Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wearing in the Water

Pools across the area opened this weekend, and mamas who gave birth during the previous year discovered that babies are really slippery in the pool.  If this is your second child, you discovered that holding the baby or getting the baby to sit in one of those boat things doesn't leave you the ability to hold/help your older child(ren) in the water.  What to do?  Avoid the pool all summer?  With the temps soaring over 90* this week, a summer without the pool sounds awful!  So, how do you take your kids to the pool without losing your mind?  We can help!

Water carriers can be an excellent way for mom and baby to enjoy the pool.  There is a wide variety of water carriers available on the market, so lets explore them:

Ring slings:
Nearly every sling maker has a water sling in the works this summer.  However, there are plenty of options around on the used market as well.  I love a ring sling for the water.  I find the weight on one shoulder isn't such an issue when the water is helping to buoy up the weight.  The easy of getting in and out is nice for slippery wet babies.  My older kids also like using the tail as a kickboard.  The tail can also make a nice sun shade when needed.
Fabrics are varied - solarveil is a popular choice from the past few years.  Unfortunately the fabric was discontinued and at this point these are only available on the used market.  This is very light and airy and offers the sun protection of about a t-shirt by the way it was woven.  Some describe the fabric as scratchy though.  Jeanne demonstrates:
Solarweave - This fabric has a UPF40 coating.  It is smoother and would remind you of men's swim trunks.
These can be found new from Kalea Baby through Zerberts or on the used market from Zanytoes and other vendors.

Mesh- This is the fabric that seems to be becoming quite popular for water slings.  Many vendors haven't quite gotten their fabric in yet.  TaylorMade has been using it for years though, so they have some in stock.
Don't Heather and her little one look happy?

For all around support which may be more important for parents with injuries, or who just need symetrical carries, a wrap can be a great water choice.  Water wraps can be DIYd by purchasing either bathing suit fabric or athletic mesh from the fabric store and hemming or surging the edges.  Water wraps can be purchased from Wrapsody Baby, or from a variety of WAHMs on Etsy.
This one was DIY'd by Pamm.
There are a few pouches made of a mesh that works well in the water, like this one:

But Angelique has hit on an ingenius solution.  She bought a cheap regular pouch from a consignment store.  She paid $3 for this Hotslings pouch and doesn't care if it gets faded or ruined in the water.
As you can see, there are many options for water wearing.  A couple safety notes... ALWAYS pay attention to where your little one's head is in relation to the water.  Sometimes while playing with an older child, you can get a little deeper than you mean to and a rogue wave can get in baby's mouth.  This doesn't take the place of closely monitoring your child, it just gives you free hands while you monitor your child.  Stay safe, and have a super fun summer.  Send us pics of your summer adventures while babywearing!

Finally, go "like" the International Babywearing Conference 2012 Facebook page.  We are in the process of planning for this major event next summer.  You want to be involved, it's going to be awesome! :)


  1. We also make mesh pouch slings - please check them out! :)

  2. Great post! There are so many options that you don't need to leave baby out of the water this summer!

  3. I have never even thought about wearing my baby in the water! I learned to use a wrap with my third baby and it saved my sanity! I now have 5 kids 7 and under and wearing my 11 months old will be very help while dealing with my 2 year old in the water! Thank you!

  4. Rebecca - Yes! I have a 3 and 1yr old in addition to my 6yr old. I wouldn't be able to function without putting the littlest in the sling. Glad we could make some useful suggestions. :)

  5. I have a mei tai made of solarveil and I love it!

  6. I never considered wearing my son in a sling! That would have been great last summer...we're going to Hawaii this October so great ideas for stuff to use, thanks!

  7. I have a wrap conversion with solarweave body and hood that my dear friend made for me...EPIC ;)

  8. I loved my Taylor Made mesh sling for the pool DS's first summer! It was a wonderful way to bring him in the water with me and help him to feel safe and secure.

  9. I have a mesh pouch that I used with DD for the past two summers. This summer, I'm going to try a mesh wrap with DS2 since both DD and DS2 will be taking swimming lessons.

  10. I have a Gypsy Mama water wrap and love it!!! It also doubles really well as a dressy wrap for evening out!!