I started writing this as a post on our local Babywearing group on Facebook, but it got kind of long.
I have seen so much angst lately about summer carriers, I thought I’d throw in my two cents, as a mama who’s been wearing babies in the summer in my un-air conditioned house for 8 years now.
There’s nothing that is overly cool. Two bodies close together in the heat = hotter.
Just face it. Babywearing in hot weather is hot. And the not so hot days of summer, it’s a moot point because you’re not as hot, and so any carrier will do.
That said, you can reduce your misery by looking for lightweight yet still supportive carriers that have a MINIMUM amount of fabric to get the job done.
Let’s look at Two-shouldered carriers for a minute.
A MT is cooler than a wrap, because there’s less fabric on you/baby. You can go even cooler by choosing lighter-weight fabrics, but you have to try to hit that sweet spot between cool and supportive – you don’t want to go with all lightweight fabrics and then end up with a sagging baby because there’s not enough support in your carrier. Generally speaking, a MT needs at least one layer of heavyweight fabric.
If you’re a wrap fan, you do not have to give it up for the summer. In a wrap, the WCC is the hottest because it involves three layers of fabric over each of you, so choose a wrapping style that uses less fabric, like the Ruck. Choose cooler fabrics – a Wrapsody Breeze will be cooler than a Moby, for example. Mesh will be cooler yet. Many people use cotton gauze for summer wraps – including my husband. I like the gauze for a wrap, but it is less supportive and will tend to dig in more than a Breeze, for a comparable amount of coolness.
Something else to consider is an Onbuhimo, whose smaller body and lack of bottom straps cuts down even further on the hot factor (not the hotness factor, though!).
In the one-shouldered carriers, a cotton ring sling or pouch is cooler than nearly any other fabric choice for those carriers. Linen is very breathable, but it’s also generally a heavier weight, and I’ve personally found that the heavier feel on my body makes me feel hotter. However, 100% linen would be a good choice, also. (I’d avoid the linen blends if you’re looking for coolness. Rayon = not cool.)
Some places still sell Solarveil or similar carriers – Solarveil or any supportive mesh fabric is going to be a really nice, cool option for summer. I still have my Solarveil wrap I made when Wally was a newborn and I LOVE that thing, year-round. Here it is, just to make you jealous:
Now, all of THAT said, consider where you’ll be wearing your baby for the most part. When it’s 112 out, do you take the kids to the park? Probably not. You probably stay in the AC. If so, then you might as well just use your fleece pouch, right? Because if you’re in a climate controlled area, summer and winter are pretty much the same. (And if you’re in a public building, summer is often colder than winter because of overactive air conditioning.)
Even at our house, the only carrier I do NOT use in the summer is the fleece pouch.
So, there you have it. Your mileage may vary, as they say.