Summer Babywearing Safety Part 1: Stay Cool, Stay Covered (But Not the Face!)

White woman wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat carrying a baby on the front in a green wrap. Baby is wearing a bucket hat.

We are right in the middle of summer and for many people living in Toronto, everyone just wants to be outside. Being outdoors and getting a breath of fresh air is great, but for all the babywearers that are watching wee little babies and toddlers on those hot summer days, one very important question to ask oneself is,

“Is it too hot to babywear?”

 

If you love babywearing, you can still carry your child as long as you use your common sense. Avoid going out in the middle of the day when the sun is at it’s hottest. On those oppressively hot and humid days, you may find yourself and baby much more comfortable using a stroller, hopping on an air-conditioned bus, travelling by car or just staying indoors.  If you plan to babywear in hot weather, please keep the following in mind:

Hot Weather Babywearing Safety Tips

  1. Avoid direct sunlight. Stay in the shade as much as possible. Use a parasol/umbrella to block the sun.
  2. Plan outings for the early morning or late evening.
  3. Wear sun protection. Apply sunblock on exposed skin. Both babies and caregivers should wear wide-brimmed hats that protect the face and neck. Loose long sleeved clothing or baby leggings can provide good coverage. Look for fabrics offering UV resistance.
  4. Dress baby lightly. Remember that the carrier counts as a layer of clothing and babywearing generates a lot of body heat. Baby will not need more than one layer, a  t-shirt or onesie is often enough. Consider loose cuts and thinner/lighter fabrics that allow air flow.
  5. Ensure baby is visible and kissable. No sleephood in a front carry or muslin blanket over their face to block the sun. Your child’s face and airway must be clear and unobstructed at all times. It is important to continue to  monitor their airway, breathing and comfort. Young infants can overheat easily, becoming excessively sleepy or lethargic.
  6. Choose an appropriate carrier. Avoid carriers with excess padding, and bulky inserts (if possible). Some buckle carriers made for hot weather babywearing have mesh panels that allow better air circulation (e.g. Lillebaby Airflow, Je Porte Mon Bebe Physio, Trek Air-O, Beco 8). For woven carriers, look for fabrics such as linen/cotton blends or gauze, and try thinner or airier weaves (e.g. Didymos Waves, Wrapsody Breeze). Ring slings are also a good option as less fabric is spread across the body in a one shoulder carry. Meh dai’s are often unpadded or lightly padded, and allow extra air flow on the sides of baby’s body.
  7. Use your carrier appropriately in hot weather. If you have a woven wrap, use single pass carries such as kangaroo, front wrap cross carry with bunched passes, ruck, or traditional sling carry. With a buckle carrier, meh dai or wrap, try a hip carry to reduce the amount of fabric covering your body, and if your baby can sit unassisted, try a high back carry to reduce the amount of surface contact.
  8. Stay hydrated. Ensure you take plenty of water breaks, and nurse/give formula/offer water to baby often to increase fluids.
  9. Use a cooling aid. Try a wet washcloth, mist of water or blast of cool air from a handheld fan on your face or neck, and baby’s too. Cooling towels should only be used on yourself and babies that are 6 months or older. These need to be exposed to open air to cool, as they work through evaporation.
  10. Take breaks! Remove baby from the carrier, get some air circulating around the two of you. Go somewhere cool or air conditioned to get some relief from the heat.
  11. Check if your baby is overheating. Learn more about the signs your baby is overheating. The earliest signs are that the skin is warm to the touch and is flushed in appearence (e.g. rosy and red). If any of these signs appear, take steps to get out of the heat as soon as you notice them! If you are seeing late signs, seek medical care immediately.
Cooling off indoors
Getting some relief from the heat with an ice cold drink and some air-conditioning by stepping into a store.

Carry on! Enjoy babywearing the rest of the summer or wherever you are that may be hot, hot, hot!

 

Featured Carry: Front Cross Carry (FCC)

The similar names mean this carry is often confused with last week’s Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC). However, unlike the FWCC, this carry doesn’t have a horizontal wrap pass.

This means:

  1. This carry should never be attempted with a stretchy wrap as it is secure only in a woven wrap or sturdy hybrid with minimal horizontal stretch.
  2. This carry is extremely “poppable” (meaning easy to take baby in and out) and easy to tighten on the go.
  3. The easy up way in which this carry loosens and tightens makes it an excellent carry for nursing a baby with trunk control (sitting assisted, about 4 months) in an upright position.
  4. This carry can be performed with your base size minus one (base -1), so if you usually use a size 6 for FWCC you could probably do FCC with a size 5. However, it also works with your base size, so don’t go running out to buy a new wrap!

