I love baby wearing! When my girl was tiny and I needed to go somewhere or get things done I had trouble deciding whether I should snuggle more or actually do what I needed to do. Cue baby wearing.
But at first, I had a ring sling I didn’t know how to use, and a knock-off ergo that I couldn’t fit correctly. I loved the snuggles baby wearing gave me, but struggled with getting cozy in my carrier. In the last year though, I’ve spent some time with more great soft-structured carriers like my Tula and a Lenny Lamb carrier and watched a myriad of YouTube videos from baby wearing experts who have helped me love my soft structured carriers (SSC) even more!
Start with the Basics
Before you can work on the details of your soft-structured carrier and increase your comfort level, you want to make sure you are comfortable on the basics:
1 - Close enough to kiss
2 - Always make sure your baby’s airway is clear
3 - Keep your baby’s knees above his or her bum
Once you’ve got these under control and you’re still not happy with your experience, don’t fret! There’s still more that can be done to help your soft-structured carrier experience be more comfortable.
Keep the waist level
When I first started using my SSC I would get back aches and, being a little frustrated that I didn’t get the same comfort level other mommas were boasting about, I investigated some instructional videos and learned that leveling out the waistband helps to spread the weight more evenly and not put strain on a specific back area. If you have minor back problems, try a carrier like this with some extra lumbar support. My sources tell me it’s a big help!
Lower the strap across your back
Once my lower back was doing better I realized sometimes my shoulders and neck would feel strain. I looked in the Facebook groups and learned that lowering the strap that goes across your shoulders helps to alleviate that problem as well. If you struggle with buckling that strap, loosen your buckles under your arm straps and then do the shoulder strap and tighten up your shoulder straps again.
My favorite way to get help with my baby carrier was to post some photos of me in my carrier with my baby on the baby carrier company’s Facebook group page. Every major carrier has their own group, and there are lots of enthusiasts that are always willing to give you some suggestions to make your experience more wonderful. Since they’re using the same carrier as you have, they have lots of great specific ideas to help you out. Give it a try, you won’t regret it!
Jenny Ditch loves baby wearing her little girl in Illinois whenever she gets a chance.