The “dog days of summer” are fast approaching! One of the top questions we hear this time of year is, “What’s the best carrier for babywearing in the heat?”
How to stay cool while babywearing infographic.
First, let’s clear up some things. Babywearing is... hot! No matter what, it’s two bodies next to each other, and you’re going to be warm from that. But... it’s also hot holding your baby in-arms, carrying them in a heavy car seat, or pushing them in a stroller. The benefit of a baby carrier is that you’re putting less strain on your body with less “stuff” to cart around with you. Plus, your baby is exactly where they want to be—on you! And a happy baby is a very good thing =).
That being said, the summer heat can be uncomfortable, so what can we do to lessen this while babywearing? Let’s dive in!
First—General summer safety
- Stay out of the sun. When possible, find shade. If you can’t find shade, make it! Sun tents, beach umbrellas, and parasols are great, simple tools to protect you
- Time outings wisely. Are your little ones early risers? Use that as motivation to get outside early in the day before the sun’s out in its full strength. With a little luck, maybe they’ll be happy to crash inside during the hottest part of the day 😉. Kids refusing to go to bed when the sun’s still out? Try rearranging your day so your outdoor outing can be done in the evening when it's cooler. A dinner picnic can be as fun as a lunch one (and a lot less hot!)
- Hydration, hydration, hydration. While you’re packing and planning allll the snacks, don’t forget water! Make sure you’ve got plenty of hydration on hand for yourself and your little one(s) (as is age appropriate, of course!)
- Use protection. A hat for you and baby is always a good choice. If your baby is old enough, put sunscreen on both of you. Consider UV protective clothing for you and baby
Carrier-specific advice, and go!
- Put thin fabric between you and baby: Skin-to-skin is amazing, but in the heat it can make you kind of...sticky. If you’re going to be outside, consider putting thin clothing on both of you. Use a thin cloth in-between you to reduce the direct skin-to-skin contact that can make you feel hotter
- Use cooling cloths and/or a fan: Specially made cooling towels are great for this. Whether you’re buying special cooling towels or using a washcloth, place a cool, damp cloth on you and/or your baby. For best results, don’t put this one on your chest/between you and baby—you want the air to help evaporate. Instead, place them on the back of your neck or on your baby’s legs or arms. A mini battery-powered spritzer fan is a great choice. You may even be able to clip one onto your suck pads for added convenience!
- Try a single pass or torso carry / carrier: The fewer layers of carrier around you, the cooler you’ll feel! A breathable wrap conversion SSC is one example. But, you can also do simple woven wrap carries that only pass over baby’s back once instead of 2 or 3 times. Long woven wraps are also great for torso carries. You'll be amazed how light you feel when you take the straps of your wrap off of your shoulders for the first time! Ring slings are another great choice (and a mesh one is even better if you know you’ll be in the water!). And of course, we can’t forget to mention the onbuhimo. With no waistband to overheat you, the onbuhimo is a summertime favorite.
- Use carriers made from breathable materials: Wrap conversion carriers are all going to be breathable. That's why Mama & Roo's carries these instead of canvas or plastic (polyester) carriers. Wrap conversion carriers will also absorb moisture better. If you want the absolute best for heat, stick to a carrier made from or blended with linen. Linen is an easy-care fabric. It's up to 30% more moisture-absorbing and moisture-wicking than cotton. This keeps you cooler, longer. Plus, linen is naturally stain-resistant and super durable. Important qualities for products for kids!
- P.S. Never swim with baby in a carrier: Wading and walking through showers and splash pads—awesome! If you’re going to be in water above your waist, it’s safest to have baby in-arms or in an age-appropriate floating device (with supervision, of course!).
Despite the challenges heat may bring, we know that you can’t keep those kids inside all summer. With the right tools, you’ll feel like a superstar! So go ahead and wear your cozy, comfy little one no matter what adventures the day brings.
Ready for a carrier of your own? Check out our summer collection below. Head’s up—we won’t be restocking summer-specific items again until spring. If you see something you love, snag it before it’s gone!