Babywearing in the Tropics
“Which baby carrier is the coolest?” In Far North Queensland, this is the number one question for new mums who are looking to buy a baby carrier. I certainly asked this question when my first baby was born.
Simply holding your baby is hot (and hard) work, so any carrier that you choose will have some level of warmth. Here are some suggestions to help you choose the most appropriate carrier and some tips and hints for staying cool in our hot FNQ weather.
Carriers made with a thin fabric or mesh panels may initially appeal but often these do not provide adequate support as baby grows. It may seem a good option while your baby is very small, but as baby grows and gains weight a thin carrier can lack support across your back and shoulders and become quite ‘diggy’. I suggest choosing a medium weight carrier and trying my tips and hints to keep you cool.
As far as warmth is concerned there is actually very little difference between a ‘thick’ or ‘thin’ carrier and you will enjoy your baby wearing activities more if you are comfortable and supported.
Some carriers come with quilted or padded inserts to use when your baby is too small to fit into the carrier. This extra padding can be hot, so look at other types of carriers that don’t require this extra bulk. Some great options for newborn babies that don’t require an insert are Ring Slings, Mei Tais, Manduca or Woven wraps.
My top 3 tips for staying cool:
- Strip Down
Dress your baby in light loose clothing or just a nappy on hot days. I suggest that Mum/Dad wears a high neck cotton top to help absorb sweat. You may find it a slippery ride if baby’s sweaty face is rubbing on your sweaty chest!
- Single layer carriers
When using a woven wrap, try a carrying style with a single layer of fabric across your baby’s body, such as a Front Wrap Cross Carry, Kangaroo Carry or a Ring Sling. Do not try to single layer carry with a knit wrap or other ‘stretchy’ fabric wrap as these require three layers of wrap across your baby for safety reasons. For a cooler single layer carrying style choose a woven wrap.
- Avoid the midday heat
If you wouldn’t go walking on a hot day, then you certainly won’t be doing it wearing your baby. Try walking in the cooler morning or evening times, or wear your baby inside with air-conditioning or under fans.
Babywearing is a wonderful tool for parenting, transporting, multi-tasking, exercising, and for calming clingy babies. With the right carrier and a few simple tweaks our tropical climate is no barrier for enjoying babywearing and having many lovely cuddles with your baby.
For more tips and for a FREE TRIAL of Kangatraining (Babywearing Fitness Class) CLICK HERE.
Philippa Bowman is the Founder of Nurtured Fitness, Babywearing Consultant, Kangatraining Instructor and Postnatal Fitness Expert.