Portland has two seasons, rain and sun. We already covered wearing in cold, rain, and mud. Now we need to talk about those 3 to 4 glorious months when that bright yellow thing graces the sky in Oregon.
As you soak-up your Vitamin D for the year, you will probably get hot. And sweaty. And baby will get hot and sweaty. Does this mean you need to hide indoors all summer if you want to wear your baby? No way! Here are a few tips to keep you and baby cool while you wear in the hot months.
Keep both of you hydrated. Make sure you bring or have access to enough water for yourself at all times. Especially if you are nursing. You will overheat quickly without enough liquid. Replace all the water you sweat out right away. Just as important, make sure your baby stays hydrated. Their tiny little systems overheat more easily than an adult. Nurse them as much as they demand. If formula feeding, make sure you bring/make enough feedings to keep them hydrated. If they are old enough for water, make sure you bring enough for them as well. Learn more about hydration from the American Heart Association and La Leche League.
Dress both of you in cool clothes. Think lite, loose clothes. Pull out your sundresses, shorts, and tank tops. Buy those cute little baby shorts you’ve been eyeing. Pick your favorite short sleeve onesie and let those baby legs go free. Better yet, who doesn’t love a baby in just a diaper! Also pick cooler fibers. Summer is not the time to show off that cute wool vest you knitted. Try linen or cotton.
Pick the right carrier. Along the same lines as cooler clothes, pick a cooler carrier. Again, think lite and airy. Summer is not the time to try breaking in your new thick wool wrap. Linen, lightweight cotton, mesh, and lightweight jersey are the way to go. There are many that designed to keep you cool as well!
Pick the right carry. Try single-layer carries with your woven wraps. A Front Wrap Cross Carry without the passes spread, a Traditional Sling Carry, Robin’s Hip Carry, Ruck, and Torso Carry are support without all the layers. Also, a Front Carry Carry and Double Sling Shoulder To Shoulder can be airy.
Stay in the shade as much as possible. Check out this video to see how much cooler it can be in the shade. In addition to physically being cooler, you will be out of the sun’s rays, lowering you and baby’s risk for a sunburn.
Hats. A big hat on you can also help keep the rays from beating down on baby as well.
Don’t worry about a little sweat. Sweat is your body’s natural cool down mechanism, so a reasonable amount of sweat cools you both down. As long as you are both well hydrated and not in the direct sun (and have one some good deodorant), a little sweat never hurt anyone!
Reduce irritation. Two sweaty bodies rubbing against each other can be uncomfortable. To reduce irritation, try a cooling towel between the two of you. It wicks away the sweat and acts as a barrier. Please only use towels or cloths designed to be against you skin. If the fibers are too absorbent, it will remove too much moisture and cause further irritation. Also, never put ice or anything frozen between you. You and especially baby could easily get a burn.
Know when it’s time to go in. If you feel like going in door to some wonderful air conditioning, don’t hesitate. Know your limits. Know your baby’s limits. Watch carefully for signs of heatstroke and dehydration. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. There will be plenty of sunny days that aren’t too hot to wear baby outside, so don’t give it a second thought if today is not that day.
Enjoy wearing the babies in the sunshine! Don’t forget to #BWIofPDX so we can see!
Samantha Reddy, ABE