Summer babywearing in Florida means knowing how to keep everyone comfortable in a baby carrier in hot weather. Here are my suggestions for lighter Summer baby wraps, recommendations for cooler carries to use with your wraps, and tips for surviving hot weather wrapping so you don’t have to stay in-doors all Summer!
Tips for Choosing a Wrap
Thin wraps and wraps with open weaves: a thin, airy wrap will be more comfortable than a thick, densely woven wrap and because there is no padding or heavy canvas, has the potential for cooler carrying than many other carriers. I don’t recommend stretchy wraps because most are very warm, and they won’t provide the versatility and comfort throughout the first couple of years that you can get from these woven (non stretchy) wraps! Try Ellevill, Wrapsody Breeze, and EllaRoo woven wraps for the most comfort this Summer.
Short wraps and carries with fewer layers: another cooler option for hot days is a shortie in a single layer carry. If you already have a wrap and it’s not the coolest fabric, it’s good to know that a heavier wrap in a single layer carry can be as cool as a thin wrap with multiple layers. A size 3 or 4 will give most parents several front, back, and hip carry options that won’t warm you up as much as a longer wrap. Find more information about short wrap carries and which size wrap will work for a parent of ANY size, here.
If you want a stretchy wrap, choose a cooler stretchy wrap: the silky-soft Wrap DuO, is similar to other stretchy wraps on the market, but SO MUCH COOLER, and it does double duty as a wrap you can wear in the water. Think pool, beach, splash park, or shower – perfect for managing on hot summer days!
Tips for Choosing a Carry:
- A carry that does not tie around your waist can keep you cooler (click on photos below for tutorials).
- You can often bunch up instead of spreading a pass in a front carry that has more than one layer – just make sure that baby is secure, supported, and you are both comfy.
- For older babies, a back carry usually feels cooler than a chest to chest carry, but you want to be able to see and interact with them enough to know if they are doing well or getting too hot.
Cooler carry suggestions (click on the photo to go to instructions page):
There are also some very short carries (size 2 or 3 wrap for most parents) that are tied at shoulder with no waist belt and no pass over the caregiver’s torso and these are great for hot Summer weather:
Rucksack TAS (tied at shoulder)
Double Sling Carry
Half Jordan’s Back Carry
If you have a longer wrap and are doing Front Wrap Cross Carry, try bunching the crosses at baby’s side to keep some of the layers off baby in hot weather (click the photo to go the the tutorial page where you’ll find instructions for both spread and bunches passes):
6 Tips for Sun Protection:
Even the FDA recommends against using sun screen on babies under 6 months old so here are some old fashioned methods of protecting yourself from excessive sun exposure.
- find shade frequently or provide your own by using a wide brimmed hat or parasol
- cover baby’s legs and arms with light, loose clothing
- use your wrap or wrap tails to cover baby (but not baby’s face) while still allowing airflow
- the WrapDuO mentioned above provides UPF 45 Sun Protection
- Shea Butter and Coconut Oil are safe for babies and both provide some protection
- avoid being outside for prolonged periods between 10am and 2pm
6 Tips to Avoid Over-heating:
- keep yourself hydrated – drink plenty of water
- keep your baby hydrated – if breastfeeding, allow baby to nurse as often as they want, and switch sides as frequently as they like as they will instinctively switch more often when they need more of the watery foremilk; if using formula, baby may need extra when out on hot days or even supplement with water; babies who are eating solids should drink water frequently
- sticking to the shade makes a huge difference
- make a breeze – use a small clip on fan with foam fan blades, or carry a paper fan with you (or improvise with a magazine)
- if using a cooling towel, be attentive to your baby to ensure that he or she is not getting too cold, especially with young babies who are not yet able to regulate temperature well and do not use ice packs or cloths soaked with ice water directly on babies
- take breaks – remove baby from wrap and use the wrap as a blanket for you and baby to hang out on for a few minutes in a shady spot