Hooray! It’s finally sunny – so what does that mean for using a sling/carrier with your little ones?
The most important things to consider apply to all hot weather, regardless of whether you are carrying your baby in a sling/carrier or not and matter for both you and your children.
- Keeping hydrated
- Dressing appropriately
- Staying in the shade where possible (especially important for babies under 6 months who should avoid direct sunlight)
- Avoiding being out in the sun between 11am and 3pm when it is at its strongest
When it comes to carriers, it’s important to consider all of the above in conjunction with the sling – are you able to provide drinks while using it? Some slings/carriers give lots of additional layers over the child or are a heavy weight – can you adjust clothing? Could you both use a parasol to provide shade? Are extremities protected from the sun (especially legs/feet and tops of heads)?
If you usually use a cotton or jersey stretchy wrap, you might be able to try a bamboo version (Hana, Boba, Izmi, Calin Bleu and Joy and Joe baby all produce bamboo stretchy wraps). With woven wraps, a heavy blend could be swapped for something lighter, like a Calin Bleu gauze wrap. You could also consider a lightweight buckle carrier like an Izmi baby or Boba Air if you are looking for something that packs up small and is thin. Why not visit the library and have a try of some different ones, especially useful if you are off on holiday!
This is a great summary of babywearing in hot weather questions from Natural Parents Network:
- Are you going to get hot if you wear your baby in the summer heat? Well, yes, but you were going to be hot anyway.
- Will your baby be overheated next to you? In all but the rarest cases, no, if you’re both dressed appropriately (as in, less is more). Parents and caregivers in even the hottest of locations on earth wear their babies, so obviously it’s doable.
- Will you be more comfortable not wearing your baby? I’m going to suggest no, because you’d be carrying him or her anyway. At least with a sling or wrap, you’ll have your hands free to fan yourself and keep your water bottle at the ready!
Here’s a great collection of links related to warm weather transportation of babies and children: