With over 300 days of sun a year, Malta is one of most renowned locations in Europe for sunny and warm summers.
Parents often ask me if they can still wear their baby with this kind of heat, and if so, how ?
First and foremost, let’s be honest. Will you be warm ? Yes. It’s Malta and your baby isn’t an ice pack. So baby or not on you, you WILL be warm! Does that prevent you from wearing your little one in a sling or carrier ? No 🙂
There are, however, a few tricks and rules to remember while wearing your babies in hot weather.
There is no need to drop the cuddles in summer ! Learn how you can safely and comfortably carry your little one during a hot day.
How to best wear your baby in the heat ?
- Privilege light and natural layers of clothing for both you and baby. Cotton and linen are great materials, please stay away from synthetic clothes (you’ll quickly realize that you sweat so much more !).
- Drink, drink, drink ! Water for you (and baby, depending on age) or breast milk. Make sure that you are sufficiently hydrated so that you have enough supply for your little one.
- Wear outside during the cooler hours of the day: before 10am and after 6pm.
- Shade. I mentioned it below but keep in mind that babies’skins are much more fragile and sensitive to sunlight. No shade where you’re going ? Bring your own ! Umbrellas will protect both baby and you from sunstroke, a wide hat on your head will provide baby with a little shade !
- You can use a thin cloth of muslin between you and baby to avoid skin to skin contact and hence sticky hugs 🙂
- Hand or battery powered fans will help cool off as well
- I always carry a little watermist spray in my purse. It cools both of us off and baby loves to play with it (understand here that it can be useful AND a great distraction as well – win/win !)
What carrier should I use on hot summer days ?
- Many soft structured carriers (SSC) have an option for a zip up panel or a cooler material. Ergobaby now makes mesh carriers that have been doing really well in the Maltese heat. They are available locally at the the Maltamum Shop.
- Ring slings and single layer carries with a woven wrap are especially good in heat. There are particular materials that are more breathable than others. On hot days, a linen, thin cotton or ice cotton ring sling will do wonders and be significantly cooler than a padded carrier.
- Stretchy wraps aren’t the best for summer: they are usually warmer than the options above and require a minimum 2 layers of fabric on baby to be considered safe. Privilege a ring sling or a breathable woven wrap.
- Water ring slings are made for the water and require extra safety rules (soon an article to talk about them !). Do not wear them outside of the water for extended periods of time as they’ll get slippery and unsafe !
- Tiny babies struggle most to regulate their body temperature. Rule number 1 is to monitor your baby
- Little ones can still get sunburns in the carrier. Protect your babies with layers of clothes or sunscreen and stay away from direct sun exposure as much as possible.
- Did you know that humans can get sunburn on their retina ? Don’t forget sunglasses! Yes, your baby will try to take them off, yes, you will put them back on a zillion times. It’s ok. Baby will finally accept them if you are persistent. I have seen way too many babies over the summer without them and had a good dozen of parents ask me how I managed to get my son to wear his. The trick? Put them on while outside in the sun – baby will gradually realize that it’s way more comfortable with than without !
- Don’t forget the hat either! I’ve stitched ties inside the hats to keep them on…it works !
- If you’re afraid that your baby might have overheated a bit, take him/her out of the carrier and somewhere cool. Please keep in mind that radical temperature chocks aren’t good either. If you’ve been in in the sun, go to to a shady spot, then inside and then close to an AC unit: it’s all about taking steps and allowing your little one to cool off slowly.
- Please familiarize yourself about heatstroke and how to recognize the symptoms here.
- Never use an ice pack on baby, the cold would burn the tender skin !
Now that you know all the tips for babywearing in the Maltese heat, the best carriers for it and the safety rules to respect, simply pay attention to your little ones and enjoy wearing them <3
Image courtesy of Babywearing International of St Louis Gateway