Guide to Wearing your Baby in Hot Weather

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Unfortunately, no one has yet invented a baby carrier with an air conditioner feature but when they do, we’ll be the first ones to sign up!  Until that miracle carrier comes along, you can expect that wearing your baby is in hot weather is going to be, well, hot!

But don’t despair!  Here are our tips for babywearing in the hot weather.

1. Dress both yourself and baby for the weather.

Light and airy clothes are best.  We like linen or 100% cotton or linen, although sporty performance fabrics are also great if that is your style!   Remember that whatever carrier you are using acts as a layer, too.  Also keep sun protection in mind.  Baby Legs or other leg/arm covers are an easy on/off way to provide light protection while staying cool (some Baby Legs even have UV protection).

2. Keep a layer of fabric between you and baby to help make things feel less sticky!

Wearing a high neck shirt is the easiest way to do this.  Some people like to keep a thin piece of muslin or cotton to place between them and baby (bonus: this can easily be swapped out).

3. Stay in the shade!

This may seem obvious, but if you’re anything like most parents we know, you may be stubbornly trying to go about your business without any regard for the weather. Summer (especially the hottest days) is a good time to slow down, take it easy as much as you can, and stay in the shade whenever possible.  If you can, try to schedule your activities for the coolest part of the day (often early mornings) and before or after the sun is at its peak.

4. If it’s not possible to stay in the shade, make your own!

An easy way is to keep both of you in brimmed hats when you are outside.  We like baby hats with a Velcro strap so baby can’t easily tug it off.  If your little one really fusses with a hat, try a hat with a big brim for you – the right hat can provide both of you with quite a bit of shade!  An umbrella can also come in handy for making your own shade.  Did you know the word parasol literally means “for sun”?

5. Use water to help keep your body cool.

Of course you should drink plenty of liquids (and keep your child hydrated as well) but water can also help you cool off in other ways.  We like to bring a little spray bottle for giving ourselves and baby a spritz on hands, feet and hair.  Bonus: if you have a toddler or older child, they are usually thrilled to help with the spritzing!

6. Use air to help keep you and your baby cool.

Remember those little fans you made by folding paper as a child?  They really work!

7. Wear your lightest, thinnest baby carrier.

We love the Ergobaby Cool Air Mesh Carriers for their cool mesh lining wicking properties. If your carrier has a sleeping hood, you can use that to offer a little extra shade.  The tail of a ring offers extra coverage, too.

8. Choose your carry with the weather in mind.

Back carries and hip carries feel cooler in the hot weather, so try one of these if your baby is older.  For an infant, we still recommend a front carry so that you can monitor your baby. If you are wrapping, choose a carry that involves the fewest layers around you, such as a rucksack carry or a kangaroo carry.

We asked our Facebook fans how they cope with hot weather babywearing, and they had some great tips to add!

  • When we are out and about, I keep a separate outfit for my girls in the cooler (in a Ziploc bag to keep them dry)… when they start getting too hot, I change them into the outfits from the cooler.  I put the clothes they were wearing into the bag in the cooler. It’s a little more work, but it helps them cool and of course their cool clothes against my body keeps me cool too!  – Melissa
  • I keep cooler gel packs (for lunch boxes) in the refrigerator and put one in the front pocket of my Ergobaby on hot days.  – Lindsey
  • I carry an umbrella. I probably look silly but who cares? We went to Six Flags last weekend and it was in the 90’s but with my own portable shade we were quite comfortable. – Karin
  • I keep a handkerchief in the diaper bag.  On hot days, I dip it in cool water and drape it around our necks and pressure points to cool us both down.  – Molly
  • We use the Frogg Togg chilly pad…keep it went and it keeps baby (and mama!) cool.  – Tiffany


Laurel McCarthy

Laurel McCarthy sells great baby carriers through her web store, Carry Me Away. Visit the CMA Learn Center for tons of advice on choosing the right baby carrier for just about any situation. She lives in Napa, CA with her husband and two children.