There are plenty of baby carriers that are marketed as ‘stay-cool’ summer essentials. But you may not need to buy an entirely new sling or carrier specifically for use in hot weather. It might just be a question of following good advice on safe, comfortable summer babywearing to make your current sling work for you. If you are looking to buy or hire something new, here are our suggestions.
The enormously popular and completely brilliant Connecta Solar Baby Carrier (£80) and Integra Solar Baby Carrier (£70) are SO lightweight and quite possibly our Favourite Summer Slings Of All Time. And believe us, they have some stiff competition. They are made from even thinner, lighter, quick-drying fabric than the already streamline standard versions. Their fabric is sun-protective fabric, protecting baby from the sun’s UV rays, and they fold down small enough to pop in your bag. They are so popular that they sell out quickly in the spring and summer months. But fear not, a standard model will serve you very perfectly well, too.
Izmi Baby is a new British brand that makes fabulous lightweight, adjustable carriers for babies and toddlers (all £80) alongside their stretchy wraps (see below). Their Breeze versions of the baby and toddler carriers are even more ventilated thanks to their airy mesh body panels. Both models fit in a similar way to the Connecta but have wrap-style straps which help spread babies weight – and shield your shoulders from the sun. They have open sides while still being supportive for even very small babies (from just 7lbs).
Like the Connecta and Izmi, many other buckled carriers come with nifty little hoods which can be very handy to shade your baby’s head from the sun. But most others feature thick fabric and a lot of padding on the waistband, making for a somewhat sticky middle for you out if it’s really hot. An increasing number of brands now offer ‘cool’ versions, with mesh panels in the body of the carrier and other adaptations to make them more suitable for hotter climates. Having tried out a LOT, our favourites in this category are the JMPBB PhysioCarrier (£104.95) and the Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh (£154.90) and the Tula Coast Baby and Toddler carriers.
For summer, and all through the year, we love the bamboo Izmi Baby Wrap (£44) and Hana Baby Organic wrap (£44). Bamboo fabric is incredibly soft, lightweight, anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic and offers natural UV protection, all helping to regulate your body temperature. It’s lovely to wear and, if you’re hot, it feels almost cool to the touch. But for truly feather-like lightness, the Ergobaby Aura wrap (£49) is pretty unbeatable. Made from 100% viscose, it’s stretchy, strong and wafer thin, so you’ll stay (almost) as cool as a cucumber.
With just one layer of fabric worn over one shoulder, ring slings are a great summer option. They’re super easy to put on and take off so you shouldn’t get to hot and bothered in the process. A super light 100% cotton or linen can help you keep your cool. We use Soul Ring Slings (£37.95) and Neobulle Ring Slings (from £59.95) a lot during summer.
Mesh and ‘water’ pouches, worn over one shoulder like a ring sling, can be handy as carrying aids for short periods of time on your summer holidays. Some are suitable for (very careful, never submerged) use in and near water.
Woven wraps are incredibly versatile but, let’s be honest, they are also GORGEOUS. As the sun comes out and coats get pushed to the back of the wardrobe, it’s the perfect time to show off those fantastic swishy fabrics. But how do you avoid getting into a hot mess at the same time?
Wrapping on your back in a Rucksack (‘ruck’) carry can be much cooler than wrapping on your front. Your chest is more exposed to the air, plus there is only one layer of fabric over baby’s body. Just make sure baby is wearing a sun hat with a chin strap. For a single-layered front carry with slightly open sides, you might want to try a Kangaroo or traditional sling carry. These methods of tying ( or ‘carries’) generally need only need a short woven wrap (a size 3 – 5) so there’s even less fabric around your body.
We love a super light, all cotton woven wrap for summer, like these Didymos Double Face wraps. They’re thin, lightweight and don’t turn you into a hot mess mid-wrap. Many people find linen or even wool (yes, wool!) blends, which tend to be thin but strong and very toddler-friendly, are super cool too.
No matter what the time of year, it’s always a good idea to try a few slings and carriers to see what works for you. Check out our guide to the different types of slings or get in touch if you’d like more help.
Be sure to check out Part 1 of our “It’s getting hot in here!” blog mini-series: How to stay safe and cool when babywearing this summer.
Photo courtesy of Babywearing Kimmy
Blog updated Summer 2018.