Important Safety Considerations:

  1. All the usual safety principles apply – keep baby Visible and Kissable!
  2. This carry is theoretically suitable for a newborn if correctly executed and tightened. However, with no horizontal pass, it is more difficult to tighten precisely than some other carries – especially for a beginner. New wrappers should probably stick to other carries until baby has some trunk control.
  3. Exercise care in keeping the passes clear of baby’s face when sleeping. Flipping the wrap to cap your shoulder can help keep fabric from crowding baby’s face.
  4. If nursing in a wrap, monitor baby throughout the feed, especially a young baby. Before wrapping and nursing, wait until nursing is well established and you are confident in your wrapping skills. Keep baby in an upright position to nurse and make sure to re-position baby high on your chest with face visible and kissable once nursing is finished, even (especially!!!) if baby has fallen asleep.

A Helpful Photo Tutorial and Videos:

Here is a photo tutorial and some videos we find helpful for learning to do Front Cross Carry. If photo tutorials and/or videos are not sufficient to meet your needs, please do not hesitate to seek out one of our events for help.

[When we share photo and video tutorials, we believe they represent good technique and relevant tips. We cannot vouch for every tutorial shared by the educators we feature. When in doubt, use your own judgement about whether a particular practice is safe – or ask a question in our Facebook group for clarification.]

Here is a photo tutorial from BWI’s South Maryland chapter, using stills from Wrapping Rachel’s video tutorial.

This is Wrapping Rachel’s FCC video tutorial with a brief explanation at the end of how to use the FCC to nurse on the go. This can be particularly useful for busy babies between 4-8 months who just can’t focus on nursing when they are out and about without some extra help.

This video by Wrap You In Love demonstrates some useful modifications, flipping the wrap to allow you to spread the back pass further up your back and create a more comfortable weight distribution. It also demonstrates capping your shoulders, which can keep little faces clear of excess fabric.

How do you like the Front Cross Carry? Where and how to do use it?

For other posts in this series, see here.

Exploring Wrapping!

If you’re currently geeking out about wrapping and looking for some inspiration you might like to check out some of the instructional videos and inspirational photos from our “Featured Carry” threads.

Finding wrapping instruction online can be a daunting task : some of the advice represents best practices and some doesn’t, and as a caregiver new to baby carrying and/or wrapping it can be difficult to separate the safe from the risky! In this series on our Facebook group and now on our blog, we have attempted to identify individual videos and/or articles that describe good technique and best practices as we understand them.

We’ll be working our way through our “Carry of the Week” archive on the blog, and posting the links here – stay tuned for more!

A word about different kinds of wraps: Most of the carries we will be featuring require a woven wrap to execute safely (or a sturdy hybrid wrap with minimal horizontal stretch). Stretchy wraps are appropriate only for front and hip carries, and those carries must have 3 passes spread over baby for support and security. When it is suitable to attempt a particular carry with a stretchy wrap, we will mention that.

Woven wraps come in different sizes, and this can seem overwhelming to new caregivers. If you are of average body size, you would probably be best served by a size 6. If you are smaller you might prefer a size 5, and if you are larger you might prefer a size 7 or 8. Most stretchy wraps are size 7 and will fit most people. If you would like to read more, you can look here and here for more information.

Week 1: Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC)

Week 2: Front Cross Carry (FCC)

Featured Carry: Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC)

Baby in Front Wrap Cross Carry while parent plays with toddler

Introducing Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC)!

This is the usually the first carry we teach to a new wrapper. You can do this carry with a woven or stretchy wrap (with a stretchy wrap you need to spread all three passes across baby’s back for support). The passes are easy to tighten and when you master it you have gone a long way towards learning to manipulate and tighten your wrap!

This carry requires your “base size” which for a person of average size will be a size 6 – some people will use a size 5, 7, or 8. Most stretchy wraps are roughly a size 7, so most people should be able to use them to do the FWCC.

Important Safety Considerations in FWCC:

  1. All the usual safety principles apply – keep baby Visible and Kissable!
  2. Never fold or roll anything into the rails of your wrap. Doing so can push baby’s head forward and cause their chin to fall down onto their chest – putting baby’s airway at risk.
  3. When spreading a pass over the back of baby’s head, never pull it further than the back of baby’s ear and monitor carefully.
  4. Always spread 3 passes when doing FWCC in a stretchy wrap.

Helpful Videos:

We will share here some videos we find helpful for learning to do Front Wrap Cross Carry. If videos are not sufficient to meet your needs, please do not hesitate to seek out one of our events for help.

