Let’s look at how to be safe and comfortable when you’re using a baby carrier, wrap, or sling, during the warmer months of the year in Australia.
Carrying your baby is a fantastic tool to keep in your parenting tool box. It gives you that extra set of hands when children are tired, upset, needing love, or maybe their little legs just can’t walk any more.
Using a baby carrier all year round is possible! But there are some important guidelines and tips to follow to make the experience more safe and comfortable for both you and your child.
Picking a hot weather friendly baby carrier. There are actually a lot of options!
A ring sling can be a good carrier choice for hot weather as there is only one layer across baby and it carries them to the side, rather than centre against your torso where most of your body heat will come off. You might also like to use a cotton, bamboo or linen wrap which are light breathable fabrics and carry your baby in a hip or back carry.
If selecting a soft structured carrier look for brands that offer a back panel made of woven wrap or natural fibre material, this will breath easily and is cooler than canvas style material. A Meh Dai is also a great baby carrier option in summer as it’s usually made from breathable cotton or linen, only has one layer against your child, and allows for easy airflow on the sides of your baby.
For more information about all the different styles of baby carriers available to you read this blog next!
Practical tips for Babywearing in the heat:
Before heading outside, dress both you and your baby down as much as practical to match the hot weather. Remember that your wrap, sling or carrier, acts as a layer of clothing too so be mindful of dressing for the heat. Your baby may be most comfortable in just a singlet and a nappy.
Where possible, keep in the shade or air-conditioning, and use a large hat or umbrella to offer shade for you both. A hand held fan can really help to blow fresh air on you and your child and sometimes dry up any sweat on your chest (ick we know, but yep! It happens!)
Keep extra hydrated and try to keep yourself as cool as possible. Your temperature will help to regulate your baby’s temperature so the cooler you are, the more comfortable your baby will be. A cooling towel or wet cloth around your neck can help with this.
Remember to always keep safety front of mind. It is definitely possible to carry your baby in hot weather, but ensure that you monitor your child closely at all times. Always adhere to the TICKS safety guidelines. Tight, In view, Chin Off Chest, Close enough to KISS, and Supported back. Access our downloadable on top Babywearing safety tips “here”
Ensure that you monitor your child’s breathing and airways too, keeping all clothing and fabric clear of their nose and mouth. Check that the carrier or wrap is firm against their back and that they haven’t slumped down putting their chin onto their chest. Keep their face from pressing against your body so that their airways always stay clear.
When your baby is being carried you will quickly be able to tell if their temperature starts to rise. You will feel hot yourself and uncomfortable yourself. Trust the queues of your baby and your instincts. If your child starts feeling too hot, it might be time to find another way to cool down. It’s worth noting that it is far easier for you to keep an eye on your baby, their breathing and their temperature, when they are being carried, rather than if they are in a pram. Your ability to easily monitor your child and respond to them is really helpful.
Remember that if its hot you are going to feel hot and sweaty! Embrace it. Allow babywearing when it's hot to make errands or days at the water park more accessible. Dress for comfort and pick a carrier or wrap that matches the conditions. And have fun! Enjoy your summer!