This is Part 10 in our series on Babywearing Safety. You can find links to our other articles here.
One thing that worries many new parents is whether the baby is too hot or too cold. When it comes to babywearing, this can worry plenty of onlookers too. This is an area where common sense and a little knowledge is all that is required.
Most common advice for dressing babies suggests that you should dress a newborn in one extra layer than the adult is wearing. When it comes to babywearing, most slings (with the possible exception of mesh or solarveil slings) act as that extra layer of clothing, so bear this in mind when dressing your baby.
On very hot days, dress the baby very lightly before putting him/her in the sling. Some parents have found that misting the sling and parent with a spray-bottle quite helpful when baby wants to stay in the sling, but the temperature is climbing.
Be aware of sun safety in the baby carrier. A hat with a chin strap protects the baby’s face. There are a number of commercially available sun-protection covers available to protect the baby’s body, but one simple method is to tie a muslin sheet over the carrier- making sure the baby’s head and face is clear. Sunscreen, a broad brimmed hat for the parent or a UV-protectant umbrella will also offer further protection for the infant.
On very cold or wet days, it’s very tempting to cover the baby up in your own jacket to protect him/her from the weather. This is certainly possible, but once again you must always keep the baby’s face clear of fabric no matter how cold it is. Unfortunately, covering the infant’s face with parental clothing has been a cause of an infant death in a sling in the recent past.
There are a number of babywearing jackets, ponchos and vests available which cover both parent and baby, but leave baby’s head free. However, buttoning a parent’s jacket around the baby leaving the face uncovered also works well.