Babywearing can be an easy way to carry on with daily life no matter what the weather and may be more convenient than pushing a buggy in the heat. This is because:
- Hot weather can be a trigger for crying and irritability for babies and young children. In a sling, babies are held close and will feel cuddled and soothed.
- It’s also easier for you to check on your baby if they are close to your body and you are more able to pay attention to their cues.
- You have in-built ability to thermoregulate your body and can cool down your baby by holding them close to you.
- The position of the baby when they are in a sling can result in less sun exposure for the carried baby.
- Some slings also have SPF 50 fabric within them (Solar Connecta’s and Integra’s, and some Ergobaby hoods).
- You may be more gentle on yourself too. In order to protect your carried baby from the sun’s rays, you are more likely to stay in the shade.
To help keep your little one safe and happy in a sling in the heat, it’s vital to consider that:
- Your sling works as extra layers of clothing on your baby, so it is always sensible to adjust what they wear accordingly.
- Wearing natural, breathable fabrics or skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby will allow your two bodies to thermoregulate.
- Front off-centred seated positions, hip and back carries may feel cooler.
- Carries that only require one layer of fabric over your baby and possibly slings made from lighter breathable materials, mesh or high-tech fabrics will work particularly well in warm weather.
- Invest in cool towels. There are two main types: “Ice Towels” made of microfibre polyester or bamboo (Price: from £5 upwards. Pros: packs small, washable, wet, wring, snap style. Cons: doesn’t keep cool very long); and “Chilly Pad Evaporative” made of thicker sponge-like material (Price: from £7 upwards. Pros: biodegradable; holds coolness like nothing else. Cons: dries to a crisp once the water has all evaporated but if you fold it when damp it will fit in your bag!). It will transform your babywearing experience during summer.
- You need a hat for your baby (and possibly yourself) and something to lightly cover their legs – like a muslin or a light cotton scarf – to protect any exposed parts.
Good common sense applies in all hot weather situations!
- Keep your baby well hydrated at all times.
- Avoid being out in the hottest hours and avoid the direct sunlight.
- Stay protected with suncream and under the shade as much as possible. You can make a portable shade with a parasol or an umbrella.
- Keep drinking fluids and find ways to refresh while out and about eg fill a travel spray bottle with water. You can turn this into a fun game by spraying a little water on you both from time to time.
- Use a small fan or make a paper/cardboard folded fan.
- Trust your instincts.
Oxford Sling Library has an amazing range of sun/heat/water options to suit all your needs. Whether you’re a woven wrap fan looking for ideas for cooler carries, or a sling curious newcomer eager to try the latest ergonomically designed model on the market. Perhaps you’re preparing for the birth of your summer baby, planning a holiday with lightweight luggage in mind, or “just” looking for a sling or carrier to keep things flowing as comfortably as possible for your family… we do have something for you!
Take a look at our inventory and check our next sling library event dates (including pop up library, at WOCA, in August).
1) 2 ½ years old in Yaro La Vita (fwcc with a short size 3), London Paddington.
2) 3 year old in Lillebaby Airflow in Mantova.
3) 4 year old in Lifft Pouch in Oxford.
4) 2 year old in Toddler Connecta Solarweave in Pisa.
5) 1 year old in Hoppediz hop tye in Bracknell Forest.
6) 3 year old in Didymos ringsling in Portugal.
The Oxford Sling Library is listed in the Babies section of Oxford Mumbler – together with information about local breastfeeding support, birth recovery, health visitors, baby massage and more!