Ready or not, summer is here! But just because our Minnesota summer is bringing the heat (and humidity) it doesn’t mean you have to forego being outdoors with your little one. It does, however, mean that you might have to adapt some of your babywearing strategies to keep your baby (and yourself) cool. Read on for a few tips for safe and comfortable babywearing in warm weather:
1 – Pick a carrier that is well-suited for the season. Carriers made with lightweight fabrics such as linen, lightweight cotton or Tencel, or mesh are ideal for summer. Some options include the Solly wrap, Ergo Omni soft structured carrier, the Baby K-Tan Breeze, and the Wild Bird ring sling. Remember that the carrier itself adds a layer (or more), so dress yourself and your baby accordingly, and make sure that both of you are wearing fabrics that breathe well. Counterintuitively, sometimes adding a lightweight layer between you and your baby can help to keep your bodies from warming each other up. If your baby is old enough for a back carry or hip carry (usually around 6 months), these carriers can also allow for a little more breathability.
2 – Get out early. Whenever you can, try to arrange your day so that your outings to the farmers market, park, zoo, or other outdoor venues happen in the morning or evening during the cooler parts of the day. From lunchtime through the afternoon, stick to cooler indoor activities.
3 – Stay hydrated. This means both of you! Make sure to regularly find some shade and offer breast or bottle to your baby often, and be sure to pack water or other hydrating drinks for yourself as well.
4 – Pack a few other essentials like a soft ice pack or frozen wet washcloth to tuck into your carrier, or a misting fan that you can attach to your carrier and use as you are on the go.
5 – Monitor your baby’s temperature while out and about. Simply placing your fingers at the nape of your baby’s neck or on their ears can be a good indicator of their body temperature. Does your baby feel hot or sweaty? If so, get into shade or an air conditioned space to cool off and hydrate. If you are new to babywearing in the summer, take it slow and make adjustments as you go — you are learning together!
6 – Utilize our own local resources and build community with other babywearing parents! Babywearing Twin Cities is a fantastic resource for Twin Cities families. Check out their lending libraries around the metro, meet fellow moms and dads, and learn more about finding a carrier to fit your specific frame and needs.
What are your go-to carriers for summer weather? What tips do you have for staying cool while babywearing? Share below!