{babywearing} in the summer, summer, summertime....

Oh Happy Day!! Yesterday was the first day of summer and Mother Nature was a kind mama to us here in Edmonton and she let the beautiful sun come out to play (it had been raining almost 24/7 here for the four days prior!!) Now that summer is officially here, I thought I would go over a few tips and recommendations for summertime babywearing. Because along with summer, come trips to the lake and/or mountains, camping, city festivals, outdoor farmer's markets and multiple playdates at the playground, splashpark, outdoor pool, etc.... And what better way for your little one to experience all of this summer fabulousness then right up there with you on your tummy or your back in a great baby carrier!

You want to make sure that first and foremost on hot and sunny days, that your baby (and ideally you too) is kept out of direct sunlight for long periods of time. Find a nice shady tree at the park, or walk on the shady side of the street, get them a wide-brimmed hat to wear and use a non-chemical, mineral-based, natural sunscreen to protect their delicate skin (Health Canada does not recommend sunscreen for babies less than 6 months old).

You will also want to make sure that both you and baby are appropriately dressed for the weather. For baby that usually means just a diaper, a diaper shirt or t-shirt (and the wide-brimmed hat) and maybe a pair of the super cute BabyLegs Cool, UV and sun protection leg warmers. For you an easy-to-access nursing tank top or simple tank top or t-shirt is your best bet.

As for what kind of carrier to use, well it is really quite simple.

If you love your wrap, but are finding the stretchy cotton jersey one that you have too hot, then switch to a gauze or a thin woven wrap. Not only is the fabric of a gauze wrap, like the Babyette Gauze Wraps that I have at Natural Urban Mamas, light and airy, it is also considered a non-stretchy wrap and can be used for back carrying as well as tummy-to-tummy carrying.  Also, tying baby in the Front Wrap Cross Carry hold gives you the option of having just one layer of the carrier covering baby or adding the other two layers if needed.

A nice light cotton or gauze ring sling is also another option and perfect for those days and times when your baby or toddler is going to want to be up and down multiple times throughout the day (think festivals, going to and from the car to the pool, park, etc....). Another option for ring slings is a mesh sling that can also be used for water fun! The Babyette WaterBaby Mesh Ring Slings are sturdy enough for everyday use and perfect for heading to the pool with baby or to the splash park where you have to keep an eye on older siblings splashing around and still keep baby close (and trust me you are all going to get wet)!!

Another great option for summertime (and anytime) babywearing is the Chimparoo Mei Tai baby carrier. I love this mei tai for its great design, as well as the fact that it is made with such beautiful woven cotton fabrics that make it a nice light and breathable carrier that is so, so easy to use. The newest version of this carrier, the Mei Tai Plus, has a few very cool design additions that make this a truly versatile baby carrier that can be used from newborn to ~35lbs. It also happens to be one of the only soft-structured baby carriers that I like for a hip carry and I think it has to do with just the right amount of strap and waist padding and the width of the straps.

And if your summer holidays are taking you camping and hiking and hitting the mountain trails, you will want to make sure you have a baby carrier that can keep both you and baby comfortable for longer walks and hikes over rugged terrain. The Pipa Pack soft-structured baby carrier is a great option for babies who are at least 3 months old (for front carrying) and ~5 to 6 months old for back carries. The ingenious inner panel design on the Pipa Pack also makes it super easy to transfer the carrier (with baby/toddler still strapped in) from one wearer to another, so your little one can have a piggy back ride on both mommy and daddy and whomever else is with you!

I will not lie and tell you that you are not going to get a little sweaty while you are wearing your baby this summer, just know that it can be done comfortably with a few slight adjustments or a new carrier. Just remember to take breaks when you need them to cool down, make sure you keep both you and baby well hydrated (nurse and babywear at the same time!!) and get out there and soak up all the amazing and fun times that summer has to offer.  Just don't forget your baby carrier!!

Happy {Summertime} Babywearing Everyone!

Natasha~