While there's no time of year when you'd really want to tote a huge stroller around New York City, summertime has got to be the worst. Whether you're staying in the city or skipping town for a family vacation, babywearing can be a space and sanity saving solution. We reached out to babywearing guru Sarah Longwell-Stevens to round up the best tips and tricks for wearing your tot comfortably during the summer months.
- Find a carrier that you love: First things first—comfort is key. “It's hard to say, 'This one is the best carrier,'" Sarah says. “Everyone will fall in love with something different." Most carriers will fall into one of a few main types: soft-structured carriers (SSCs), wraps, ring slings and mei tais. Find a style of carrier that offers the right amount of support and suits your style. If needed, ask an expert to help you get the right fit.
- Find the right fabric: Once you find a style of carrier you like, see if you can pick out an option that's more suited to the warm weather. “In general," Sarah offers, “in the summer, the thicker the padding, the less of it you'll want touching your body." Soft-structured carriers are usually thicker and have more padding, so look for one that's cut away a bit more to allow more airflow. Since wraps typically cover more of the body, opt for one that's woven over a stretchy, jersey fabric. Woven fabrics tend to have better airflow (think linen versus spandex!)
- Back might be best: If your baby is over the age of one, you both might be more comfortable in a back-carry. Wearing baby on the front of the body tends to make us feel warmer than carrying them on the back does.
- Check in with baby: One big benefit of babywearing is that it allows you to respond to your baby's slightest cues. As a rule of thumb, your baby is probably feeling and responding to whatever you are. If you're overheated, chances are, so is your baby. Same goes for thirst. Having baby close to you allows you to check on their environment more regularly. Most strollers don't breathe well and can trap heat, especially when used with a canopy.
- Check in with yourself: Just like when you were pregnant, lugging all that baby around takes some serious effort. Take care to stay hydrated, well-fed and rest occasionally when carrying your baby around, especially in the warmer months. Your family needs you in the best health, and being out in the sun can make you feel extra tired.
Ready to ditch the stroller and have your hands free? We've rounded up the five best carriers to get you through sun, surf, and the summer months.
1. Stokke New MyCarrier in Breathable Mesh, $189.00
2. Baby K'tan BREEZE, $59.95
3. Wrapsody WrapDuo Water Wrap, $73.00
4. Sakura Bloom Classic, $98.00
5. BabyBjӧrn Carrier One Outdoors, $259.95