Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Warm Weather Babywearing Tips by Guest Blogger Katy Stroupe Elwood

Since North Carolina winters are generally mild I rarely have a problem staying warm when winter babywearing. I do remember last spring and summer there was a lot of talk about staying cool in the humid North Carolina heat, though! When it comes to summer babywearing there's bad news and there's good news. The bad news is that North Carolina summers are humid and muggy and there's really no way to avoid being at least somewhat sweaty and sticky while wearing in the heat. The good news is there are a few ways to help alleviate some of the discomfort that accompanies summer babywearing. My personal favorite is dressing and light colored or white cotton clothing. Dark colors absorb heat while light and white reflects heat. The same thing goes for carriers.  All-black and dark-colored carriers will absorb heat and make you feel hotter. The lighter the color of the carrier, the better.
 Next, if you wrap you should get to learning your ruck variations, they will be your go to carries in the summer. The fewer the passes the better. Linen blend wraps are supposedly cooler than other blends. Vatanai wraps are excellent summer wraps as they are super thin and airy, same is said for the Didymos Waves wraps. Surprisingly, some wool blends are also cool in the heat. Gauze wraps are also nice options for summer wearing, but keep in mind unless you have a super snug wrap job these are really only comfortable for smaller/lighter babies and multiple pass carries are suggested for safety reasons.
 Some brands of carriers offer mesh panels which help keep the wearee cooler, but makes no difference for the wearer in my opinion, based on experience. Some people swear they make a difference for the wearer, so to each his own. Kinderpack, NuzzleMe Creations and Ergo as well as a couple other brands offer varying types of these carriers. Kinderpack with Comfort Mesh is shown below. Kinderpack also offers Kool-knit in addition to comfort mesh.
 Other options for staying cool include buying the stay cool towels (like Frogg Togg Chilly Pads) in the sports section of big box stores. When these towels are wet they stay cool but they also require airing out to stay cool. I've heard most people cut them in half, and wear them on the back of their neck to stay cool. And as a general rule, shade is your friend as well as water. Keep the kids hydrated in the summer and year round! Also check the heat index in the morning if you have plans outside for the day and take frequent breaks. Heat exhaustion is no joke especially if babies are involved. I truly hope these tips will help you stay cool this summer. Happy babywearing!