Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Summer Babywearing

by Aline Kelly

Hot weather is upon us and many of us have probably already peeled tiny humans off of ourselves after walks or errands. Summer babywearing isn't just about comfort, it's about everyone's well-being - when the temperatures get into significantly high numbers staying cool can be a safety issue! 

General tips:
- Keep yourself and baby hydrated - drink water often and offer hydration to baby often. Remember that exclusively breastfed babies don't need extra water. 
- Remember sunscreen. This won't help you stay cool but will keep you from getting an awkward carrier tan. (Babies under the age of 6 months should not use sunscreen. It can cause them to overheat! Instead use portable shade covers, UV carrier covers and/or big floppy hats.)
- Be reasonable - if it's too hot, stay home or reconsider your travel options. 

Here daddy is wearing baby in an ergo with a Peekaru UV sun cover.

Clothing & accessories
- Light and breathable clothing for everyone is key. Many people strip baby down to their diaper and wrap them in just that. 
- Portable shade such as wide-brimmed hats or umbrellas are helpful.
- Tuck a prefold diaper or cloth between you and baby to absorb the sweat that will develop between you.
- Some people recommend cold packs or products like these.

Cool and breathable carriers
- Gauze wraps are generally the coolest, although not always popular for bigger babies. Bali Breeze and Wrapsody breeze are common brands. Etsy has gauze options as well. 
- Many linen wraps and linen blends are considered cool 
- Other breathable hot-weather wraps include Didymos Waves, Vatanai, and Ellaroo
- Stretchy wraps, generally speaking, are boiling. 
- Soft-structured carriers and Mei Tais vary greatly but many can be rather warm - options with thinner fabrics will usually breathe better. 
- Ring slings, especially linen blends, are good since they offer a nice simple one-layered carry. 

Wrapsody Bali Breeze Gauze Wrap, photo by Jenna Sparks Bradbury

Carry options to minimize heat retention
It is generally best to stick to single-layer carries when using a woven wrap. 
- Rucksack carry 
- Kangaroo carry
- Basic Rebozo carries - front, back, hip
- Front Cross Carry
- Many shorty carries - these are almost exclusively one-pass carries and when the weather is very hot, the less fabric the better.
- When doing a carry with multiple passes such as the Front Wrap Cross Carry, bunch the passes rather than spreading them over baby.
- Tie under bum when you can, or use short wraps to try to minimize the number of times a wrap is tied around you. 
- If your baby has good head control, only wrap up to their armpits

Familiarize your with symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and what to do if you suspect either.

Photo by Jenna Sparks Bradbury

Happy summer and happy babywearing!

1 comment:

  1. some great ideas. i'll have to try sticking a cloth between us in the ergo. thanks!