“What are the best slings for the heat?”- This is a question we get asked all the time as the weather begins to warm up so we’ve put together a guide with tips for baby carrying in the heat and to help you choose the right Oscha Sling for you & your little one this summer.
Type & Weight of Sling
Choose a sling in a lighter weight fabric , especially if you wish to wrap multi-layer carries. You could also consider using a slightly thicker wrap for single layer carries, particularly if you are carrying an older child who wants to be up and down a lot, and if you prefer more ‘cush’ on the shoulders. We suggest something between 180 and 240gsm.
A ring sling is another great choice as it offers a single layer carry, covers less of your body, allows air to circulate, and the long tail can be to cover little legs from the sun.
Best Fabric Blends for Summer Babywearing
Linen is a very popular choice for a summer sling. It is light and airy; despite this it is also supportive so it tends to do well in single layer carries. At Oscha we love our linen and offer a range of choices – 100% linen Art and Gradation dyed slings – these are all hand dyed in-house and come in a range of stunning colours, perfect for summery outfits. They are amongst the thinnest slings we offer and are incredibly breathable and strong. They can be less forgiving on the shoulders than a thicker cushier cotton wrap, so they benefit from more careful wrapping and a little time to break in. They will soften considerably with use and the fibres will fluff up a little over time, offering more cushioning and easier glide. To read more about our dyeing process, visit our ‘Oscha Hand Dyed – With Love and Care‘ blog post.
‘My first Oscha was a size 2 Jade Spring 100% linen. I bought it to tie a rebozo for carrying my then 7 month old daughter on holiday. It was the best purchase I ever made! It was perfect for the hot weather and for carrying a pool-wet baby back to the room. It was also a super handy carry for getting on and off the aeroplane and waiting in queues at passport control! There’s a chance I might be an Oscha linen addict . . . ‘ Esthi Thurston
‘Love all our linen Oscha great in the Aussie summer! ‘Sall Crawford
20% Linen Blends
This combines the best of a thin 100% linen wrap with some of the qualities of cotton; these wraps are mouldable, airy and easy to break in. Our 20% linen blends are extremely popular with our customer’s. Orion Fizz makes for a lovely summer item, shop for it here.
40% Linen Blends
These tend to be a slightly looser weave and so are a bit more airy. They are also usually thinner than the 50% blends. The cotton and jacquard weave gives them a tad more ‘cush’ than the 100% linens.
50% Linen Blends
These can be marginally thicker than the 20 and 40% blends but offer more cush on the shoulders, which can be preferable for heavier children. Aria Juliet and Caledonia Braes are a couple of the items we love in this blend.
Bamboo can be a great choice, it offers natural UV protection and is moisture-wicking. It is soft and feels cool against your skin. Bamboo will be fine for younger children in single layer carries, and for heavier children we would recommend multi-layer carries or very careful wrapping. See Ambit Natalis Solis and Zhuzi Ash for wraps in this blend. You can also visit our Bamboo for bigger kids blog post if you wish to learn more about using bamboo with older children.
Many of our customers have told us they have found our silk blends wonderful for hot weather. We currently have a range of 25% wild silk blends in stock, which are easy to wrap with, offer great support and cush for children of any weight.
Cotton is always a great all-rounder for any weather. Our Pima cotton is slightly thinner, so is lovely for the heat. Any of the Egyptian or organic cottons are up to the job of supporting bigger children in single layer carries. Shop cotton wraps here.
Wool is often underrated for hot weather and is mistakenly believed to be too warm to use. However, wool has a number of qualities which shouldn’t be dismissed – it is temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking. Our customers have told us that they enjoy using our thinner woollies for the heat. The 40% wool and 30% lambswool which have a smooth feel so are good for wearing next to bare skin. Have a look at our wool and lambswool wraps.
Types of Carries
Some favourite front carries in the heat include the FWCC with un-spread cross passes (this keeps a single layer across baby), and the kangaroo carry.
Poppable Front Cross Carry
‘My favourite hot carry is the poppable front cross carry because it is easy to pre-tie, easy to get baby in and out, not too much pressure on bare baby legs/body, open on the sides so there is a nice breeze … It only has two passes over baby so even in cotton wouldn’t be too hot’ – Kathleen Nicole
Hip Carries can be lovely and cool as there is less body contact and may be less layers of fabric wrapped around you.
Back carrying a simple ruck tied in front or under bum is probably the simplest and coolest carry you can do.
Tips For Carrying In The Sun
First of all, make sure any delicate skin is protected. Ensure your little one is wearing a hat with UV protection and sun cream suitable for their age. You can cover exposed legs with a muslin or the tail of your sling. Another great option is a parasol/sun umbrella to provide shade.
You could opt to dress your child only in nappy and sunhat, but it will probably be more comfortable for you both if you aren’t skin to skin for long periods in the heat. One of you can wear a layer of soft, breathable, natural fabric, alternatively you could place a muslin in between you both.
Some customers also said they found it helpful to place a muslin that had been soaked in cool water in between or even a cool bag (**If you choose to use a cool bag, use it with caution and do not place it next to baby’s skin**), or to use a fabric made of wool, silk or bamboo to avoid too much heat build up between you. You could also bring a change of top for you both to keep you fresh. Remember that you both will need plenty of fluids.
‘Babywearing is great for knowing how your baby is coping with heat on a roasting day as you’re constantly in tune with their fluctuating temperatures, breathing rates and alertness – if you’re too hot and struggling then it is likely your baby is too. ‘– Fiona Smith
See our Facebook page to read our full conversation on wearing in the heat with our customers.