This weekend we went up to the lake. My 14 month old was anxious to explore and I was anxious about him being near the water.
He is at the age where he isn’t able to control his actions and we have to always stay close by. Babywearing allowed us to walk down to the water and on the docks and feel secure. My son could see the water, the boats and the fish but he wasn’t tempted to run into the water or lean over the dock.
We went boating and I kept him in the carrier while walking to the boat and loading (where he then put on his lifejacket). Wearing him also made it easier to help my 3 year old around the water. The carrier pictured here is the Pognae from the BWI library!
Is it safe to wear my baby in the heat? This is a question that only you can answer for yourself. You will want to take into account the age of your baby, they type of carrier you have available and the temperature.
Are you going to get hot if you wear your baby in the summer heat? Well, yes, but you were going to be hot anyway. And if you are not wearing your baby- you are probably going to be carrying your baby!
Will your baby be overheated next to you? Probably not, BUT do take precautions and always check on your baby. Remember, people all over the world wear babies and in different temperatures (even in the hottest locations). Your baby will be close to you (as opposed to in a stroller) and you will easily be able to monitor baby’s reaction to the heat.
Ways to stay cool:
1. Avoid the sun. Stay in the shade, use an umbrella or wide brimmed hat. Very tiny babies should probably stay completely out of the sun. You can also purchase sunshade covers for carriers or use the tail of your ring sling. Use sunscreen.
2. Drink lots of water. This is especially important if you are nursing. Make sure baby has water or breast milk readily available.
3. Dress yourself and baby lightly. You may find one layer of clothing to be more comfortable that sweating skin to skin.
3. Unwrap occasionally and cool off. Keeping yourself moving also helps to create a breeze.
4. Choose a lightweight fabric or a carrier that allows air to pass between you and baby.
5. Use a handheld fan or a spray bottle to spritz you and baby. Ice packs can also be used to keep cool, just be careful not to put ice directly on baby’s skin (or your skin).
6. Choose a carry that limits contact and fabric such as a back carry. If using a wrap, do a carry that only uses one layer of fabric across you and baby (such as a rucksack carry).
Websites used to create this document:
We’ve seen quite a few sketchy carriers come through meetings lately, so I feel the need to speak on this topic. I don’t buy carriers made by random work at home moms. There, I said it. Now, it isn’t that I don’t support WAHMs. I do. I buy clothing, cloth diapers, toys, nursing pads, all sort of things from random WAHMs. But not carriers. I wouldn’t buy a car seat that my aunt’s neighbor made and I’m not going to buy a baby carrier from her either. Unlike a cute appliqued T or a clutch ball, this is something that affects the safety of my baby. That isn’t someplace that I’m going to mess around. I don’t sew enough to know what sort of safety considerations I’m looking for (post on that, from someone who does sew well enough to know the difference, coming soon). I’ve seen enough poorly made carriers to know that they can be quite unsafe if the maker doesn’t know what they are doing. Liability insurance is pretty cost prohibitive for someone selling a few carriers a month, or a year. If something happens and my baby is catastrophically injured, there will be no recourse. I still love supporting WAHMs, I just choose to buy from one I know makes a quality product, like Bamberoo, Olives and Applesauce or Comfy Joey, just to name a few. A surprising number of quality, top name carriers are made or sold by WAHMs or mamas who started out and home, then expanded.
Another factor to consider is resale. If you buy a quality carrier from a reputable seller and take good care of it, you can get much of your money back when you’re done using it. If you are patient, not picky and keep a good eye out, you can find great gently used carriers for a steal. If you buy a nice carrier used, you can resell it for very close to what you paid. If you buy something that your cousin’s best friend made, maybe you’ll get something back out of it. Maybe it will be falling apart in 2 months. You just don’t know. It makes me really sad to have someone come in with a carrier that they spent a decent sum on that just isn’t worth it. Don’t let this be you.
There’s some good info on DIY carrier making and safety here. If you need a recommendation on where to buy a carrier, we’re here to help. If you have a carrier that you aren’t sure is safe, we’re happy to look it over, let you know what we think and show you how to safety test it.