Since all of a sudden it’s hot as a dessert here in Birmingham, we had a very prudent topic this month - Babywearing and the Hot Weather. Here is what we discussed at the meetings:
First off, will someone PLEASE invent a carrier with a little mini air conditioner built into it? If you do, you’ll most certainly be rich! Strapping a little heater to your body and then venturing outside into the humid, sticky, hot air is….um...well, it’s HOT! There is just no way around it.
So really, all we can really do as babywearers is mitigate the heat. You can:
- Dress yourself and your little one for the weather. Some good choices might be linen, cotton or sports performance clothes.
- Use sun protection! Wear sunscreen for both you and your little one. Babylegs also work well to keep the sun off those precious sensitive little legs and thighs! Hats and bonnets work well. I love the wide-brimmed hats when babywearing, since both you and your little one get some protection.
- Keep a layer of fabric between you and baby to keep stickiness down and to facilitate evaporation.
- Schedule your activities, if possible, for early morning or evening time when the sun’s rays are not directly overhead.
- Use water to keep cool. Spritz it on little hands and feet, drink it, or swim/wade in it!
- If baby is under 6 months of age, offer the breast or bottle more often. No need to offer water. If baby is older than 6 months of age, offer sips of cold water often.
- Wear a light weight baby carrier. There are several choices out there and we have several in our library for you to check out. Some brands we love are: Lillebaby Airflow, Ergo Ventus, Boba Air, Kinderpack with the mesh panel, and linen or gauze wraps or ring slings.
- If baby is old enough, wearing on your back can feel cooler than wearing on your front .
- Keep a change of clothes for the kids in Ziplock bags in the cooler. When you change them, their clothes are nice and cool!
- Dip a burp cloth or handkerchief in your ice water and use it to wipe yourself and baby periodically.
- Frogg Togg towels can be purchased from most stores. They work through evaporation cooling, so can be excellent to keep you cooler. Just get them wet, wring them out and place on your neck or in a place that has access to air. When they are in contact with air, the water in the towel evaporates, making you feel cooler. Use your judgement when placing them on baby.
- If you are wearing a soft structured carrier with a front pocket, you can place a small, soft ice pack in the pocket. Never place ice directly on baby skin and never for longer than 20 minutes. Always use your best judgement.
- Grab a clip-on battery operated fan! You can clip it onto your carrier to keep baby cool.
We hope you have an excellent Birmingham summer! Keep cool and keep on wearing!
Crystal Knezek, ABE