There are benefits to babywearing for both parents and baby and getting started can be as easy as making a trip to your local baby boutique. Babies who are worn have an easier time sleeping, are more likely to be successful at breastfeeding, are less fussy and have an easier time regulating their body temperature, breathing and heart rate.
Babywearing may also feel overwhelming in the beginning and choosing the best carrier for you and your baby is more than half the battle. Different carriers work for different parents and the style you choose may impact how often you wear. The best baby carrier for you will be the carrier that you can use safely every time and that is comfortable for you while wearing.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the different styles of baby carriers and how to choose the right baby carrier for your family.
Woven wraps are amazing from birth to toddlerhood. Wraps come in endless designs, blends and brands. You can choose from handwovens or machine wovens and even in which country your wrap was woven. Woven wraps do take a little time to practice and feel comfortable wrapping with, so there is definitely a learning curve. However, with a little hands on help and some practice, they can be a great asset to any caregiver.
If you need a carrier that can adjust to any weight or carry and gives you the freedom to use one shoulder or both shouldered carries, you may really like a woven wrap. If you are willing to learn to wrap, there are countless ways you can wrap your baby and finding your favorite is just a matter of trying them out. I would highly recommend searching Youtube for different carries, particularly recommend the channels /BabywearingFaith and /WrappingRachel.
Soft Structured Carrier
Soft structured carriers, or SSCs, attract caregivers of all types because they are so easy to use. Most brands only require a buckle or two to clip and you and baby are in! Also referred to as buckle carriers, SSCs are very supportive, have a considerable amount of padding and can be worn for long periods of time but also may require an infant insert if you plan to wear your newborn.
A soft structured carrier might be for you if you need lots of back support, have one side that is weaker than another or injured and/or plan to wear baby for long periods of time. I also find that men prefer buckle carriers more than any other style of carrier, so if you have multiple caregivers wearing baby, that might be something to consider. Popular SSC brands include Ergobaby, Tula, Lenny Lamb, Kinderpack and Infantino. And again, Youtube is a great place to find some excellent videos to learn all about buckle carriers and how to use them safely.
Ring slings are used as a one shoulder carry and fantastic for newborns. They are quick ups, meaning there is very little effort to get them adjusted and comfortable, and they can be used from birth to toddlerhood. Ring slinging my toddler is actually one of my favorite ways to carry her because she so often wants to transition from up to down and back again that it’s just the easiest way to wear her.
A few ring sling tips:
- Start with your rings higher than you think you need them. As you tighten your tail downward, the rings will migrate that way as well.
- Start with less of a pocket than you think you need. The more extra fabric you leave for your pocket, the more you will have to tighten out afterwards. Leaving a smaller pocket will save you lots of effort and frustration.
- Take your right thumb around to your back and hook the end of the fabric. This will help you to adjust the fabric down and smooth it across your back.
Ring slings might be your go to carrier if you like quick ups that don’t take a lot of effort, you don’t mind one shouldered carries and you need a carrier that you can learn to use in ten minutes or less. Ring Slings are so simple to learn and are most popular with caregivers of infants and toddlers.
Stretchy wraps can be considered the ultimate newborn carrier. When using a stretchy wrap, keep in mind that many, like the Moby, have a weight limit of 35 pounds, but may wearers ultimately transition to a different carrier much before that. Stretchy wraps allow newborns to feel closely cuddled and help encourage fourth trimester bonding. While stretchy wraps can be a little complicated to learn at first, they are sure to keep your newborn comfy and safe
Your local babywearing group is a great place to try different carriers. Many groups have lending libraries that will allow you to test carriers at home before purchasing. It can also be helpful to get hands on help learning to wear each one, which can be half the battle.
I have been an admin of the local babywearing group for a number of years and I’ve helped countless parents find and fit carriers. The best carrier really is the one that keeps you comfortable and that you can wear safely, which means that everyone will have different preferences. Some parents opt for several styles while others are most comfortable with and prefer to use a single style.
My preferences have changed as my daughter has gotten older. We used to use woven wraps every single day and now I prefer my soft structured carrier over our woven wraps. Everyone’s different and what you love today, you may not love for the next developmental stage.
Do you have a carrier you love? Share it with us in the comments! You can shop Thirsties cloth diapers at your local retailer or online with Thirsties. For other cloth diaper tips and tricks, you can visit Thirsties on Facebook or join the online community, Thirsties Groupies. And don’t forget to checkout Thirsties Instagram feed, @thirstiesinc.