Saturday, August 11, 2018

9 tips for babywearing in hot weather

Here in Washington State, summer tends to be pretty mild until the end of July and then the furnace turns on in August. Anything above 80 degrees and this Rainy State gal melts like butter on the counter.

But, we still push through - and especially with now TWO school age kids (where has my time gone???), my summers are so precious to me and I let very little stop us. We made a summer bucket list at the start of the break with 25 things we want to do and sure enough - we have tackled almost all of them. But, now it's August, and it's like 85+ degrees every day and truly the thought of strapping Holden, my 1 year old, to me through a menagerie of babywearing choices, is about enough to take the wind out fo my sales.

So what do you do when it's hot outside and you babywear? Friends, let me give you a few tips that I've come across.

First, when reading through these points, as yourself the following questions:  What kind of climate are you in? Is it dry or humid? How hot does it really get? How old is your child? These will help guide you to making a decision that is best for you and your worn child(ren).

1. Consider your carrier material. It's hard to make a blanket comment about "this carrier is BEST for the hot weather!" because each person has their own unique temperature tolerance or material preference. However, it is generally recommended to opt for lighter weight, airy fabrics or carriers that incorporate materials for increased air flow.

My sister-in-love, who now lives in San Diego after being a Washingtonian for her whole life, is an Ergo veteran but during her third pregnancy became encouraged to start trying out wraps. She wanted something breezy yet supportive for the hot summer ahead, and started belly wrapping with her Wrapsody Haumea in the last week of her pregnancy. Talk about birthy vibes! You can see more about her thoughts on Haumea here.

2. How many layers are we talking about? Woven wraps vary greatly in thickness and heat based on what they are made of, so you may have a wrap that does not do well for you and baby in the heat. Opt for a single layer pass (such as FWCC) and shorter wrap lengths.

3. Consider what you are wearing. Dressing lightly is most ideal, but I always like to keep a light fabric between myself and baby during the heat because we both get sweaty and sticky. A small prefold between baby's head and my chest kept both of us happy. I also opt for a wide brimmed hat as it gives shade over the baby's head too.

4. What is your baby wearing? Same goes for baby as it does you!

5. Take the proper measures of sun protection for both of you, as with all outdoor play. Fabric provides minimal amounts of protection from the sun and parts of baby will be exposed outside of clothes and being tucked into their carrier or wrap. Use sunscreen often and stay in the shade or indoors during the hottest part of the day. Especially pay attention to exposed parts of baby's skin and adequately cover with sunscreen or other sun protection.

6. As developmentally appropriate, switch between front and back carry. Keeping my kids on my back helps cool me down, but it is also important to mention that another set of eyes on your child is helpful during hot weather since you won't be able to see their face as easily as with front carry. Be aware of how your child is doing back there, if they aren't in full sun or getting dehydrated.

7. On that note - hydration is key! Especially if you are breastfeeding, and your baby uses your milk for hydration as well. Keeping extra hydrated is important while babywearing in hot weather because you will inherently be hotter.

8. When I did a little bit of crowd sourcing for ideas on babywearing in the heat, chilly pads kept being recommended over and over! There are tons of companies who make it, and I can't recommend any specific one since I haven't personally tried them yet, but the idea is that they are made from a hyper-evaporative material that soaks up moisture quickly but stays dry to the touch. They are popular for athletics and working out.

9. And my final tip on babywearing in hot weather is...If it gets too hot for either of you, remove baby and head indoors immediately! No sense in forcing either of you to be so miserable and hot, right?

What are some of your summer babywearing tips?

Disclosure: This post was originally written by The Pierogie Mama for the Wrapsody Blog in 2016. 

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