can be moved onto your hip.
The water sling is wonderful for splash pads or other shallow water scenarios
to allow baby to get wet and enjoy the water without the safety concern of
drowning. A water sling can be used in SHALLOW WATER but should never be used
to “swim” with the baby attached to your body. If you are able to comfortably
stand in the water with it coming no further than the babies waist in the sling
you should be okay aside from places the ground could drop off or the water
moves quickly. These are places children should not be enjoying the water at
Getting ready to play in the sprinklers in our water sling
There is another product called a Water Wrap which is made from a long piece of
mesh sturdy material which is wrapped around the users body and baby to secure
them closely just as the sling. Some people prefer the wrap over the sling
because the wrap allows a two shoulder carry versus the single shoulder on the
Both of these options are amazing when you have a smaller baby and older
children to watch over. You don’t want to be stuck on the side lines with a
stroller in the heat while your other kids are out in the water having fun
without you! (Or possible dangerous situations where you could not get to them
Knoxville CoLeader Carrie
in her Water Wrap
Some more fun ideas that other moms have used are; the Bali Breeze wraps which
are made of thin gauze cotton that dries quickly and the ever creative mom
using a beach towel for torso
carries on the beach as needed.
Torso Carry using a beach
towel by co-leader Ashley
in her Water Wrap
towel by co-leader Ashley
|The pod is a lot like a mei tai and tends to be|
fairly cool in the summer months
Which Carrier is Best?
There are a lot of
personal preferences for this question. In general there are some specific
products made for babywearing in the heat.
Ergo makes a soft structure carrier that has a panel in the back to allow
breathability called the Ergo Performance. It is a lighter weight and less
padded option than the original Ergo to make it cooler in the summer or when
being used out on hikes or walks.
Boba makes a product called the Boba Air which is made of a very thin, super
strong material that provides the option of folding it into its own tiny built
in carrying bag which folds down super small and can be dropped in about any bag.
However, most people do find that it is not as supportive as the regular Boba soft
Bamberoo soft structure carriers have a product line that includes a middle
paneling of Solarveil which is a very light weight almost mesh fabric that
makes the carrier very breathable. Solarveil is however no longer being created
so the only way to find these products are on the used markets.
Kinderpacks are another popular SSC carry brand that offers a Cool Knit and Comfort Mesh options for the heat.
Many people enjoy Mei Tai’s and Pods during the summer months without having to
purchase a specific carrier just for the summer as well.
|My Eldest wearing|
my second in a Mei
Tai at a Street Festival
When Talking About Wovens, What materials and carries are best?
First, there are again some specific brands that market to keeping you and baby cool. The Bali Breeze is the most known of those choices. They are made of cotton gauze and are very lightweight.
Other than that the material will be the most important when choosing a woven wrap for the heat. Linen is often looked upon as the coolest material to use in the heat. I have found that linen is helpful but it also needs to be a thinner wrap such as Vatani, Ellaroo and some of the thinner Ellevill Zara’s, like Triblue. Cotton is often the second choice with Dolcino and India Jani being at the top of the list.
|Ellevil Zara tends to be|
light and airy
Now that you have an idea on material, let’s talk about sizing and carries to look for.
I find the less the material the better when it comes to a true woven wrap. (The Breeze is a tad different as it is so lightweight you’ll want several passes) so shorties, wraps size 4 and under, are most often preferred. If you are very new to wrapping you might want to choose the longer side of short as shorties can be a little harder to get the hang of.
A simple easy carrier to do with even the shortest of wraps is the Rebozo carry which is fashioned much like a sling, instead using a knot to secure a fit. It’s a single pass carry that will help keep the wearer and the baby cool.
Another favorite of mine is the strap carry which goes across the baby’s back, under the arms (must be used for babies with good trunk control only) and then crosses under the bum to keep them in
|The Strap Carry|
The Reinforced Rear Ruck Rebozo (Also known as the “Pirate Carry or RRRR) is also a very common summer back carry which is great with short wraps and does not create very much material over wearer and baby.
Sticking with less passes over the user and baby is generally going to keep everyone the coolest.
What are some other ways to keep cool and protect baby from the heat?
First dress the part. This is for both you and the baby. Keep baby
in less clothing. Cute outfits are great and serve a purpose but if baby is
riding with you no one is going to see them anyway. Some people will leave baby
in a diaper alone. Others may opt for a light onesie or T-Shirt. You can always
add clothing when baby is not in the carrier. The same will apply to you. Many
people will prefer to wear a light tank top when wearing in the summer. If you
or your baby tends to get extra sweaty and sticky you might opt for a light
Everyone needs to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water yourself. If you are
nursing, nurse frequently. Make sure everyone is taking in lots of fluids.
Another important tip to wearing in the summer is big floppy hats. You can provide
sun coverage to both you and baby in a great big floppy hat and they are never
out of fashion in the South ;-) Baby can wear their own adorable little sunhats
|Ashley using a DIY linen sling|
and a cute summer hat
Wear sunscreen and if baby is old enough they can use some too. If not be aware
of body parts that are in the sun and use a thin muslin like blanket to keep
the direct sun off of their tender skin. Thin babylegs and similar options are
also better than having no protection from the hot summer sun. There are
products such as the Peekaru Ozone and Monkey Products which can be used to
protect the baby’s skin in a carrier as well.
Wet everyone down. Use spray bottles to spritz yourself and baby on occasion.
Remember sweat is your friend. You can wet down the muslin blanket to keep baby
cooler. Or use specific products like the Frog Toggle or Water Bandanas.
Anything you can wet down and drape over baby or lay across the back of neck
and shoulders are going to be your friend.
More than anything you need to be smart about being out in the summer months.
Find shade and shelter. When possible avoid going out during peak sunny hours. Be
aware of how both you and your children are reacting to the summer heat.
We hope you enjoy the summer!