Tips for Babywearing in the Heat
Summer is here with its incredible adventures! From getting chores done around the house while wrangling big kids home from school, to traveling with family and friends… babywearing becomes a necessity! There are many babywearing options to help you and baby stay cool in the heat!
The most important thing to keep in mind is always safety, of course. According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Heath and Human Development (NICHD), infants are sensitive to temperature extremes and cannot regulate their temperatures well. For this reason, kangaroo care is often recommended for small babies who are especially susceptible to temperature instability. Babywearing can actually help small children with thermoregulation… a great thing to know year round, and something to keep in mind during hot weather!
While babywearing in and of itself can help increase the skin-to-skin time of parent and child, it is important to make sure that you are attentive while wearing your baby, and when it is warm out, you need to add attention to your child’s temperature to the list of things to consider. So how can you make sure that you are staying safe while babywearing while it is warm out?
OPTION 1: Ring Sling
If it’s really hot out, a lightweight Ring Sling can be ideal, as a ring sling is a single layer of fabric across your baby. We offer several types of ring slings, a Tencel blend for lightweight and a new Cotton blend for breathability, and as a bonus, you can use the end of the tail to cover your little one’s legs when in direct sunlight.
OPTION 2: Coast Mesh Carrier
Our Tula Coast Carrier offers a reinterpretation of our original framed panel design using breathable mesh material which creates a ventilated carrier perfectly suited for active lifestyles and warm weather locales. The mesh panel keeps wearer and baby cooler as it allows for more airflow through the carrier!
OPTION 3: Woven Wrap with Less Passes
For those who love to wrap their baby in woven wraps year-round, a single layer carry is ideal. Kangaroo Carry, Robin’s Hip Carry, and Rucksack Carry are all popular choices for warm weather wearing. When wrapping in hot temperatures, keep in mind that fewer passes means more breathability and comfort for both you and your little one.
Additional Tips to Remember
- KEEP OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT: Even when you’re wearing a carrier that seems to be appropriate for the weather, keep in mind that it is always a good idea to keep out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time
- USE HATS AND/OR SUNSCREEN: Hats and sunscreen can help to prevent your little one from burning
- APPLY SUNSCREEN PRIOR TO CARRYING: If you decide to use sunscreen, we recommend applying some time before going into the sun so that you are less likely to get sunscreen in the fabrics of your carrier
- KEEP BABY’S SKIN EXPOSED: When possible, it can help to keep baby’s skin exposed to allow for adequate air circulation. Since evaporation is an effective method of cooling, allowing baby’s sweat to evaporate off of exposed skin can help keep your little one feeling cooler.
- USE MISTING BOTTLES: Some caregivers even use a misting bottle or gently dab with a damp towel or cloth to help cool their skin and their children’s skin.
- WATCH FOR OVERHEATING: Watch for signs of overheating in your little one; the AAP notes that infants in danger of overheating may show signs including feeling hot to the touch (especially on their chest) or sweating.
- STAY HYDRATED: One last important tip – get enough to drink! The younger your baby is, the higher the percentage of his or her body weight that is water, according to Whitney and Rolfes, authors of Understanding Nutrition. Since infants are more prone to dehydration in hot weather, they recommend increasing babies’ fluid intake during warmer conditions. Make sure that you and your baby drink enough water, milk, or formula to stay fully hydrated… and if you’re breastfeeding, keep in mind that you need to drink even more water than usual!
- TAKE A BREAK: if you have any concerns about the heat, please err on the side of caution and take frequent breaks in a cooler location.
Happy (summer) babywearing!