Carrying your baby in hot weather: tips for keeping cool in slings
Are you worried about keeping cool when using slings in summer? Are you worried about your baby overheating when you’re carrying in warm or hot weather? There are many ways to make carrying your baby in hot weather work for you! Read on for our top tips!
Special summer slings for hot weather carrying
You don’t need a special carrier for carrying in your baby in summer. However, there are many slings and carriers with special features, such as zip open mesh panels, to help with keeping cool. These can help everyone keep cool when carrying your baby in a sling in hot weather. If you're finding your current sling or carrier too warm then it may be worth looking into hiring something similar; something thinner or designed to be cooler. However, adjusting the way you are using your existing carrier might be enough to make you comfy carrying you baby in the heat of summer!
Are some styles of carrier cooler?
Many people prefer lighter weight carriers, such as Integra or Mamaruga carriers, without bulky padding. Some carriers are designed to minimise how much contact they make with your body, or to allow air flow around the panel. Meh dais and onbuhimo both allow free flow of air down the side of the panel, so they can be good options for keeping cool when carrying in hot weather. Ring slings are also popular during warmer summer months. because they have only one layer over baby and go diagonally across parents' backs and on only one shoulder. They are excellent for hip carries too, which can feel less hot.
Dressing baby for carrying in hot weather
If it’s really warm then your baby might not need much in the way of clothes at all! Whatever sling you are using remember that the sling or carrier acts like at least one layer of clothing on your baby. A stretchy wrap can act as 3 thick layers, or a thin wrap could be one thin one. A baby in a Moby wrap on a hot day won’t need more than a nappy, whilst a baby in a gauze wrap on a cooler day might need a couple of layers.
Thin and easily removed layers are great for days when the weather is changeable.
Sometimes just a nappy is fine if you can protect exposed skin. Or you may find loose lightweight cotton or linen long sleeved top and trousers to protect delicate skin.
Sun safety: carrying your baby in hot weather
Make sure that your baby’s head is shaded with a hat where possible, and ensure you use sun cream on any part of their body which will be in direct sun or simply keep to the shade. If you would like to cover arms or legs but don’t want to overheat, draping a muslin over can give your baby a bit of extra protection. Some sun creams can leave marks on fabric so it might be worth testing before you leave marks on your favourite sling!
The dangers of dehydration
On very hot days dehydration can be an issue. Babies get sleepy in the heat so they might need waking to feed. Keep offering their usual milk, or water, and be prepared to offer more than they usually take for hydration, and keep yourself hydrated too!
Other tips for keeping cool in the sling
- Some people like to use a damp muslin between themselves and their baby to keep everyone cool when carrying in a sling in the summer.
- Others prefer a dry muslin to avoid the sticky sweaty feeling of skin to skin contact when carrying their baby during hot weather.
- Handheld fans can be great for getting some air moving around you.
- Splashing or spraying a little bit of water can help everyone cool off a little in a sling.
- Some people recommend using cool packs or ice packs, however this can become uncomfortable quickly and babies cannot always communicate this so this would be something we would suggest using sparingly.
- Take regular breaks in the shade and if possible out of the sling too to help everyone keep cool!
Are different carrying positions cooler?
Yes, many people find hip and back carrying cooler than front carrying. If you are happier front carrying then using a seated sideways position can potentially be cooler as there is less body contact.