It is the time of year when many of the library requests mention borrowing or trying a lightweight summer carrier, and yes there are now a number of carriers on the market that are designed for wearing in warm weather, but do you really need a lighter carrier than the one you are using?
My first tip is to follow good summer babywearing safety advice. Wear hats with wide brims or carry a sunshade, and stay inside when it is the super hot part of the day. Dress in loose breathable clothes so that the air can circulate around you and babe. One thin layer between you and babe may well be enough to wear. Have a little hand held fan or carry a bottle of water and use to spray a light spitz over you both from time to time. Stay hydrated and use regular sun protaection.
If you are looking to buy or try something different here are some suggestions.
The beauty of a ring sling is it is one layer of fabric supporting babe so is a cooler option. They come in a variety of fabrics but the muslin ones are super summer weight carriers and will help you both stay cool. Wrapamore used to be the go to brand for these and you may still find one available second hand. Melliapis produce some in block colours as well as cute patterns like these llamas.
Some are made of mesh fabric and so are great for poolside or at the beach. Check out the Mam slings and the Sukkiri, that we have in the library.
Linen, silk and organc cotton ones are also great for summer wearing. Soul make lovely ones in Indian cotton and Oscha have beautiful designs in a range of fabrics that are ethically made.
Woven wraps come in a range of fabrics and can still be a good choice for summer babywearing. The trick is perhaps to explore a shorter wrap and try a new style of carrying. Look for single layer carries rather than one that uses multiple passes.
A silk blend wrap can be ultra cool, but linen and bamboo blends are also worth considering. Lighter cotton wraps like the Didymos Prima and their Double face wraps also work well in hot weather. We have both of these in the library.
For those prepared to work at a wrap to get it into perfect suppleness then one with hemp will be cool and a real workhorse of a wrap that supports sturdy toddlers easily.
Izmi are a brand designed by a British babywearing consultant and are lightweight, adjustable carriers. There are toddler and baby versions and all come in a mesg breeze version as well. They have wrap-style shoulder straps which help spread babies weight but these will also shade your shoulders from the sun . They are suitable from birth onwards. The library stocks these to hire and buy.
Integrababy carriers are lightweight and come in a variety of fabrics. The cotton ones work well for summer babywearing but there are also solar versions These are made from even thinner, lighter, quick-drying fabric plus is sun-protective fabric. They fold super small so are perfect if you are taking a flight somewhere hot where packing space is important. We have Integras in the library to borrow and can give you a discount code if you wish to buy your own.
Connectababy have both cotton and solar versions and are the pre-runner of the Integrababy carrier. The Kahubaby carrier is another lightweight cotton carrier and is made from organic fabric. The seat synches down so it is good for small babies yet can be extended for larger ones as well.
A number of brands make ‘cool’ versions, with mesh panels in the body of the carrier and other adaptations to make them more suitable for hotter climates but they are still quite bulky when it comes to straps and waistbands. Brands that do this are Tula, Ergo, and Lillebaby. However the Beco Cools are a great summer option as they really are thinner with less padding. We stock the Gemini Cool and the Toddler Cool.
Some are geared as all season as they have zip down panels so can be good whatever the weather. Ones that you could consider are the Beco 8, Lillebaby All Seasons and the JPMBB Physio carrier
If you are looking to use a stretchy wrap then using one with a high bamboo content will be cooler in summer.
The all bamboo Izmi is a great choice . Bamboo fabric is soft, lightweight, anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic and offers natural UV protection, thus helps to regulate your body temperature and keep you cool.
Other brands are a cotton/bamboo mix giving additional firmness to the fabric. It is worth considering the Boba, Hana and Joy and Joe stretchy – some of these come in organic versions. the Boba still has the 2 different faces which are a great aid when wrapping and the Joy and Joe includes a funky design sugar skulls one in their selection.
Some viscose wraps are even lighter and feel just like thin silk, the Ergobaby Aura, the Lillebaby Tie the Knot, The Happy Baby wrap and the Fornessi all fall in this category. They are wafer thin, and very light to wear- however some are not too way stretch so may take more adjusting than the thicker two way wraps. These wraps are often strong on the ecological front as well.
Whenever and wherever you are babywearing this summer keep safe in the sun.