It is finally August in Northeast Ohio. And while it has been a mild summer, temperatures and humidity are rising fast. If you are anything like me, your summertime babywearing experience probably hasn’t been too different from the rest of the year. But the last week has been a game changer for me as a new mom and babywearer. There are a few things to be aware of with hot weather wearing. Here is what I have learned about safety and comfort, as well as special summertime activities.
Safety and Comfort
According to the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA), hot temperatures bring additional safety concerns for the babywearer. They suggest staying out the sun as much as possible, dressing both you and baby in light breathable fabrics, and drinking lots of water. Check out the full article here.
It is worth noting that safety and comfort go hand-in-hand when it comes to hot weather babywearing.
Safety and comfort tips for hot weather wearing:
- Dress to be cool. Wear one layer less than you might otherwise—remember: you will also be wearing your baby. Follow the same advice for baby.
- Pick a carrier that works for the weather. There many carriers that work well in warmer weather. Many wearers prefer lightweight fabric woven wraps, while others stick to soft-structured carriers. You can try out a summer carrier from the library at a BWI meeting this August.
- Minimize sun exposure. Try to stay out of the sun as much as much as possible—even in the hottest of conditions, the shade is cooler. Pick a carrier that has built in UV protection and make sure to use sunblock on all exposed skin.
- Stay hydrated. Make sure that both you and baby stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids- water for you, breast milk or formula for baby.
- Take breaks. Regularly take baby out of the carrier to release trapped heat and allow both of you to cool down before resuming wearing.
- Know the signs of overheating. An overheated baby might be more lethargic or irritable than usual. Heatstroke in babies is a very serious condition. Read about the signs here. Monitor yourself for overheating too. Feeling flushed, dizzy, or lethargic are things to be concerned about. Here are the signs of heatstroke.
Summertime brings with it all kinds of fun things do. Here are some quick tips for a few hot weather favorites in Northeastern Ohio.
- Water. Wear your baby in the pool or at the Splash Pad with a ring sling or wrap that is made specifically for wearing in the water. These are quick drying and perfect for water fun. Since the rings in a water sling might slip on the mesh fabric, it is good to get your sling wet before loading in baby.
- Hiking. Wear your baby on your back (when age appropriate) to feel more balanced and have a better view of the trail ahead. Use whatever carrier you prefer for back wearing—I am a new to back wearing, so I like to use an SSC or Mei Tai because I find it easier to get my baby up with those types.
- Biking. Never wear your baby on a bicycle. Babies should be secured in an appropriate baby seat or trailer.
- Boating. Would you, could you on a boat? Skip babywearing in favor of wearing life jackets (for both you and baby).
- Camping. Pack a cooler weather type wrap or carrier for snuggling if temperatures drop at night. I use my Moby wrap, which makes me too hot otherwise, to snuggle baby at the campfire.
Summertime is a time to get out and enjoy so many amazing things in Northeastern Ohio. Babywearing is a great way to enjoy picnics, farmer’s markets, and summer festivals. Summer doesn’t last long in our region, so bask in the summertime babywearing while it lasts!
Thank you to all of our Volunteers that submitted these incredible pictures for our post today!
Today's post is written by a new addition to my social media team, Bridget Kriner. I am so excited to have her on board and I know you will all love reading her voice too. Thank you Bridget for the kick off to our Babywearing 102 series! For further in person tips and advice on Summertime Babywearing please attend one of our Monthly instructional Meetings during the month of August!
and a thanks to VBE Erin Fabian for lots of helpful info!