[When we share photo and video tutorials, we believe they represent good technique and relevant tips. We cannot vouch for every tutorial shared by the educators we feature. When in doubt, use your own judgement about whether a particular practice is safe – or ask a question in our Facebook group for clarification.]

This voiceless video by Britt Brown Marsh shows the FWCC with an older baby and a woven wrap.

This video by WrappingRachel shows how to spread the passes of the FWCC when using a stretchy wrap. She demonstrates with the Moby wrap and an older baby.

This video by Tooralei, Kathy Heffern,shows the FWCC with a newborn in a woven wrap.

Finally, this longer video by WrapYourBaby shows the FWCC with a newborn, with some tips for keeping the fabric away from baby’s face.

How do you like the Front Wrap Cross Carry? Where and how to do use it? Share a photo or a story in the comments!

For other posts in this series, see here.

Babywearing in Toronto: Where to Buy a New Carrier

Members of our Facebook group often ask where they can buy a certain brand or type of carrier. To assist with your search, we’ve compiled a directory of Canadian businesses within the GTA and beyond that sell baby carriers. Note that this list is not meant to be exhaustive and complete, but instead highlights retailers that carry a wide or harder-to-find selection of carriers.

If you have information about changes we should make to this document and the file in our Facebook group, please contact us here.

If you would like to see a map of physical stores in the GTA click here.

Toronto Stores

Ava’s Appletree (East Toronto)
  • Stretchy wraps (Moby, Boba)
  • Ring slings (Maya, Sakura Bloom, Tula, Beco)
  • Buckle carriers (Beco (Gemini, Soleil & 8), Ergo, Ergo 360, Tula (Standard, Toddler, Free to Grow), Lenny Lamb, Manduca, Boba, Lillebaby, Happy Baby Carrier)
  • Toddler carriers (Tula, Beco, Lenny Lamb)
Angel Wings Canada (The Beaches, Toronto)
  • Babywearing Outwear (Angel wings clothing)
  • Babywearing Covers (Angel wings clothing)
Baby On The Hip (Toronto)
  • Stretchy wraps (Maman Kangarou)
  • Buckle carriers (Ergo, Beco)
Caterpillar Baby (West Toronto)
  • Stretchy wraps (Boba)
  • Woven wraps (Tula)
  • Buckle carriers (Boba, Tula, Beco)
Diapereez (West Toronto)
  • Stretchy wraps (Baby K’tan)
  • Woven wraps (Chimparoo)
  • Ring slings (Chimparoo)
  • Buckle carriers (Ergo, Beco)
Everything Mom and Baby (Midtown Toronto)
  • Stretchy wraps (Je Porte Mon Bebe)
  • Buckle carriers (Emeibaby)
Evymama (Toronto)
  • Stretchy wraps (Maman Kangarou, Moby)
  • Woven wraps (Ellaroo)
  • Ring slings (Maman Kangarou)
  • Mei tais (Catbird)
  • Buckle carriers (Catbird)
Little Zen One (Toronto)
  • Buckle Carriers (Beco Gemini, Integra, Lillebaby, Tula) Stretchy wraps (CuddlyWrap, Didymos, Wrapsody)
  • Woven wraps (Didymos, Souls Slings, Vanamo, Wrapsody)
  • Ring slings (Beachfront Baby, Didymos, Junior Foxes,Lillebaby, Souls Slings, Vanamo)
  • Onbuhimos (Soul Slings)
  • Meh dais (Didymos DidyTai, Helina Baby Carrier, Souls Slings )
  • Water Carriers (Beachfront Baby Water Wraps and Ring Slings, Wrapsody)
  • Babywearing Outerwear (AngelWings Winter Coats, Softshell Coats and Jackets, Sweaters and Hoodies, Belly Bedaine Babywearing Warm Sweaters – all for front and back carrying)
  • Babywearing Covers (Didymos)
  • Other (Sleepbelt, Sling Rings, Babyearing Booties and Mittens, Babywearing Consultations and Workshops, Large Teaching Library) *All in-shop purchases of regularly priced carriers come with a free, one on one, fitting session with a certified Babywearing Consultant.*
Love Me Do (Liberty Village)
  • Stretchy Wraps (Je Porte Mon Bebe)
  • Ring slings (Sewfunky, coming soon)
  • Mei tais (Huggaloops, coming soon)
  • Buckle carriers (Beco, Lillebaby, Ergo)
Mountain Equipment Co-op (Toronto)
  • Buckle carriers (Onya)
Potter & Pehar (Toronto, ON)
  • 100% Linen and Linen/Cotton Blend Ring Slings
Silly Goose Kids (East Toronto)
  • Stretchy wraps (Moby, Boba, Wrapsody Hybrid, Huggaloops)
  • Woven wraps (Wrapsody Breeze)
  • Ring slings (Sewfunky,Sakura Bloom,Beco)
  • Mei tais (BabyHawk)
  • Buckle carriers (Beco, Beco toddler, Ergo,Lillebaby,Boba)
  • Offers babywearing workshops

