It’s finally feeling hot, hurrah! With the rising temperatures it can leave parents feeling worried about babywearing during the summer months. We often receive lots of questions about wearing a baby carrier in the summer including: How do I protect my child from the sun? Won’t it get too warm? Which baby carrier for the summer? Should I use a carrier at all in the summer or should I rather use a stroller with a sunshade? The questions are endless…
Babies can’t completely regulate their own temperature at first. So, when you as parents sweat, you are like the air conditioner for your child but completely natural air conditioning! Parents can cool and warm their babies through their skin – depending on whether they are too cold or too hot. So, take advantage of this wonderful feature that has been given to you.
However, we do recommend if the weather is too hot, it is better to stay at home or in the shade as much as possible or to use a stroller such as the Ergobaby Metro+ stroller with an umbrella. You can even lift the flap of the seat to allow more airflow and keep little one cooler while in a shaded area.
Our top 6 tips for babywearing in warmer temperatures
- Choose the right clothing: Dress yourselves and your baby in lightweight clothing. Light and airy clothing such as linen or 100% cotton is best, and if you like, functional fabrics for sports or with UV protection are also suitable. Thin fabrics that also cover arms and legs but are still airy are ideal for your child as a child shouldn’t use sunscreen until 12 months old. Remember that a baby carrier replaces a layer of clothing. So when carrying your baby in the summer, it’s better for you and your baby to wear one layer less and bring a change of clothes in case your baby gets out of the carrier sweaty or it gets chilly.
2. Skin-to-skin: Yes, belly shirts are in again. But when it’s warmer and you’re on the move, it can quickly become a slippery affair, especially if your baby also has a bare belly. So make sure there’s at least one layer of fabric between you and your baby. However when your home again enjoy those skin to skin moments together as we know the benefits are super important!
- Avoid the blazing sun: Stay in the shade and out of the sun with your child. This may seem obvious, but if you are like most parents we know, you may be trying to get your errands done without regard for the weather. However, summer, especially the hottest days and midday sun are a good time to slow down, relax as much as possible, and stay in the shade if possible. So, it’s best to try to do your activities and walks in the morning or evening when the sun is not at its strongest.
4. Create your own shade: It is not always possible to stay in the shade. Therefore, use the following tricks to make your own shadow. Hats with brims are ideal for both wearer and child. We’re also big fans of baby hats with a Velcro closure so your baby can’t just pull them off. If your little one fusses a lot because they do not want to wear a hat, you can also try wearing a hat with a bigger brim yourself. This can provide shade for both of you. A parasol (like an umbrella, but with UV protection) also provides cooling shade.
5. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids is key in warmer temperatures. Aim to always have a bottle of water with you and breast/chest feed your baby regularly. Please keep in mind that babies under about 6 months of age should not drink any additional water, including cooled tea. This can lead to dangerous water intoxication as their kidneys are not yet designed for it. They will get the fluids they need from your breast milk or formula. However, a great way to cool them down, besides drinking, is to have a small spray bottle of water with you to spray your hands, feet or legs with every now and again. Your baby will be happy to help you spray the water too – which makes a fun little activity! But make sure you reapply your sunscreen if you’ve regularly cooling down using the spray bottle.
6. Temperature check on the back of the neck: When you are out and about together in the heat, it is best to check regularly on your child’s neck and between the shoulder blades to see how warm he or she is. Signs of overheating can include hot, moist skin, a red head, rapid, shallow breathing, restlessness and exhaustion. At the first signs, a baby should be taken immediately to a cool room or, if necessary, to a doctor.
Light and breezy summers – which carrier is best?
We have given you lots of tips on what to look out for when carrying your baby during the warmer season, but which baby carrier is the right one for summer?
Breathable baby carriers with mesh inserts are particularly comfortable and carriers with air-permeable fabrics are ideal to avoid sweating too much with baby. In the Ergobaby range, for example, we have our Ergobaby Omni Breeze or the Adapt SoftFlex Mesh, both made of airy mesh fabric.
The Aerloom baby carrier also keeps you pleasantly cool thanks to mesh zones. For newborns the Embrace Soft Air Mesh baby carrier is soft, cool and breathable. You can find an overview of all breathable summer carriers and information about their differences here.
So, now you are well equipped and informed for using a baby carrier in the warm season. As you have noticed, everything is possible, the important thing is to know how!