How to Beat the Heat
- Frogg Toggs Chilly Pads
“Made from a hyper-evaporative material that retains water while remaining dry to the touch, The Chilly Pad® is an innovative way to cool down while enduring outdoor heat and/or high levels of physical activity. When wet, the towel begins to evaporate and cool, providing cool, soft comfort to the user. When it stops cooling, simply re-wet the towel in hot or cold water and wring it out. Within minutes, it’s cool again”
These usually cost around $12 – $15. The towel itself is quite long, so it is best cut into thirds. It works wonderfully to keep baby and wearer cool without getting them wet. Ideal for use with wraps, ring slings, and mei tais (can be used with SSCs as well). We do not recommend using with delicate woven blends such as those containing wool and/or silk.
- Use an ice pack in carriers with a zippered compartment
You can use a structured ice pack (as pictured below) or a soft ice pack. Simply place ice pack in zippered compartment and you’re good to go.
- Dress in cool clothing yourself (i.e. loose, light-weight, and breathable clothing)
- Dress your baby accordingly. Depending on the situation, a simple cotton onsie or even just a diaper might be the way to go.
- Bring along portable shade, such as an umbrella or (if you will be in the same spot/area) a canopy.
– Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs) – There is definitely a range with SSCs, but on the whole they are typically a somewhat warmer carrier type due to the padding at the waist and shoulders. Kinderpack (and several other brands) offer a cool knit option or a similar material so that the body of the carrier is more breathable for baby. In picking a summer-friendly SSC, you could also seek out those with pockets in which you could insert ice packs as earlier described.
– Ring Slings – Material does matter to some degree, but ring slings tend to make excellent summer carriers, as there is only a single layer of fabric against baby. Single layer carries in general tend to be more breathable with summer wearing. Linen and some woven cotton ring slings are amazing in the summer heat.
– Stretchy wraps – Stretchy wraps are not typically ideal for summer weather as the material often doesn’t breathe well. The majority will leave both wearer and wearee very hot and sweaty. There are a few exceptions to this, including thin bamboo stretchies and the Wrapsody Bali Hybrid Stretch wrap, both of which tend to be far less stifling than most stretchy wraps.
– Woven Wraps – These can be great for summer wearing since the wearer can select a single layer carry that will provide the utmost airflow, though so much of the breathability depends on the wrap’s fiber blend, its thickness, and its weave. Using a Frogg Togg Chilly pad with a woven wrap is a great option as well.
- All Cotton – All cotton can be great for the heat, depending on the wrap’s thickness. It does not have to be treated delicately and there is no concern over it getting damp or sweaty.
- Linen – Linen blends tend to do very well in the heat. It is a hardy blend, so it performs well even if it gets wet and does not have to be treated delicately.
- Hemp – Hemp is somewhat warmer than linen typically, though you will find hemp wraps that do quite well in the heat. Like linen and cotton, hemp is very hardy and does well even if it gets damp or sweaty.
- Silk – Silk is a more delicate blend and also less breathable than other blends. If you are in climates of dry heat, silk might still be nice during the summer, but it doesn’t tend to be ideal in our Missouri humidity.
- Wool – Often new wearers assume that wool is only suited for the fall and winter. In actually, wool is quite breathable during the hot months if in a dry climate. The only concern for wool in very humid summer climates is the wet factor. You do not want to wear wool when damp, as this may cause felting.
- Bamboo – Bamboo is typically an airy blend and has a natural built in UV protection; however this is a more delicate blend and extra care should be taken in hot, humid climates.
– Mei Tais – The comfort of using mei tais during the summer months depends largely on the mei tai itself. Factors such as how the mei tai is made/designed and what fabric is used will affect its breathability. Using a Frogg Togg with the mei tai is a great cooling option if this is your carrier of choice.
**This post courtesy of VBE Megan Oberg**