Our definitive guide to cooler carrying alternatives.
Autumn and Winter are amazing when you're babywearing. Layering up and keeping your baby snuggly and warm is just the BEST... but then along comes summer. Sticky, hot, sweaty summer. Yuck! We didn't use a pram or buggy with our two so we had to carry all year round. I'm VERY prone to sweating as well, so finding cooler alternatives for my favourite slings and carriers became an obsession. I've written this blog to share my wisdom so that you can benefit from everything I've learnt when it comes to hot weather carrying alternatives. I've broken them down into sling and carrier type specific sections so you can jump to the section you want to focus on. Remember, you can hire cooler alternatives from our sling library either for a holiday or to test it out before you commit to buying one!
Stretchy Wraps & Close Caboos
These can be the trickiest to use in hot weather, because in order to be safe you HAVE TO use all 3 layers. Close Caboo have created the LITE version of their carrier and the fabric is so much thinner and has an air flow pattern on the outer layer to allow for more airflow.
With regular stretchy wraps however, we really advise finding one which has a bamboo blend. Bamboo is naturally cooler, hypoallergenic and stronger than cotton making it perfect for hot weather carrying. Neil is using our Joy & Joe Bamboo stretchy here when Trixie was 8 weeks old and we went to his sister's wedding in Cyprus. It was over 30 degrees everyday. She sweated less in the stretchy than she did when we put her down.
Wearing your child in a hip carry with your ring sling will instantly make you
both feel cooler as you have less tummy to tummy contact. This can be done safely from around 8 weeks in a ring sling.
To keep yourselves even cooler, you can switch to a ring sling made of muslin. The soft, delicate fabric means you can feel the breeze of the summer wind on your skin and it really does help to keep you both cooler. The tails on ring slings also make great impromptu sun shades if you've forgotten a hat or your baby refuses to wear one!
Meh Dai & Onbuhimo
Traditionally these are both back carriers in their native countries of China
and Japan respectively. Back Carrying is the coolest way to carry your child when it's hot as it enables you to both lose heat from your bodies easily.
We have evolved to carry weight on our backs really effectively so by carrying your baby on your back it takes your body less effort, making you cooler.
Made from woven wrap fabrics, these carriers mean you can choose cooler blends of fibres such as linen, silk and bamboo making your wrap thinner and more breathable.
If you're finding your wovens too thick and warm during hot weather, then it
might be time to treat yourself to a new one! Find wraps which have cooler
fibre blends such as linen, silk or bamboo. The wraps will be thinner and cooler for you and your child.
Calin Bleu also have an amazing cotton gauze wrap which is so thin you can even see my bra through this one! Trixie was born in July 2018 which was a horribly hot heatwave and we spent most of that summer with her just in a nappy and me just in a bra to stay cool! Favour wrapping your child up in single layer carries on the hip like the Nonono Hip Carry, or a Ruck on your back with a Candy Cane Chest Belt.
When it comes to cooler buckle carriers, only a handful of brands offer summer alternatives. Our top three favourites are the Ergobaby Breeze range, the Integra Solarweave range and the Tula Coast range. All are available to hire from our Sling Library - and you can even book in advance for your holiday! Ergobaby offer two amazing options for summer carrying, the Embrace Air Mesh (from newborn - 1 year) and the Omni Breeze (3 months - 3 years). Both have thinner straps, less padding and Ergo's AirFlow fabric making them really cool when carrying in the heat.
Integra have their amazing Solarweave fabric available across all three sizes in their range so you can carry your child comfortably and cooly from birth to 8 years old! The Solarweave fabric is 95-99% UVA/UVB protective, it wicks sweat away from your bodies and is super quick drying so can even be used in water!
DO NOT SUBMERGE YOUR CHILD IN WATER WHILST WEARING A SLING OR CARRIER
Tula have summer versions of their popular Free to Grow (birth - 3 years), Explore (3 months - 3 years) and Toddler (2.5-5 years) carriers. The main body of the carrier has an Air Mesh panel over your child's back making it much cooler for them whilst they are being worn.
Don't worry if you can't afford to buy a brand new carrier for summer, there are lots of things you can do to make carrying during the heat bearable with your existing sling or carrier.
If you're not sure what you want or need, if you want to learn new carrying positions, or if you just want to try some options before you hire or buy then book a consultation! We can see you in person or online and help you find your perfect sling or carrier.