Slinging in the Sun

It’s a weekend for slinging in the sun! Slings and carriers are great for getting out and about to enjoy the gorgeous weather, so I’ve put together a few thoughts on how to make the most of them for hot weather carrying.

You’re always going to feel warmer when carrying a baby or toddler and to some extent you’ll just have to acclimatise to the heat, like you do without baby or when going to a hotter climate. But there are a few things that can make you both more comfy…

Carriers that are made from natural, lighter fabrics will be more breathable and help wick away moisture.  You can also get carriers made from special solarveil or solarweave fabrics that are specially designed for hot weather use, or that can safely get wet. Carriers that that have less fabric can also improve air circulation.  Those that are easy to wash will be a life-saver when you want to remove sun-cream, sand, drinks and snacks at the end of a long day out.

If your baby is old enough (from around 6 months), and the carrier is suitable, then carrying them on your back will be much cooler than carrying them on your front. Woven wraps, mei tais and most of our soft structured carriers are suitable for back carries from 6 months. If you’re already a confident sling user, then you can back carry a younger baby in a woven wrap and some mei tais from an earlier age.

Ensuring that baby isn’t over-dressed is also important, especially when using multiple-layer carries in wraparound slings. Most slings will be the equivalent of least one clothing layer (and wraparound carries up to 3 layers), though do be aware of parts sticking out of the sling and cover/sun-protect legs, arms and heads if necessary. Some mei tais and buckles carriers have hoods that can be used as a sun shade, and you can use the tail of a ring sling to protect baby’s head from the sun too.

Finally, we find it most comfy if there is a thin cotton layer between parent and baby to avoid sticky skin rubbing. And adding an extra layer (such as a folded muslin cloth) between your body and baby’s head can help you both to feel cooler, especially when baby falls asleep.

Carriers that we like to use ourselves in hot weather are lighter weight woven wraps (like Ellaroo, Wrapsody and Calin Bleu) as well as shorter woven wraps (3-4m long rather than 4-5m long), wrap conversion mei tais (like the Hop-tye or Didytai) and ring slings.  You could also try the Library’s solarweave Connecta buckle carrier or the Ergo Performance, which are made from light fabrics that don’t hold moisture.  And for smaller babies, the lightweight and stretchy bamboo Hana Baby wrap is a great option too.

Enjoy the lovely weather!

I know we will! :D xx

© 2012 South London Sling Library

About emeriminni

My name's Emily and I'm a pragmatic mum to 2 inspirational children, happy wife to eternally patient James, Sling Librarian, business owner/manager, part-time student & chronic craft enthusiast. I love reading, ranting, learning and making things & I'm interested in philosophy, psychology, babywearing & practical, natural-ish parenting, and all sorts of creative things (esp. crochet, dyeing, sewing, beading and baking).
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