Other Ontario Retailers

Barefoot Babies (Hamilton, ON)
  • Stretchy wraps (Moby)
  • Woven wraps (Chimparoo, Hoppediz, Ellevill)
  • Ring slings (Maya, Chimparoo, Sewfunky, Sakura)
  • Buckle carriers (Beco, Boba)
Eco Kids (Brighton, ON)
  • Buckle Carriers (LennyLamb, Beco, LilleBaby, Chimparoo, Twingaroo)
  • RingSlings (Fidella, Beco, Chimparoo)
  • Mei tais (Chimparoo, Fidella)
  • Stretchy Wraps (Chimparoo)
Helina Baby (Brampton, ON)
  • Helina Baby Adjustable Mei tai
Hug and Cuddles (Grimsby, ON)
  • Stretchy wraps (Boba, Lenny Lamb, Huggaloops)
  • Woven wraps (Lenny Lamb, Little Frog, Natibaby)
  • Ring slings (Lenny Lamb, Little Frog, Natibaby)
  • Mei tais (Moa Po)
  • Buckle carriers (Boba, Lenny Lamb)
Layer Your Love (Welland, ON)
facebook.com/layeryourlove
  • Custom, made-to-order, handmade babywearing & maternity outerwear
Lil’ Monkey Cheeks (Pickering, ON)
  • Stretchy wraps (Chimparoo, Huggaloops, Boba, Cuddly Wrap, Wrapsody Hybrid)
  • Woven wraps (Chimparoo, Little Frog, LennyLamb, Wrapsody, Didymos, Tekhni)
  • Ring slings (Didymos, Chimparoo, Little Frog, Tula, LennyLamb, Beco, Sewfunky, ByKay)
  • Mei tais (Chimparoo, Fidella, ByKay)
  • Buckle carriers (Chimparoo, Tula, Boba, Lillebaby, LennyLamb, Beco, Fidella, ByKay, ErgoBaby, Twingaroo)
  • Water Carriers (Sewfunky, ByKay, Chimparoo)
  • Outerwear (Belly Bedaine, Boba, LennyLamb, Kokoala, MakeMyBellyFit)
  • Other (SleepBelt)
Lollypop Kids (Burlington, ON)
  • Stretchy wraps (Chimparoo, Lenny Lamb)
  • Woven wraps (Chimparoo, Fidella, FireSpiral, Kokadi, Lenny Lamb, Natibaby, Pellicano)
  • Ring slings (Fidella, Kokadi, Natibaby)
  • Mei tais (Babyhawk)
  • Buckle carriers (Connecta, Kokadi, Lenny Lamb, Olives & Applesauce)
My Lil Sweet Pea (Thornhill, ON)
  • Stretchy wraps (Boba)
  • Woven wraps (Tula)
  • Mei tais (Babyhawk)
  • Buckle carriers (Boba, Tula)
Parenting By Nature (Barrie, ON)
  • Stretchy wraps (Boba, Colibri, Cuddlywrap, Moby, Wrapsody)
  • Woven wraps (Chimparoo, Ellevill, Girasol, Neobulle)
  • Ring slings (Maya, Sakura Bloom, Sewfunky)
  • Mei tais (Babyhawk, Pikkolo)
  • Buckle carriers (Beco, Boba, Ergo, Onya, Catbird)
Sewfunky (Guelph, ON)
  • Stretchy wraps (Sewfunky Bamboo Panda Wrap)
  • Woven wraps (Chimparoo)
  • Sewfunky Ring Slings (Organic Cotton Twill, Designer Organic, Hemp, 100% Linen, Mesh, Woven Cotton/Hemp and Wrap to Sling Conversion Service)
Snips & Snails Baby (Kitchener, ON)
  • Woven Wraps (LennyLamb, Fidella, Butterfly Baby Co)
  • Ring Slings (LennyLamb, Fidella, Butterfly Baby Co)
  • Meh Dais (LennyLamb, Fidella)
  • Buckle Carriers (Kinderpack, Tula, LennyLamb, Lillebaby)
  • Onbuhimos (LennyLamb, Fidella)
  • Accessories & Outerwear (Tula, LennyLamb, Fidella)
Yellow Birch (Guelph, ON)
  • Stretchy wraps (Wrapsody, Boba)
  • Woven wraps (Girasol, Chimparoo, Vanamo, Yaro, BB Slen, Pollora, Wrapsody)
  • Ring slings (Girasol, Yaro, Chimparoo, Beco, BB Slen, Lenny Lamb)
  • Mei tais (Catbird Baby, Chimparoo, BB Slen BB Tai, Moa Po)
  • Buckle carriers (Tula, Beco, Boba, Chimparoo, Catbird Pikkolo, Connecta, Lillebaby)
  • Outerwear (MamaLila)
  • Carrier fittings and consultations available.

