Babywearing in Summer

Using your sling in the summer months can be just as satisfying & beneficial as it is at any other time of the year. However, when the temperature does increase (& we have had some particularly warm weather of late) their are some extra things you may find helpful to take into consideration. 

General things to remember: 
Water - Keep you & baby/your child, well hydrated - When going out remember to pack water for yourself as well as your little one. Breastmilk fed babies under 6months do NOT need to be given water - however, you should consider offering a feed more often. Formula fed babies, under 6months can be given small amounts of additional (cooled, boiled) water, however, you may wish to consider feeding smaller amounts of formula, more often instead. For those old enough, ice-lollies &/or breastmilk lollies are a great way to cool down too! 

Wear a hat - Covering yours & baby's head in hot, sunny weather can help to avoid sunstroke. A floppy wide brimmed hat or legionnaires style hat can be really helpful to give good coverage to baby's head, face & back of the neck. There are also some pretty good baby sunglasses available on the market to help protect little ones eyes. 

Sunscreen - Sunscreen isn't recommended for use with babies under 6months, so you may wish to use a parasol or umbrella to help keep the sun off baby & sticking to the shade where you can is great too. For those that can use sunscreen try to ensure it has good coverage for both UVA & UVB rays & top-up regularly.  

Cooling Aids - such as facial spritz, water misters, fans & cooling cloths/towels can be a good way to help you cool down in the heat. Take care when using these with or near babies that they are not too cold, as you don't want to "shock" baby's system. Also be aware of what is in these products & take care where the use of alcohol & essential oils are part of the ingredients as these may cause a skin reaction. 

Sling specific support: 
If you are using a stretchy or woven wrap, you may want to consider a lighter weight fabric. You can get some great bamboo stretchy wraps which are both light weight & breathable, e.g., from Hana Baby & Joy & Joe, or woven wraps made from or blended with, gauze, linen, cotton, all of which will be lighter & more breathable. e.g., Calin Blue have a gauze wrap, Wrapsody make beautiful patterned hybrid wraps great for hot weather carrying! This is important as some carries tend to use multiple passes of fabric across baby making them warmer. (You can of course also strip baby down to their vest or even just their nappy to help keep them cool too.)

What you & baby wear can make a big difference. We know that skin-to-skin continues to beneficial beyond the 4th trimester, so don't be afraid to use that in the heat too. If that isn't possible or you prefer to be covered, then light, loose layers, made from natural fibres tend to be the coolest option. 

A one layer carry or sling maybe helpful - so a ringsling or a kanga-carry or front wrap cross carry with the passes gathered either side & if age & stage appropriate, a hip or back carry will also be a cooler way to use your sling. 

Many of your favourite sling brands also offer "summer" or lighter weight versions of their carriers - e.g., Integra have the Solarweave version, Tula has the Tula Coast, Izmi has the Izmi Breeze, Beco have the Cool Mesh, etc... If you haven't already bought a sling, this might be something to consider, or you might like to find a local sling consultant or sling library & hire one instead!? 

Some find it helpful to use a muslin square between you & baby - this can help to wick away excess moisture. Always be careful to ensure this is not going to compromise baby's airway. 

Ultimately, if it's really hot, you may only want to babywear for short periods - but seek out the shade & take a break if you need too. 

Happy, Sunny, Babywearing 😎 


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