August 7, 2011

Babywearing in Hot Weather (Tips and a Review of Ergo’s Lightweight Performance Carrier)

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(wearing: Joie Soft Nellnna tee, Madewell denim shorts, Salt sunnies, Ergo Performance carrier in gray)

Oh baby.  It's been a scorcher around here. 

A few months ago, M and I recieved a reader question about babywearing in hot weather:

Help!  Today in Washington DC it was a beautiful 70 degrees — but inside my Ergo where my 5 week old was sleeping, it was NINETY.  Poor sweaty baby, poor sweaty mom.  When I took him off of me, it looked like he'd peed — who knows if it was my sweat or his.  Got any tips for a) a cooler baby carrier for when it gets hellfire hot in DC, and b) how to dress for hot weather with said baby carrier.

Feel free to tell me I should just use the d@mn stroller.
Thanks!
Barrie

At the time, we were a bit stumped.  70 degrees?  In Denver, that's practically cold.  And M and I both successfully babywore all through Denver's 90 degree summers.  I secretly wondered if it was just new mom hormones – hot flashes, etc.
And then I moved to Philly.  GOOD GOD, PEOPLE.  THE HUMIDITY. 
Barrie, I feel your pain.  I immediately contacted the nice folks at Ergo Baby, who sent me one of their lightweight Performance carriers to "test" in the Summer heat.  (Snort. If you consider 100+ degree temps with 110% humidity a fair test.)  Look at little P's sweaty hair-a-stickin' up all over:

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And really, I would've ditched all thought of babywearing altogether if it weren't for three things:

1.  P is going through seperation anxiety

2.  He weighs approximately 200 lbs

3. I needed at least one hand free for the mojito.

So, you get it, right?  Babywearing was a must.

Here's the bad news:  When it's 100+ degrees, and on the crazy-humid East Coast, not even Ergo's super light-weight performance carrier is going to help you.

"MIKE!!  CAN YOU PLEASE TAKE THE HEAVY SWEAT BALL FOR A FEW??  I'M GOING TO FREAK OUT!"

But the good news?  This carrier feels much lighter and cooler overall than the original.  My husband appreciated the wider waist-band and sportier look (he'll actually wear this one), while I loved the slightly contoured shoulder straps, which distributed Heavy Sweat Ball's weight better.  Also, this carrier is awesome in and around the water.  It stays light and comfortable when wet, and dries quickly.

The biggest downside to this carrier is the fact that I found the shoulder straps a bit scratchy.  Instead of the softer cotton shoulder straps, the Performance carrier's straps are mesh.  And since I have crazy-sensitive skin, the mesh was uncomfortable on my bare skin.  And when it's hot, I want to be able to wear a tank top.  But I suspect only those with very sensitive skin will have an issue.  (I can't even wear wool, only cashmere, for example.)

The verdict?  If you live in a very humid climate, and plan on doing a ton of babywearing, Ergo's Performance Carrier might be your best choice.

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Tips For Babywearing in Hot and Humid Weather

1. Show some skin – Keep your arms, legs and neck bare.  Get that hair up & pull your bangs off of your face.  

2.  Consider the fabric – Bamboo onsies wick moisture away better than cotton and are just as Screen shot 2011-08-05 at 3.20.09 PM
breathable.  Small Plum has beautiful designs for both boys and girls.   

3. Go Backless – Crazy?  Yes.  But it's also been crazy hot.  So if you have a great back and don't typically worry too much about muffin top, try a backless top.  For the rest of us, try finding a lightweight voluminous top that won't stick to your back.  Your stomach will be sweaty, so airing out your back will help.  I've been wearing the Nellenna tee from Joie's new line, Soft, for this purpose.  You can see, in the pic above, how far it hangs from my back (nursing friendly, too).  When it's this hot, every little bit helps.

Any other tips, Mamas?  So many of you have been dealing with this cah-razy humidity much longer than I have…advice, please!!

xo,

S

9 Comments
  • Priscilla Morales
    August 8, 2011

    i have no suggestions but i just needed to say that this post is AWESOME. thanks!
    ~p

  • Barrie Hardymon
    August 8, 2011

    Yay! Thanks so much, ladies. As far as bamboo goes, I’m a big fan, and want to give a little shout out to Kicky Pants onesies and jammies as well. To take off the chill in air conditioning I especially love their footies with paws — the have mitten cuffs for hands, and fleece in the feet!

  • Shana
    August 8, 2011

    Awwww…thanks, Girls!  And Barrie – I agree with you on the Kicky Pants – they rock.  Cute snap bum flaps and all.  :). S
    Sent from my iPhone

  • Vickigraff.wordpress.com
    August 8, 2011

    I’ve been using a sling this summer (I love my maya wrap). It isn’t great for hikes but it is wonderful for farmers markets, a walk to the neighborhood cafe, etc.
    I love the Ergo I have but after a 30 minute walk yesterday I had to change. My clothes and my baby’s!!

  • Thenodramamomma.wordpress.com
    August 8, 2011

    Yep, the humidity here in DC is a killer! And now that we are having heat wave after heat wave, I’m especially grateful for your advice!

  • April Driver
    August 8, 2011

    Thanks for the tip on the bamboo baby clothes. My daughter has been in a spica cast all summer and gets out tomorrow (hallelujah!!). She will be in a brace for several months and I have been stressing out about what she will wear under the brace. I think the bamboo clothing may just be the perfect solution. Love this blog!

  • Bibliomomia.blogspot.com
    August 10, 2011

    That pic of sweaty baby head has had me chuckling all night!
    My biggest tip for summer babywearing? Don’t wear pants. (Snicker–get your head out of the gutter, girls). But seriously–skirts just kept me so much cooler. When there was so much sweaty baby on my upper half, my lower half liked to feel a bit of a breeze!

  • Steph
    August 25, 2011

    On super hot days I’ll wear my 200 lb 10 months old on my back instead of front. I think we both stay a few degrees cooler that way.

  • Shana
    August 25, 2011

    Steph – this is great advice, thanks!!  Glad to know I'm not the only one with a 200 lb baby.  :)
    Sent from my iPhone

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