Easy tips for baby wearing in the heat.
When I first had my daughter I wore her religiously, the pram just felt like she was too far away. But then summer came and on a few days, I had no choice but to wheel out the baby cruiser; It was just too hot.
That being said, many if not most mothers in Africa and Asia wear all the time and at temperatures that would scoff at our British summers. So there must be tips, tricks and a general knack to wearing in the heat so your both comfortable.
On to the tips..
Mini disclaimer, I know that the way babies are carried in other countries is often with a simple stretch of cotton and would never meet the TICKS guidelines. Still there are lessons to take, and take them we shall.
- Stay hydrated, its sounds idiot proof but making sure you and baby are well hydrated means your body can better deal with the heat and you don't risk dehydration from sweating. If you breastfeed your body will automatically make watery milk in hot weather to keep babies fluids up.
- Clothing, or lack thereof, you want to keep one thin layer on you and baby. If its very hot and you can get away with it, a muslin between the two of you and nothing else on top will keep you from having to peel baby off you. Babies hands and feet can feel cold quite qucikly if they have nothing on, but remember its much more dangerous for a baby to over heat, than to get a bit chilly.
- Use a thin cotton sun hat on baby, its important to keep the sun off babies head. With this in mind, think about where your going, is there enough shade to keep too. We all want to go for a walk on the moors in the sunshine but if your going to be in the open for hours, consider taking a parasol and/or a spray bottle with a fan.
- Sun screen, remember to put it on all over, especially little limbs that will be poking out and tops of ears, back or neck etc. When you burn you cook, you stay hot and you cant really cool down while still out in the warm. Sun screen wont cool you down, buts its the long game I'm thinking with this one.
- Think about the type of carrier your using. There is no golden rule or "one fits all" with this. Everyone and their babies have a different tolerance to the heat. But in general, if your using a stretchy wrap, its requires 3 passes to be worn safely, that's like putting on 3 t-shirts....no thanks. Hana wraps are a bamboo blend and a little cooler for the stretchy option. Woven wraps are great, suitable from birth and usually made of lightweight cotton, with so many carry options to choose from, lots of structured carriers, such as Lillie baby and Tula do mesh panel buckle carriers. To find the right one for you, and to try before you buy, I heartily recommend tracking down your local sling library. You can get fitted with a carrier to suit you and your baby and rent them for a few weeks so you know how you get on.
- Try cooling aids, cool packs and cooling towels can be great to place on your and babies head and neck for a few minutes. Cool, not frozen, its not a good idea to hold something frozen against babies skin. a damp muslin will provide some cooling as is evaporates. Better still companies like Frogg Toggs do cooling aids made of lightweight man made material that feels dry to the touch, even when soaked and keeps super cool as it evaporates. These are a godsend when your trailing round on a hot day and can be used by the whole family.
- Think about changing up your carry. If baby is old enough and can sit unaided try a hip or back carry, back carries are almost always cooler for both of you than having a little chest limpet. Again, if your not sure about this but want to try, head to your local sling library.
And it goes without saying..That's just a few helpful things to consider while baby wearing out in the summer. The absolute best thing to do if your feeling hot while wearing is to take baby off and head in doors, cool down re-fuel and take a minute before going out again. Happy travels.