How to wear your baby safely even when it's hot outside

Jul 24, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. ET
Image: Tricia Miller

Babywearing is an excellent way to connect with your baby and keep him calm while you go about your day. Can you — or should you — wear him when the temperatures soar? The simple answer is yes, and here's why.

Why babywearing in the heat is totally fine

Babywearing is an all-seasons activity, but some feel that it's a bad idea when it's hot. Others think it's downright dangerous if they see a mom out and about with her baby in a sling, carrier or wrap if it's hot. Can it be too warm to babywear? Mom of three, Tricia Miller says no — not when it's done correctly.

Tricia baby wearing |

Photo credit: Tricia Miller

Miller's family is native to Florida, so they are well accustomed to the year-round heat. "Babywearing in the heat is second nature to me — if I didn't wear my babies when it's hot, I would never wear them!" she says.

Expect a few judgy strangers

Tricia baby wearing at Disney |

Photo credit: Tricia Miller

Recently Miller's family headed to Magic Kingdom Park for a day of adventure. Her youngest, Rigby, was snuggled up next to her in a Sakura Bloom ring sling. Even though she has worn all three of her kids to various theme parks, she had never heard a negative comment or received a cross look — until that day.

"As soon as we got on the tram that took us from the parking lot to the ticket counters, I heard someone behind me whisper something about the baby being hot," she remembers. "I shrugged it off, knowing that my baby was safer in my ring sling than in a stroller."

However, the negativity didn't stop there. She reports that all day long, she got major stink-eye, and even some eye rolling. "I honestly thought maybe my boob was hanging out from under the sling, but it wasn't," she says. "I couldn't believe it was all because I was wearing my baby in a sling."

Practice these common sense tips when you babywear

Many think that strapping a baby onto a chest or back will increase the heat for both parties. In reality, a parent's body serves to help regulate Baby's body temperature. To keep you both as cool as possible, there are a few things to keep in mind before you set out.

Tricia baby wearing |

Photo credit: Tricia Miller

Miller shares these important tips if you're going to venture out into the heat with your baby in tow.

  • Dress with the weather in mind. Miller's baby was wearing only a cloth diaper, and she outfitted herself in lightweight clothes.
  • Drink up. This will help keep you cool, and is essential for keeping your milk supply up if you're nursing.
  • Hydrate your baby. Nurse on demand if you breastfeed, and bring plenty of formula if you don't.
  • Shield from the sun. Use a hat for your little one, and for babies over six months old, apply sunscreen.
  • Spritz your baby. "Fill a spray bottle with ice and spritz yourself and baby when you feel too hot," she shares.
  • Use the right carrier. Miller suggests using a ring sling or a lightweight wrap for younger babies. For older kiddos, use a back carry in a soft-structured carrier like Boba or Tula. A water sling is a good buy as well because they are specifically designed to promote good air flow.

Tricia baby wearing |

Photo credit: Tricia Miller

So, good news babywearing moms. You can keep your child close even when it's hot. Practice smiling in the face of dirty looks — your baby won't know the difference.

More on babywearing and safety

American Baby responds to dangerous babywearing cover
International Babywearing Week: Moms wearing their babies
Aren't health-tracking devices for babies a little over the top?