It’s hot. Your baby just wants to be on you ALL THE TIME. You’re both basically sitting in a puddle of sweat. What’s more is, you have places to go and things to do (helloooo it’s the pretty much the busiest season of the year!) so not using a baby carrier isn’t even an option.
Introducing your new favourite accessory… a cooling towel!
Although these handy devices have been around for a few years, many babywearers still aren’t sure what they do, how they work, or even if they’re worth it. So we thought we’d cover a few of the most frequently asked questions here!
What are they made of?
Hi-tech cooling polyester! The super absorbent fiber weave technology of the mesh towel regulates the water inside and ensures water retention making it very cool to touch on the outside of the towel but not wet.
How do they work?
Cooling towels absorb and hold water, while staying moist but not wet to touch. While moist, the towel works to effectively evaporate and cool, keeping you feeling cooler and drier, rather than the hot, sweaty mess you would otherwise be!
What are their dimensions?
66 x 44cm. This may differ between brands – the cooling towel we are referring to is Chill Baby Cooling Towel.
What do they feel like (texture-wise)?
They feel a lot like a sham-wow! You know, the special cloth used to dry your car off after a wash so it doesn’t go all streaky! :-) They are like a soft, slightly spongy, latex. But, if left out on their own out of the storage box they came in, the towel will dry out to a crisp cardboard- still usable once wet again, but not a good idea to do frequently.
Are they safe for newborns?
Newborns regulate their body temperature differently to older babies, children and adults. Babies under 6 months should not come into direct contact with the cooling towel. Instead, use the towel to cool yourself down, by placing it on your neck or on your back. If you are cool and less sweaty, your newborn will also cool down.
How best to use them for babies over 6 months?
A lot of mums enjoy placing the cooling towel across their chest. This allows for baby to rest their head against you and fall asleep, or just relax, against a cool cloth. This area also allows for air flow to the towel, keeping it effective and cool. Another good place is between the babies back and the carrier. This will also allow some cool air to transfer as the carrier doesn’t give off heat, only your baby does. Using it between your baby and yourself won’t be effective for long, as both of you are giving off heat, meaning both sides of the towel is hot and not exposed to air. It will become warm quickly this way.
How do you use them?
First you need to “activate” your new towel. Before the first use, thoroughly rinse your cooling towel in warm water. Remove any excess water. Then place the cooling towel wherever you would like, keeping in mind the guidelines for smaller babies. The towel cools most effectively when exposed to some air for greater evaporation.
Turn the towel over during use, or remove and shake for 10 seconds in the air before reapplying it to your body. This helps the towel reabsorb some fresh air away from your body heat and reactivate it’s cold temperature ready to cool you back down effectively.
Can I wash them?
Yes! They can be put in your machine on a gentle cycle or hand washed with liquid detergent (no bleach). Store it once washed, depending on how soon you would like to use it next (see below).
How do I store it?
Always store your cooling towel in the storage container it came in with the lid on when not in use to keep it moist. For longer term storage, it is important that you let the towel dry out to avoid mould. When placing it in the container, leave the lid off for all moisture to evaporate. This simply means that next time you use the towel you’ll need to reactivate it by soaking in warm water. Don’t let it dry out to the point it is crisp, but remove as much excess water as possible and leave for 20-30 minutes hanging on the washing line for moisture to be evaporated.
How long do they last?
They are quite durable. If you follow the washing and storage directions, your towel should easily last you through your entire babywearing journey.
What are some other uses for the cooling towel?
They’re actually AMAZING for pregnant or menopausal women, since pregnancy and menopause can make you more prone to feeling the heat. You could also use it when exercising, working, or walking in the heat, regardless of whether you are wearing your baby or not. Brooke’s fiancé actually uses it around his neck to avoid a shaving rash before he has to shave each day for work!
What DON’T they do?
Well, unfortunately, cooling towels don’t block out the sunlight, and while they can help you feel cooler and more comfortable, they don’t work miracles! It’s far better to keep out of the sun and avoid activities that will bring yours or your little one’s temperatures up when it is super hot. Ensure you both keep your fluids up and continually monitor your child for signs of discomfort or distress. The towels, however, are brilliant for those times where you just can’t avoid the heat, and can make the situation a lot more bearable!
How much do they cost?
Our cooling towels go for just $18 each. They’re just a fraction of what you have probably spent on your carrier, and will ensure you can do lots more babywearing in comfort this summer (or Spring to Autumn if you live in Brisbane like me ;-)).
P.S. Found this info on babywearing cooling towels interesting or useful? Please SHARE! :-)
P.P.S. Yup, you guessed it – we sell cooling towels! In fact, we just got new stock in. These tend to sell out regularly, so if you’re keen, jump on it quick! Right now, we have pink, yellow, green, and blue available.
Copyright Brooke Maree © 2017
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