Saturday, May 8, 2010

Guide to Summer Baby Carriers

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Looking for a cooler baby carrier for those hot summer days? Don't worry, there are lots of great choices!

One option is to use a ring sling. Ring slings are cooler because there is much less fabric around you and baby. Ring slings like Maya Wraps and our Hoppediz ring sling conversions by Kalea Baby are made with a single layer of woven material that is very breathable. Silk is also a very cool fabric to use in summer, which makes our double layer Dupioni silk slings by SweetPea Ring Slings another good option for summer. You can also find ring slings made from linen or solarveil fabric. But realistically, most ring slings are going to be fairly cool simply due to the lack of fabric.

For the wrappers out there, there are also lots of options. Wrapping tends to be much warmer since there is often lots of fabric wrapped around you and your baby. But luckily, some wraps are cooler than others. Hoppediz makes a Hopp Light that is very nice for summer. It is very thin and soft and reminds people of a very expensive cotton sheet. Amazonas Classic wraps are also woven wraps that are very light and breathable. The weave on these still feels like a woven without being thick and hot. Vatanai and Didymos linens are other brands of lighter woven wraps that people recommend for warmer weather.

Gauze wraps, like the Wrapsody Bali Breeze, are very light and airy. You have to be more careful when wrapping a gauze wrap to avoid pressure points, but these wraps are very cool and lighter than a woven.

If you're prefer a stretch wrap, try to find one made from a bamboo blend since bamboo tends to be a cooler fabric. The Anaju stretch wraps by 3TD are made of 70% organically grown viscose of bamboo and 30% organic cotton. These wraps are amazingly soft and light. Lovey Duds also makes a bamboo stretch wrap and you can even make your own by purchasing a bamboo jersey at the fabric store.

When looking for a Mei Tai or Soft Structured Carrier (buckle carrier), try to avoid anything made with heavy materials or lots of layers. Thinner, narrower bodied carriers are going to allow more air around you and baby and help keep you cooler. Action Baby Carriers (especially the solid colors), AngelPacks, and Baby Hawks are all fairly light weight thinner options. You can also look for Mei Tais made from solarveil fabric, which are breathable and can be used as water carriers, but can be harder to find.

A water carrier can be a really useful thing to own, especially in summer. These can be worn in the ocean or pool, as well as the shower. Many also provide some sun protection, but protection can vary. Water carriers can be found in a variety of styles, including stretch wraps, ring slings, and Mei Tais. Wrapsody makes a stretch wrap water carrier with a UPF rating for 45. TaylorMade makes mesh ring slings and is only one brand that makes water ring slings. Solarveil Mei Tais are harder to find, but they are out there, especially if you look for people selling used carriers.

Summer is hot and babywearing in summer is going to be hot no matter what. But there are definitely carriers that are cooler than others and will help keep you and your little one a little more comfortable. Just remember, a little sweat never hurt anyone and it's worth the added convenience and snuggles you get in exchange! Enjoy your summer!

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