Other Canadian Stores

BIRDIE’S ROOM (Canada-Wide Online, Consultants in Ontario and PEI) https://www.birdiesroom.com/ https://www.facebook.com/BirdiesRoom1/
  • Wrap-Style Carriers (Didymos Woven Wraps, Didymos Stretch/Hybrids)
  • Ring Slings (DidySling by Didymos, Beachfront Baby)
  • Buckle Carriers (DidyKlick by Didymos, Emeibaby, Isara)
  • Mei Tais / Meh-Dais (Didymos DidyTai)
  • Stretchy / Hybrid (Didymos Stretch Hybrid)
  • Water Carriers (Beachfront Baby Ring Slings)
  • Babywearing Outerwear (MamaLila, Junah, Liliputi, Didymos)
  • Babywearing Accessories (Baby Leg Warmers, Sling Rings, Doll Slings, Wrap Scarves, Sun Protection, Leg Warmers)
  • Other Products (Organic Baby Basics, Cloth Diapers & Wool Diaper Covers, All-Natural Skincare, Wooden Blocks & Toys, Eco-Bags, and more!)
  • Personalised customer service with two certified babywearing consultants on staff to assist with finding the perfect carrier for you and your family!
  • CONSULTANTS located in ONTARIO GTA and in PEI
Carry Me Mommy (Grande Prairie, Alberta) http://www.carrymemommy.ca
  • Woven wraps (Lenny Lamb, Soul Slings, Butterfly Baby Co., Oscha, Firespiral, Little Frog, Chimparoo)
  • Ring slings (Lenny Lamb, Soul Slings, Butterfly Baby Co, Oscha, Little Frog, Oh Sew Baby, Chimparoo)
  • Meh dais (Soul Slings, Lenny Lamb, Oscha, Chimparoo)
  • Soft Structured Carriers/Buckle carriers (Lenny Lamb: Up, Baby and Toddler sizes, Soul Slings: Standard and Toddler sizes, Chimparoo)
  • Water Carriers (Oh Sew Baby, Chimparoo)
  • Babywearing Outerwear (Lenny Lamb Fleece Hoodies and Softshell jackets)
  • Babywearing Covers (Little Frog)
  • Other (Sling Rings, Doll Carriers, Bags (Multiple Styles from Lenny Lamb and Soul Slings)
Tadpoles & Butterflies (Edmonton, AB) http://tadpoles.ca/
  • Stretchy wraps (Boba, Wrapsody, Ellevill, Calin Bleu, Moby)
  • Woven wraps (BB Slen, Bebina, Chimparoo, Didymos, Dolcino, Ellevill, Girasol, Hoppediz, Kokadi, Neobulle, Storchenwiege, Uppymama, Vatanai, Ellaroo)
  • Ring slings (Sakura Bloom, Upmama, Babylonia, Dolcino, Hoppediz, Ellevill )
  • Mei tais (Babyhawk, Babylonia, Ball Baby, Catbird, Chimparoo, Didymos, FreeHand, Girasol, Hoppediz, Kozy)
  • Buckle carriers (Babyhawk, Beco, Boba, Catbird, Chimparoo, Connecta, Ergo, FreeHand, Kinderpack, Kokadi, Olives & Applesauce, Onya)
True North Ring Slings (Lethbridge, AB.) http://www.truenorthslings.ca
  • 100% Linen Ring Slings
With My Baby (Canada wide, online only)
  • Woven Wraps, Stretchy Wraps (Chimparoo, Diva Milano)
  • Ring Slings (Chimparoo, Diva Milano)
  • Mei Tais (Chimparoo, Diva Milano)
  • Buckle Carriers (Chimparoo, Diva Milano)
  • Babywearing Outerwear (Chimparoo, Diva Milano)
  • Babywearing Covers (Chimparoo, Diva Milano)