Guest Author - Julie Renee Holland
Summer is a great time to be out and about with your baby. However, summer also presents some extra hazards that we need to be aware of. Heat, sun, bugs and accidents are all more likely in the summer time. Here are some ways to protect your baby all summer long.
Wear your baby proudly - but limit how long you are in the sun during the heat of the day. The sun is at it's most intense from about 10 AM - 2 PM so that is the best time to be indoors. Use sunscreen for both of you and wide brimmed hats will help protect your faces.
Choose a baby carrier that will keep both of you cool. A great option is the Wrap N Wear crinkle cotton gauze wrap. It is very breathable and cool, so you'll both feel better.
A mei tai is a good choice for longer walks or outings, but they can be very hot. A lighter colored mei tai or a blanketless mei tai (sold by www.snugglehugs.com) is a cooler choice.
Summer fun is not complete without some water fun. When you are in the water with your baby, a water sling is a great way to keep baby close and safe without getting weighed down. These mesh slings are not supportive enough for everyday wear, but they are perfect for water play or showering with your baby.
When babywearing in water be very aware of your baby's face at all times. Use only upright carries and never, ever use a back carry in water. You must be able to see your baby's face at all times to be sure they are safe. It only takes a moment for a baby to drown.
When near water, even if you are not in it, remember that sunlight reflects off the water, causing intense burns quickly. In addition to safe sunscreen, be sure to limit baby's sun exposure. Studies show that childhood sunburns are even more damaging than adult sun exposure.
Finally, don't attempt to do anything dangerous or risky while wearing your baby. Little hands can reach farther than you can imagine, so stay away from grills, fires, fireworks, knives and other dangers. Be sure you are on firm footing at all times, so you don't slip and fall. Wearing your baby changes your balance, so don't attempt to do anything risky like hiking in slippery areas or walking on slippery steps.
With a little forethought and caution, you and your baby can have a wonderful summer of fun - safely.