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Babywearing and Breastfeeding in Summer: Nurturing Your Baby While Staying Cool

Babies don’t read clocks and will cue to nurse frequently for reasons other than hunger. They go to the breast for comfort, hydration, sleep regulation, and help with emotional regulation. With that in mind, you may notice that your infant seeks the breast more often when outside during the summer heat - that’s normal. Nursing helps assuage babies’ thirst since breastmilk is 88% water and provides all the fluids your baby needs.

Still, you might wonder if babywearing in summer is safe. And, if it is, is breastfeeding while babywearing during hot months a good choice?

Here’s the short answer: yes, both are safe and even advisable! When combined with breastfeeding, babywearing becomes a powerful tool for nurturing your baby's needs while staying cool. Let’s explore the benefits of babywearing and breastfeeding in summer and discuss some practical tips to make this experience enjoyable for both you and your baby.

Is Babywearing in the Summer Safe?

Yes! It’s perfectly safe to babywear during the summer, as long as you keep your baby cool while in the carrier. You’ll also need to keep them properly hydrated, which is one reason it’s great to breastfeed while babywearing.

Fluid Guidelines by age are:

0-6 months: Even in hot weather, give breastmilk only. Water and juice may introduce contaminants and allergens.

6-12 months: Once baby has started solids, you can give them a few sips of water or expressed breastmilk while they are eating.

Older babies and toddlers: Continue to breastfeed. Offer an additional 4-6 ounces of water per day.

The Benefits of Babywearing and Breastfeeding

Before we dig into the how, let’s quickly cover why babywearing and breastfeeding go hand in hand. They’re natural companions that promote closeness, attachment, and convenience for both parent and child. When you combine these two practices during the summer months and beyond, you can expect the following benefits.

Bonding and Emotional Connection

Babywearing allows for intimate skin-to-skin contact, which enhances the parent-child bond. Breastfeeding while babywearing nurtures this connection as it provides baby with both comfort and security.

Hands-Free Mobility

With a baby carrier or sling, you have the freedom to move around while keeping your baby close. Whether you're exploring a park, running errands, or doing chores around the house, babywearing enables you to accomplish almost anything while meeting your baby's feeding needs.

Convenience and Accessibility

Breastfeeding on the go can be challenging, especially for new moms, but babywearing makes it more manageable. You can discreetly nurse your baby while out in public, allowing you to respond to your baby's hunger cues promptly and with some added privacy. Amphiba Baby’s Neptune carrier comes with an XL hood specifically for this purpose - you can use it as a privacy cover while breastfeeding in public. Plus, it doubles as a weather shield!

Tips for Breastfeeding and Babywearing in Summer

The summer presents several unique challenges for parents. It’s hot, you’re sweaty, and you need to protect your baby from harsh sunshine. Here are my best tips to make the entire process easier.

1. Choose the Right Carrier

Opt for a lightweight carrier or a carrier built for use in the water, as these are typically made with more comfortable materials for the summer heat. Be sure to look for carriers with adjustable features to ensure a comfortable fit for both you and your baby.

2. Dress Appropriately

If you know you’ll be outdoors for long periods of time, dress yourself and baby in light, breathable clothing to prevent overheating. Consider using nursing-friendly tops or clothing that allows easy access for breastfeeding. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to roll a sweaty shirt up or down!

3. Protect from the Sun

Shield your baby from harmful UV rays by using a UV-resistant carrier with a built-in sunshade. Be sure to check on your baby while they’re under the sunshade to make sure they’re getting proper ventilation.

4. Hydrate Regularly

You lose a lot of water through sweat in the summer. While you breastfeed, you also transfer water to your baby. That means it’s extra important to stay hydrated during hot summer days. Carry a water bottle and drink fluids regularly to maintain your own well-being and milk supply.

5. Find a Comfortable Position

Experiment with different breastfeeding positions to find what works best for you and your baby while babywearing. You can practice at home to make sure you get a secure latch and feel comfortable with the position before you try it outdoors.

6. Take Breaks when Needed

Pay attention to your baby's cues and take breaks to allow both of you to cool down and rest. Seek out shaded areas or air-conditioned spaces during longer outings.

7. Seek Support

It takes a village! Join local babywearing and breastfeeding communities or online forums where you can find support, guidance, and tips from experienced parents who have successfully combined babywearing and breastfeeding in summer. Your local community members will have recommendations for family fun in your area, plus they can offer tips on which locations have the best shade or air conditioning for you and baby.

Although it might seem like a sweaty combination, babywearing and breastfeeding during the summer allows you to nurture your baby while staying cool and mobile. Choosing the right carrier will make all the difference in your experience with babywearing in the summer. Check out the Neptune, which includes a Cool Max Mesh lining that wicks moisture while keeping the air flowing. With adjustable straps, an XL hood, and UV-blocking neoprene, you and baby will stay cool all summer long!

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