As the weather starts to warm up (finally!) we've been getting asked this
question A LOT!
The answer to this ever allusive question is....IT DEPENDS!
It depends on so many things, including (but probably not limited to) the following:
What you are doing
Where you are going
What type of sling you are using
How hot it is
With all of them things in minds, the best thing to do is to COUNT YOUR LAYERS.
Did you know that your body heat counts as 2 layers of clothing? Having minimal amount of layers between you and baby is key to keeping baby cooler. Skin to skin contact is very efficient at enabling our babies to regulate their own temperature. Skin is a live organ, and babies cannot thermoregulate by themselves.
When their skin is in direct contact with ours, it reads our skin and mimics it. Our body temperature can adjust up to 2 degrees in two minutes of contact with our babies, so if they're too hot, our skin will start to cool to cool them down, if baby is too cold, our skin will warm to warm them up.
This phenomenon is called thermal synchrony.
Your babies nappy also counts as a layer of clothing. So don't forget to count it!
Your sling will count as layers too, how many will depend on the type of sling you are using. For example, a buckle carrier will be one layer, where as a stretchy wrap will be three. If you're using a Meh Dai carrier with the passes spread over babies bottom, this will also count as 3 layers, so you may wish to not spread your passes in this instance. With a woven wrap, it will depend on the carry you are using, a double hammock will count as 2 layers of clothing for example, so it may be better to stick to a Front Wrap Cross Carry and not spreading your passes.
You can read more about cooler carrier options in our blog post here.
So before we've even got clothes on our baby, we have already got potentially 6 layers of clothing on them as follows:
Nappy = 1 + Stretchy Wrap = 3 + Wearers body heat = 3 = 6 layers without clothes.
So have this in mind when deciding to dress you baby on warmer days (or colder) out in the sling. One thin layer of breathable fabric is absolutely fine, light cotton clothing or even just a nappy! If the weather is changeable, take additional layers to add on.
But what about their bare legs I hear you cry?
A muslin draped over the legs is the perfect way to protect them from the sun, on super hot days you can dampened the muslin with tepid water to help keep cool. you can also add sun cream to the exposed parts of babies skin (just check the age rating on the bottle)
Unfortunately there is no magic way of keeping you cool as the wearer. There are plenty of things we can do the keep cooler, and you can read about them in our 'Babywearing in the Heat' blog post here.
I hope that this post helps you feel more confident when dressing your baby for a day of baby wearing when the weather is warmer and to know that you absolutely still babywear safely throughout the summer.
Stella | MotherRucker