Babywearing in the heat

I am going to pontificate and speculate. I have absolutely no scientific evidence for what I am about to say. It's just conjecture and theory based on my limited experience of having babies, being a mom, speaking to hoardes of new parents and seeing their babies at babywearing meetings, AP meetings and La Leche League meetings.

Babies are hot. And further, moms who have just had babies are hotter than they normally are; their hormones don't regulate until, oh, I don't know, 6 months after birth. Perhaps, just perhaps, this is as it is supposed to be.

Both of my little girls would sweat up the spot around their heads when sleeping so much that the sheet would be wet a good 6 inches away. It didn't even matter if they were underdressed and it was chilly; they still sweated. And I've peeked at many blogs and see others thinking they have the only sweaty little baby. So I'm gonna guess that babies are just sweaty little things.

Okay, so how does this relate to babywearing? Well, babywearing, especially with a newborn, especially for the already overheated mom with hormones still settling after pregnancy, is hot. It just is. And while this is uncomfortable for the adult, perhaps it is not uncomfortable for the baby.

Some people give up on babywearing very early on because it is too hot and they worry it's going to hurt the baby. But if that little baby is sweating up a storm anyway, I can't see that babywearing is going to make that much of a difference. Sure, do what you can to make it cooler and make sure your baby isn't going to get heat stroke or anything like that. But if your baby is sweating, peeing, and taking in liquids, it doesn't seem dangerous to me.

That is not to say you shouldn't try to find the coolest way to wear your baby. Instead of tummy to tummy, on a hot day, try positioning your baby so that there is minimal body contact. One way to do this is with baby's arm and hip towards you. For example, a sling or a pouch used in the cradle position is cooler because it minimizes contact. If using the Ergo Baby Carrier or a mei tai, try positioning baby seated or slightly reclined with both legs out to the side, with or without the infant insert. If at all possible, do a back carry. Back carries with newborns aren't for everyone but if you are inclined to learn, it's definitely much cooler. Suitable baby carriers for back carrying a newborn are wraps, mei tais, and perhaps a pouch in the football position with baby slid around to the back.

1 comment:

Amie said...

Just wanted to let you know this post was very helpful for me...I live in Las Vegas and have been babywearing for nearly 3 years. It gets HOT here. And my children are fine.

I also bookmarked this post for future reference. I am working to start a NINO group and we will need topics to discuss. This is something that I am sure babywearing newbies will have questions about. So, thanks for the especially useful post!