If you’ve ever carried a baby, then you know it can get hot fast. I mean, when two bodies are basically bear-hugging each other in the scorching summer heat, what else do you expect?
Nonetheless, babies still want to be held, but mom and dad need their arms free every once in a while. As you know, some summer adventures just aren’t possible with a stroller. So while it may get hot, you can still babywear year-round; summer just presents certain heated challenges.
Here are some ways to keep yourself and your baby cool, safe and comfortable while babywearing this summer.
Put your baby in a long-sleeve, rashguard swim shirt.
Rashguard swim shirts are designed for sun protection. Many are long-sleeved and made with fabric that has a UPF rating of 25 or higher. The UPF rating lets you know how much UV radiation can pass through the clothing. The higher the number, the better the sun protection, so find one that says UPF 50+. This allows less than 2% of UV transmission and best protects your baby’s arms from the sun while she’s in a carrier. Most rashguard swim shirts are also made out of soft, stretchy fabric that’s breathable, so your baby won’t overheat even though her arms will be covered.
Have a lightweight layer of fabric between you and your baby.
It’s sunny and 80 degrees out — better put on that V-neck crop top, right? Probably not if you plan on babywearing. You wouldn’t think something so tiny like your baby could make you so warm, but your body and your baby’s body pressed up against each other can make you sweat more than a hot Pilates class.
That’s why it’s best to wear a high-neck, regular-length shirt made out of cotton, rayon or linen. Some moms and dads put a cotton or muslin burp cloth between them and their baby so they don’t make each other sticky.
Bring a frozen washcloth and gel pack.
A simple trick to keeping yourself cool while in the heat of summer is putting a wet washcloth in the freezer before you go out and then laying it across the back of your neck while carrying your baby. You can also put a frozen gel pack inside the zipper pocket of your baby carrier to help keep you and your baby a little cooler. If you’ll be driving a long distance before babywearing, pack your frozen gel pack and washcloth in a portable breastmilk cooler that you can toss into your diaper bag so they’re still cold when you’re ready to use them.
Get a handheld misting fan.
You always want to make sure you drink plenty of water in hot weather to help keep yourself cool and hydrated. But that’s not the only way water can keep you cool while babywearing.
Whether you’re hiking or spending the day at your local farmers market, bring along a handheld misting fan. A regular fan doesn’t cut it because it’ll just blow hot air on you. And you don’t want to waste your filtered drinking water by pouring it down your back to stay cool. A handheld misting fan sprays the perfect amount of water while also blowing fresh air on your face and neck to keep you feeling cool and refreshed.
You better get one for you and one for your toddler! I’m sure you won’t have to ask him twice to use one of these. He’ll love being able to spray himself and mommy or daddy.
Use the Ergobaby Cool Mesh Carrier.
You can’t go wrong with any of the baby carriers from Ergobaby. But when it comes to the best baby carrier for hot weather, no other one on the market can keep you as cool and comfortable as their Cool Air Mesh Carriers. The breathable mesh fabric offers much-needed ventilation during the summer. The cool mesh lining has moisture-wicking properties to help keep you and your baby dry even on the hottest, most humid days of the year. These baby carriers also come with a privacy hood that’s UPF 50+, offering the ultimate sun protection for your baby’s precious little head and face.
Ergobaby Cool Air Mesh Carriers are also lightweight and have padded, adjustable shoulder straps and lumbar support. This way you get the right fit and never have to worry about experiencing any shoulder or back strain.
Choose the coolest carrying position.
There are four main baby carrying positions: front, parent-facing; front, outward-facing; hip; and back carry. The hip and back carry are great warm-weather carrying positions because there’s less body contact, which offers more ventilation to help you and your baby stay cool. Most soft-structured carriers, wraps and ring slings allow you to hip or back carry. Ergobaby also offers a Cool Air Mesh Hip Seat Baby Carrier.
Keep in mind, though, that the hip and back carry positions are only recommended for babies who are 6 months or older.
What about you? How do you and your baby stay cool while babywearing in the summer?