How to Use your Carriers + Instructional Videos
Let's be honest, the bottom line is that babywearing can help you keep your baby happy AND let you get stuff done!
Babwearing has been around for thousands of years and in many different cutures. A baby spent 9 months in the womb, being a part of and moving with mom. Upon entering the world, babies want to feel close to their caregivers again. There is nothing more natural, more comforting and more comfortable that the motion and closeness of babywearing - next to simply holding your baby in your arms.
In cultures where babies are held constantly or where babywearing is the norm, long periods of infant crying are virtually nonexistent. A happy baby is an alert baby. Alert babies are quiet, calm and able focus their energies on learning about the world around them. Babies are able to safely experience the world from their mother's or caregiver's arms. They are able to hear her voice and expressions and this helps shape their own feelings.
The benefits of babywearing are not only for the baby, but for the babywearer as well. Babywearing provides the caregiver the opportunity to be close to your baby and to comfort your baby. Babywearing also gives you your hands in order care for your other children and to get your daily tasks completed.
As a mother having carried our babies within us for 9 months, we know the closeness of our babies. Babywearing is truly an extension of this time. Additionally, for fathers, it is an extremely beneficial way to experience closeness and bond with your baby.
Basic Types of Baby Carriers
Recommended Age: Newborn to about 40 lbs.
The Mei Tai baby carrier is a highly adjustable Chinese inspired carrier. If you are looking for a one size fits all option, the Mei Tai is the perfect solution. Mei Tais have a large piece of fabric that creates the seat for the baby, with 4 straps that tie around the adult carrier - waist and shoulder. For upmost comfort, look for a Mei Tai that offers wide, padded shoulder straps, such as BabyHawk. The Mei Tai can be worn in front (inward facing), back and hip positions. If you are full busted (I am an F cup) and are looking for a carrier to nurse in - we highly recommend the Mei Tai. It is extremely adjustable throughout, accommodating all sizes of parents and caregivers.
Recommended Age: Newborn to about age 3
The Ring Sling is a very versatile baby carrier that can be used at any age. The sling is a long piece of fabric that spreads across the back and weaves through a ring on the shoulder. Babies can be carried in the front - forward and inward facing - and on the hip in a variety of positions. These carriers are easy to use, are a one size fit most, and very compact, so they are great for bringing along in the diaper bag. Ring slings are one of our favorites and we highly recommend these baby carriers for newborns, as you are able to hold your baby close in a tummy to tummy "kangaroo" carry - after 9 months on the inside, the ring sling helps recreate 9 months on the outside - and even daddy can experience this comfy closeness!
Soft Structured Carriers aka SSC
Recommended Age: 4 months+*
The SSC are one of the easiest and most comfortable carriers to use. SSC have wide, padded shoulder straps and an adjustable, padded and wide waist band that buckles in the front or back. These are structured carriers, meaning that they are pre-formed, no folding, tying or wrapping necessary. These features help the baby carrier evenly distribute the weight of the baby to make it the most comfortable to baby carrier to wear for long periods of time. Most SSC have at least 2-3 carrying positions that they will perform. The soft carrier typically seats the baby in a front inward or outward facing, hip, or back carry. You should look for a carrier that places baby in a "seated," ergonomic position. Forward facing positions should be used on a short-term basis, as baby can become overstimulate. Soft structured carriers are best suited for babies with head control, typically 4 months and up.
Recommended Age: Newborn to about 35 lbs. (stretchy or gauze) - 45 lbs. (woven).
Wrap baby carriers are typically very long pieces of fabric that can be used to wrap in different ways around your body to form a baby carrier. There are two types of wraps - stretchy and woven. Stretchy wraps are all typically the same length - about 4-5 meters (13-16 feet). Woven wraps come in different lengths (short/shorty, medium and long) to accommodate different body types (petite through fluffy) and for different types of carry positions.Not sure what size woven wrap will fit you? Take a look at our easy to use woven wrap sizing guide.
Woven Wraps: Dolcino, Calin Bleu
Stretchy Wraps: Moby
How To Use Your Wrap Instructional Videos
Help! This is my first time trying on a baby carrier and my baby hates it!
The earlier you begin baby wearing, the more your baby is used to being worn. This makes them more adaptable to different carriers and positions. If you are starting with a newborn, you will likely experience less resistance to initially being worn than with an older, more aware baby. When first trying on your baby carrier, make sure that your baby is fed, changed and generally happy. It is highly recommended to get moving once you put your baby in the carrier - go for a walk, dance and sing, or clean your house. The more you move, the less focused your baby is on the new way you are holding them and more on the environment and motion. If movement still doesn't help, try a new carrying position. Most carriers have a variety of positions that you can carry your baby. Once understanding they are being worn, most babies love it. Rarely does a baby hate being worn, in fact, babies that are worn cry 43% less.