Having a baby often leaves your hands tied, literally. Investing in a good baby carrier was the perfect solution for me. It allows me to have my baby cradled close to me, (which he likes) while leaving my hands free to do more stuff.
It works both at home (especially when I need to get the household chores done while he's awake) and when we're going out. It’s not always ideal to drag along a bulky stroller, especially if you're going hiking or going to a place with many steps and stairs, or to a crowded place.
However, the biggest issue comes when the hot summer arrives. As the baby is lying so close to you, heat is definitely an issue for both you and the baby. You'll need to take extra measures to keep your baby cool and avoid overheating. Moreover, a hot and grouchy baby is no fun at all. Read on for more tips on how to keep your baby cool when baby wearing in summer.
You might also want to consider a more lightweight and cool baby carrier for the hot summer.
What Is The Best Baby Carrier This Summer?
For starters, here’s a quick round-up of the types of baby carriers available in the market.
Structured baby carriers are made of soft padded materials, often consisting of 2 shoulder straps, a buckle waist and a structured seat for the baby. They tend to be more ergonomical and provide better weight distribution and support for the parent. Hence, they are suitable if you're wearing the baby for outdoor activities and for long durations.
However, they also tend to be more expensive and the additional padded materials also means that such baby carriers tend to be hotter especially in summer. You should pay attention to the material of the carrier to make sure they are breathable and comfortable for both you and your baby.
Some of the baby carrier designs/brands also require a newborn insert if you're using it for a newborn and these aren't exactly the best for the summer months.
The Tula Ergonomic Baby Carrier is an award-winning baby carrier that is well-loved by many parents.
However, some parents do claim that the Tula baby carrier is too hot if you're living in hot and humid climates like Florida and Arizona. The good news is that Tula has introduced a new Coast Mesh design that provides increased ventilation and breathability.
If you're already a happy owner of a soft structured carrier but are feeling the summer heat, you might want to consider getting a cheaper and cooler alternative wrap or sling, instead of getting a brand new structured carrier which can be expensive.
A baby wearing wrap is a long piece of soft lightweight cloth that can be used to wrap around the parent’s torso and over both shoulders. It's a highly flexible and versatile baby carrier as you can wear your baby in many different ways (front, back, and hip).
It is inexpensive, but the downside is that the learning curve to use it is relatively steep. You can, however, find many online videos teaching you the different ways you can use the baby wearing wraps.
The Moby Wrap is one of the most popular and well-known baby wearing wraps. Both moms and dads can use the same wrap inter-changeably as it is not sized. The latest Moby Wrap Evolution Baby Wrap makes use of a new soft and lightweight fabric blend of fibres from bamboo and natural cotton for increased breathability.
However, baby wearing wraps tend to get too hot and sweaty for some parents and babies and even the Moby Evolution Baby Wrap hasn’t been able to escape from such complaints. This is especially so if you are staying in the warmer states, or if you tend to sweat more by nature. This is because the baby is nestled so close to the parent and the cloth is wrapped around the parent’s torso.
So, if you're wearing your baby using a wrap, you may need to check on your baby every now and then to avoid overheating or take them out to cool down if you find your baby sweaty or feeling hot.
For summer baby wearing, also look out for wraps made of more airy and lightweight fabrics. 100% handwoven cotton wraps such as EllaRoo wrap is one good example.
Another of my summer favorite is the Beachfront Baby Wrap. It is made of athletic mesh, which makes it breathable and dries easily. It is therefore not only suitable for hot weather, it is perfect for pool and beach activities during summer.
Ring slings consist of a piece of fabric strung through rings and worn over 1 shoulder. It tends to be easier and quicker to use compared to a baby wrap, and much more compact compared to a structured carrier.
It is also ideal for small babies and newborns as they can be nestled easily and comfortably in the sling, and great for summer since it doesn’t require an infant insert. It is also more cooling and airy compared to a baby wrap as your back will be more open.
Ring slings made of linen material are great choices as it is cooler and more breathable.
What To Look Out For In The Ideal Baby Carrier or Baby Wrap/Sling for Summer?
Summer or not, the most important factors to look out for are that the baby is seated or nestled in an ergonomically correct position when worn properly, and there’s proper weight distribution and support for the parent.
When baby wearing in summer, it is important to consider the fabric of the baby carrier you choose. Look out for cooling and breathable materials. Fabrics such as linen and mesh are excellent choices for warm weather, followed by 100% cotton.
When choosing the color and design of your baby wrap or ring sling, you should also bear in mind that a light-colored fabric also tends to be less hot than a darker one. And of course, a fabric with UV protection would be an added bonus.
More Tips To Baby Wearing In The Hot Weather…
Wear a sunhat and dress light. Remember, the wrap/sling is already an additional layer of cloth.
Stay in the shade as much as possible. Use an umbrella if possible or plan your activities such that you avoid going out into the sun when it is at its hottest.
Keep you and your baby hydrated by drinking more water.
Minimize skin-to-skin contact (as it gets really hot and sweaty) by placing a wash cloth or muslin between your baby and you.
Babywearing is very personal choice. What works for others may not work for you and your baby. So, your final choice of the type of baby carrier will really depend on what your baby finds comfortable (some babies are pickier than others).
While it's not a must to buy a new and different carrier for summer, you may want to consider getting a cheaper and cooler alternative when you find that you or your baby is feeling the heat and sweating uncontrollably.