Choosing the Best Baby Sling for Summer Babywearing
When choosing a baby carrier for the summer and hot weather conditions there are just a few simple things to consider. Read on for our guide to carrying your baby in the heat, our quick tips will help you to choose the right Oscha baby sling for you and your little one.
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Choosing a Sling Type & Fabric Weight
There are a number of sling types which are suitable for carrying in hot weather, depending on which carrier style you choose, the weight of the fabric will be a more or less important consideration. Generally, when carrying in hot weather it is better to choose a fabric with a lower GSM.
We would suggest something between 180 and 260gsm.
Why Choose a Woven Wrap?
Baby wraps are a great choice for hot weather carrying. Versatile and mouldable, baby wraps provide the most comfortable carry for you and your little one.
If you are carrying a smaller child then a lower GSM fabric used in single layers is perfect for hot weather carrying. If your child is heavier, you could use a multi-layer carry with a medium GSM fabric to ensure you stay cool and don’t overheat under the extra layers.
If avoiding ‘digging’ on the shoulders is most important to you, then you could also consider using a slightly thicker wrap for single layer carries.
Why Choose a Ring Sling?
Ring slings are perfect for hot weather baby carrying as they offer a single layer carry while covering less of your body and allowing air to circulate. The long tail can be used to cover little legs, or your shoulders, from the sun!
They are great for longer carries with small children, and for quick ups and downs when carrying independent toddlers.
If your toddler wants to be up for long periods you might consider a fabric with more ‘cush’ such as pure bamboo, which maintains breathability while being comfy on the shoulders.
Why Choose a Structured Baby Carrier?
Our structured carriers are also a good choice for hot weather; while slightly thicker than wraps and ring slings, being made with two layers of woven fabric, the structure of the carrier means air can circulate around you and your little one. Our carrier hoods are also perfect for covering your child’s head, protecting them from the sun.
Carriers are especially good for carrying toddlers and heavier babies in hot weather, as they cover less of your body but still provide comfort on the shoulders thanks to the padded straps. Fabric blend and GSM is less important with a carrier but a lower GSM and a breathable fabric will only add to your comfort in hot weather.
Choosing a Blend for the Summer
We love to find new and innovative blends here at Oscha Slings, this means we always have a great variety of fabrics to choose from! We know this can be daunting so we have put together a quick guide to the yarns which are perfect for summer carrying.
Ice cotton is an innovative yarn that, through advanced spinning technology, makes a cool to touch and breathable fabric. It is made with 100% Supima cotton (the finest American Pima cotton) with no synthetic fibers, and is free from harmful chemicals. Ice cotton’s unique cooling composition makes it perfect for summer carrying – we have an amazing range of low gsm wraps finished with our soft touch technique for the perfect summer weight wrap, ready to use straight from the bag.
Cotton is always a great all-rounder for any weather; it is soft, strong and easy to care for. Breathable and available in a range of GSMs, organic combed cotton is perfect for all ages - when carrying heavier toddlers you may find a multi-layer carry more comfortable.
We love linen and offer a range of linen blends with something for everyone; from parents of tiny newborns to those of heavy toddlers. Linen is a very popular blend for summer slings, being light and airy yet supportive, linen blends tend to do well in single layer carries. Fine Scottish wetspun linen is usually good for carrying smaller children through to young toddlers, while high percentage wetspun linen blends are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Hemp is very similar to linen in it hot weather properties. Naturally breathable, hemp actually move moisture away from the skin making it a great choice for keeping you and your little one cool in the summer months.
Choosing a low GSM hemp blend is a great way to ensure you have a cool sling which will quickly become buttery soft.
Slings with Viscose yarns are fine but heavy, meaning that they are great for summer despite their high GSM. As a general rule you can take 30gsm off the fabric weight to get an idea of wrapping qualities. Viscose yarns are anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking, they feel soft and cool against your skin.
We have sling made from Pure Bamboo, Bamboo Viscose and eco-friendly Tencel.
Our silk blends are wonderful for hot weather. Silk is temperature regulating and great for keeping cool in summer with its naturally breathable composition. Silk blends are easy to wrap with, being mouldable with a good balance of grip and glide. Silk blend offer a lovely support and cush for children of any weight, even when using single layer carries.
Choosing a Carry
If you are using a woven baby wrap then the type of carry in hot weather can be important in keeping you both comfy and cool. It is useful to remember that each layer of wrap fabric over your little one is equivalent to a layer of clothing.
Single Layer Carries
This means there is only one layer of fabric over your little one, and these are great as they can avoid overheating. A Front Wrap Cross Carry with un-spread cross passes and the Kangaroo Carry are good choices for hot weather.
These are carries with more than one layer of fabric over your child. Multi-layer carrier offer more support for bigger kids. As mentioned above if using multiple layers then it is important to choose a breathable fabric and a suitable GSM, and you might consider removing an item of clothing for your little one if it is very hot.
A Poppable Front Cross Carry is a good multi-layer option as it is easy to pre-tie, avoids putting too much pressure on bare legs and is open on the sides allowing air to circulate.
Hip carries can be lovely and cool as there is less body contact and fewer layers of fabric wrapped around you. Using a shortie wrap (a size 2, 3 or 4) for a Slip Knot Carry can be a great choice in hot weather.
You might like to carry older babies on your back, a Simple Ruck tied in front or under bum is probably the simplest and coolest carry you can do.
Top Tips for Carrying in the Sun
Use a sun hat with UV protection
Use suncream suitable for your little one's age
Use a parasol or umbrella to provide shade
Don’t forget a muslin or tails of your sling can be used to cover little legs
Remember little ones need less clothing when using a sling, this is especially important in hot weather
Don’t forget to increase both of your fluids when it is warm!
Top Tip: You could opt to dress your child in only a nappy and sunhat, but it will probably be more comfortable for you both if you aren’t skin to skin for long periods in the heat. One of you can wear a layer of soft, breathable, natural fabric or, alternatively, you could place a muslin in between you both.
Babywearing is great for knowing how your baby is coping with heat on a roasting day as you’re constantly in tune with their fluctuating temperatures, breathing rates and alertness – if you’re too hot and struggling then it is likely your baby is too.Fiona Smith