Warm weather is good weather, isn’t it? Up until it gets so hot that you think you’ll melt away immediately after going out. What about carrying in hot weather? Add a baby and a carrier to the equation and you’ll both end up sweaty and sticky within minutes. In hot weather, overheating is a risk for babies when babywearing, using the car seat or the pram.
Overheating is dangerous for babies and preparation is key to avoid it.
There are several things you can do to make carrying in hot weather safe and enjoyable. One of them is choosing a summer proof baby carrier/wrap and a suitable carry for hot weather. There are some baby carrier and baby wrap types, as well as certain carries that are just naturally better for summer.
Carrying positions in hot weather
Front carrying in summer
The most common carrying position is on the front, facing in. This is great for cuddles but can be sweaty in hot weather. Avoid skin-to-skin contact. While that’s awesome for newborns, it’s too sticky when the temperature is rising. Keep a layer of clothing or thin muslin between you and your baby. The same goes for the ergonomic facing forward position.
Hip and back carrying in hot weather
Many parents find carrying on the hip or the back cooler in the heat. While hip carrying with a wrap or ring sling is newborn friendly, many carriers have a minimum age for the hip position. Because hip carrying is loading your body asymmetrically, don’t forget to switch sides if you’re carrying your little one on the hip. Carrying on the back feels the coolest to most parents. Just keep in mind that most baby carriers have a minimum age for safe back carrying and it can vary by carrier model. Besides, it’s recommended to gain some experience in back carrying before trying it in the heat. That’s because it’s harder to monitor your baby on your back.
Baby carrier and sling types in summer
Wraps for the summer
There are two main types of wraps, stretchy and woven wraps. Stretchy wraps tend to be warmer. And because they need to be used in three layers to be safe, they tend to be too warm for hot weather.
Then there are woven wraps. Wovens come in a variety of fabrics. You can find thin, lightweight wraps, which are great for warm weather. Linen and silk fabrics tend to feel cooler, but lightweight cotton or bamboo can be good choices as well. When buying a new wrap, you’ll find its weight expressed as gram per square meter (aka GSM, g/m2, and gm2). The lower the GSM, the lighter the wrap. And lightweight wraps tend to feel cooler. But don’t worry if you have no information on the GSM. Touching the wrap with your hands gives you a good enough sense of its qualities. Woven wraps are very versatile, there are plenty of carry variations possible with them. In summer, choose single layer carries like the kangaroo on the front or the simple ruck on the back.
Ring slings for carrying in hot weather
Rings slings are made of woven wrap fabric. They’re quick to get on and are wrapped around you in a single layer, which makes them an ideal summer carrier. Pick a lightweight one for hot weather use.
Baby carriers for the heat
Many baby carriers are bulky and made of thick fabric. Unfortunately, this would be very hot in the summer. Some carriers (like some of the Asian style Meh Dais) are made of lightweight woven wrap fabrics, which makes them suitable for summer. Some soft-structured carriers are specifically made for hot weather use. They usually have an insert in the back panel made of mesh or similar fabric to provide better air circulation. This makes them cooler for you and your little one than regular carriers.
Some baby carriers have hoods with UV protection. However, using the hood fully closed can trap the warm used air inside, which may hinder breathing. It’s best to use a sunhat with neck protection instead.
Water slings are made of quick-drying mesh fabric and can be used in water, but they don’t replace a baby carrier or wrap for daily use.