Summer babywearing - some of our tips!
Good afternoon! It's pushing the mid 20's here at Slings and Things HQ ... it is warm indeed; almost unusually so for the UK!
With this in mind we have some TOP summer babywearing tips to keep you more comfortable (albeit still warm!) throughout the hotter months.
- Keep hydrated - this is important for you and for baby. Top up on fluids regularly and often. If you're a breastfeeding mummy, did you know your milk composition has a higher water content in hot weather to adapt to your baby's needs?
- Stay sun-safe - don't forget the sunscreen for exposed skin, or hats for your heads! Some carriers have hoods; these can protect a napping baby's head from the sun (though please ensure your baby has a clear airway at all times).
- Dress wisely - Reduce the amount of layers you both wear to keep cool. Choose clothes made of natural, breathable fibres. Wearing one thin layer of clothing between you and your little one can stop you feeling so sticky!
- Back carries can be cooler than a front carry. If you have an appropriate carrier and your baby is developmentally ready, give it a go! (please always refer to manufacturer guidelines) We also find babies can't steal the ice creams so easily if they're on your back
- Pick a summer-weather friendly carrier. Here's some of our favourites...
From our woven collection, we'd first suggest a Wrapsody Breeze wrap. Wrapsody's are the most lightweight non stretchy wrap we offer. They're a great starter wrap and are long enough to be used in multi-layer carries, yet thin enough to cope with mid-summer heat. They also pack down super small and have a self storage pocket sewn in! Perfect to pop in your bag.
Some people like to learn how to do one-layer carries in their wovens. If you master a one layer front or back carry then choose a shorter woven wrap (think sizes 2-4 - 2.6-3.6m). Less layers = cooler carries! We have shorter Little Frog, Girasol and Yaro wraps in our shop.
Ring Slings are a great option for short trips in the heat as - like shorter wrap carries - there's just one layer of fabric over you and baby.
With wovens and ring slings, keep an eye out for fabric thicknesses and blends. As a rule of thumb, thinner woven fabrics will be cooler. Cotton wraps are good for most weathers. Bamboo and linen blends can excel in summer. Some fabrics are "loose weave" (see above - Little Frog Illusion Ring Slings) which can feel more airy.
Stretchy wraps are our favourite carriers for newborns babies; though in general stretchy "knit" fabrics aren't as breathable as wovens. If you do have a summer baby due and would like the convenience of a pop in, pop out pre-tieable baby wrap then we would recommend the Hana Baby Wrap Organic. This is much thinner than some of the other brands we stock and the bamboo fibres offer extra sun-protection and heat regulation. If you're a more petite size than choose the Shorty wrap so you've less excess fabric.
Buckle carriers/Mei Tai (mei-dais)
The open sided nature of buckle carriers means they lend themselves to summer wearing. Buckle carriers will allow more air flow than a multi-layered wrap carry.
Some buckle carriers also have a mesh front panel to further improve their breathability. We stock the Tula Coast carriers (in standard and toddler size) and the Beco Toddler Cool.
Mei tai's also have open sides - although spreading wrap straps will reduce potential air flow.
If you've taken all these tips and you're still finding the heat bothersome, make sure you take plenty of rest time in the shade or in the luxury of an air conditioned room. Your baby will appreciate the break - as will you.
Now, enjoy the sunshine, eat the ice creams, and go all those places a carrier can take you :)