Babywearing in Summer

Summer is just around the corner and the heat is ready to hit us! Babywearing in summer can be sweaty business, but this doesn't mean you need to pack away your baby carrier. Just follow these simple tips to keep you and your little one/s close and comfortable. 
My top tip is to skip the bulky, polyester filled big name brands and opt for a wrap, sling or structured carrier made from woven materials. 100% cotton tends to be soft, breathable and the easiest to care for, while bamboo and linen are well known for being summer friendly fibres. Hemp is also great in the heat, but it is a little harder to care for and often a lot harder to soften up. 
A woven ring sling will always be the absolute coolest summer baby carrier option because it is only one layer of fabric on your back, and one layer on baby's back. There is no waistband or shoulder padding to warm you up. It also rolls up small enough to easily fit into your bag when you are out and about.
A woven wrap can also be one of your coolest baby carriers, particularly in single layer carries. Again, there is no padding, plus you can choose to wear your little person on your hip or back to allow airflow to your chest. A woven wrap is the perfect picnic accessory because it can double as a picnic rug or even a towel for impromptu water play! 
The onbuhimo is a structured baby carrier used for back carrying, with the "security" of a structured back panel, padded shoulder straps and no waistband. These are perfect for reducing summer sweat along your lower back and hips, and can be the perfect option for babywearing in the summer months whilst pregnant. 
If you are a half buckle or full buckle (soft structured) baby carrier lover, then I recommend finding an adjustable carrier that is made from a woven wrap.
Ensuring that baby's thighs are well supported and lower legs can be outside the carrier not only improves breathability and comfort for your baby but also offers hip-healthy positioning. I purposely choose all of the structured carriers in my store based on these qualities, so you can be assured that buying a carrier from Cloth and Carry will have you ready for summer babywearing in an instant! 
Coolest baby carrier styles for summer babywearing
Some brands will advertise their carriers as "cool mesh" or "air mesh" styles, but these are almost always polyester mesh with a layer of polyester padding on the inside, so they're not actually as breathable as they claim to be. The LennyLamb Mesh Carriers are an exeption to this rule, as they feature 2 layers of soft, breathable mesh with NO additional padding in the mesh panel.  
Carriers that require an infant insert for young babies will be extra hot due to the thickness of the insert accessory and the way that it cocoons the baby inside its layers and blocks airflow.
Much the same as the fibres used to construct your baby carrier, it is recommended that you dress yourself and your baby in light, breathable, natural fibres whilst babywearing in the heat. Cotton, linen, bamboo and hemp are cooler and less sticky than polyester and rayon, for example. 
Wearing removable layers also helps you to keep comfortable whilst babywearing. I like to bring an oversized cardigan and a pair of baby socks when heading out in the summer, especially at dusk/evenings - if the weather cools down I can wrap us both up inside the cardigan or pop a pair of long socks on my baby to keep them warmer and the bugs away. 
Always remember that the baby carrier acts as at least one layer of clothing, and some thicker, less breathable carriers (especially those with infant inserts) can act as multiple layers. 
What to wear whilst babywearing in summer
Staying in the shade is always the best option whilst babywearing, but if you need to be out in the sunshine on a warm or hot day there are a few things you can do to reduce that summer sweat. 
Firstly, you can create your own shade. I'm not a big fan of hats on babies whilst they are in the carrier (this is their primary source of heat transfer) but I do love a wide brimmed hat to shade both of us.
Hate wearing hats? No problem! Swap it for an umbrella and you are covered for pretty much every weather event imaginable! 
If your carrier has a removable hood that you do not use, have you considered taking it off and setting it aside somewhere safe? Additional fabric over the top of baby's back can make it warmer for them, so if you can remove it, why not? 
Speaking of removing things - now you can strip down to your bathers and hop in the water with your baby in a water sling! We stock a selection of water-friendly aqua baby carriers including the Aqua Ring Sling by Neko Slings, Kokadi Aqua Sling and AquaTai, and the Frog Orange full buckle water carrier. 
Except for the Frog Orange Carrier which is a neoprene baby carrier specifically designed for all weather conditions, most aqua slings are not suitable for use when dry (they are super slippery when not wet), and you should never fully submerse yourself and/or your baby whilst babywearing in any water carrier. 
Aqua ring slings make water play with your baby easy
Aqua ring slings are designed to be used when wet - suitable for use at the beach, swimming pool and even in the shower. Photo credit: Kokadi 
And finally, have you heard of a babywearing cooling towel? These simple, inexpensive mesh towels work on the same principles as the evaporative air-conditioner:
  • wet the towel and squeeze out the excess water
  • open the towel up and give it a shake to get the air to flow through the water
  • wrap the towel around the back of your neck, or hang it from the chest strap or waistband of your carrier. Cooling your body will help to cool your baby's body. 
    • IMPORTANT: If baby is under 6 months old, do NOT place a wet cooling towel directly on their skin. Young babies cannot thermo-regulate, and their body temperature can drop dangerously fast. 
Summer babywearing accessories
Babywearing accessories to keep you cool this summer including cooling towels and water slings, now available at Cloth and Carry.
Hopefully now you are a little less hot and bothered about wearing your baby this summer! Head over to our summer babywearing collection to see the best of our carriers suitable for use in the heat. SHOP NOW! 

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