The enclosed environment in a baby carrier seat can lead to your baby overheating quickly in hot weather.
Some baby carriers are more enclosed than others and should be avoided, but there are some clever baby carrier designs that incorporate mesh panels to ensure a good level of ventilation and a comfortable baby.
Even without one of these fancy, summer-friendly baby carriers, you can still have a comfortable experience by dressing for the occasion and keeping a few handy items nearby.
In this article, we will discuss how to recognize an uncomfortable baby before it ruins your day, and how to intervene and keep your baby cool.
Signs Your Baby is Overheating
Before we jump into our list of tips to keep your baby cool it is important that you can recognize the signs that your baby is overheating.
As long as you are paying attention you will notice any discomfort very quickly. They will usually cry before anything else.
However, overheating is a genuine threat to your baby’s health and is not to be taken lightly. Look out for these symptoms while they are still mild and you can take action to cool your baby down quickly:
- Your baby is more irritable than usual.
- Pale and clammy skin
- Sleepy and floppy
- Fewer wet nappies than usual
- Darker urine (normal color is light straw colour)
- Refusing to drink (babies may feel uncomfortable to have skin contact when breastfeeding and hot. Try a light towel between you and your baby)
- Intense thirst (but as the baby gets weaker, he/she may drink less)
- Red, hot, and dry skin, mouth, and eyes. No tears when crying
- Soft spot on baby’s head (fontanelle) may be lower than usual
- Rising body temperature
- Rapid breathing
Unless you have earplugs in, you will notice your baby displaying any of these symptoms fairly quickly.
13 Ways to Keep Baby Cool in a Baby Carrier
Most of the tips below apply equally to you as well as your baby. The heat can be testing for mom and dad when babywearing, the difference is that parents can easily take corrective action when uncomfortable.
Your baby will just cry… So read on to keep your day pleasant and fun!
1. Select a Well Ventilated Baby Carrier
We mentioned earlier that some baby carriers have excellent ventilation. Examples of these types of baby carriers include:
Other suitable carrier designs like the Infantino 4-in-1 have a skinny frame and are very open in the seat area.
Carriers that have a very enclosed seat and are less suitable for warm weather include the:
- Boba 4G
- Tula Ergonomic
While these are excellent baby carriers they do not allow much air flow.
2. Use the Sun Hood
A sun hood is a common feature for most popular carrier designs. It is removable so you can use it when your baby is most likely to be exposed to the sun.
The shade provided can help keep your baby happy for a short period of time. However, be mindful that this reduces space and airflow around your baby.
3. Wear Light Clothes
Ensure you and your baby are wearing light and loose fitting clothes to reduce the amount of heat trapped in the seating area.
4. Use a Bucket Hat
A bucket hat is a better option than the built-in sunshade mentioned in point 2. You get protection from the sun without any restrictions to their space.
If you can fit a wide-brimmed hat then that would be an even better option. But this is not always practical while your child is in a baby carrier seat.
5. Avoid Skin to Skin Contact
Skin to skin on a hot day causes stickiness and sweating.
You can feel it just from reading this sentence, can’t you?
Avoid any exposed skin rubbing together for too long as it can heighten that discomfort for you and your baby.
6. Stay Hydrated
A well-hydrated baby is a happy and healthy baby!
Some of the warning signs mentioned earlier include a light diaper or dark-colored urine. You can avoid these symptoms by drinking water regularly.
Some baby carriers allow for a water bottle to be stored in the waist belt which will keep it within reach at all times, and also front of mind. Lots of regular sips will do the trick.
7. Avoid Direct Sunlight if Possible
We are prepared with a hat, and a sun hood, but the best-case scenario here is to just stay in a shaded area as much as you can.
Direct sunlight will amplify the heat that your baby will feel in that seated environment. Keep exposure time short!
If you will be in the sun for an extended period of time then carrying an umbrella is also a great way to keep the sun off.
8. Keep a Damp Cloth Handy
If you simply can’t avoid the sun then having a damp cloth to wipe over your baby’s face and arms can make a big difference.
The damp skin will feel any breeze more and has a great cooling effect.
9. Fan Your Child
You can use either a small battery-powered fan or a handheld fan to keep the breeze flowing over your child.
Not only will this help them cool down, but they will probably find it very amusing that this curious object is waving in front of them.
10. Take Breaks from the Baby Carrier
Taking a few minutes to remove your baby from the carrier and cool down can be a great idea.
A few minutes walking in the shade, or perhaps a quick diaper change to stay dry can help them stay comfortable for longer.
11. Use a Cooling Mat
If there is some overheating then using a cooling mat while on these breaks can help them normalize their temperature quickly.
It will be a nice freshen up for your little one!
12. Reduce the Time Spent Outdoors
When planning your day be reasonable in your expectation of what your baby can handle.
Short day trips, or regular intervals inside (preferably with air conditioning), will ensure that overheating and overtiredness can be avoided.
13. Swimming with a Baby Carrier
On a hot day one of the best things you can do is take your baby for a swim!
There are a number of baby carriers made from a quick-dry fabric that are designed for use in the water.
These 13 tips will allow you to use your baby carrier in hot weather and still have an enjoyable day out.
Most importantly it will keep your baby cool, comfortable, and minimize the risk of overheating while in the baby carrier.