Strollers are great and we’re grateful for their existence, but wrapping your baby on your back is really considered the first stroller. When you’re a mom living in a bustling city, or a mom attempting to get things done with a fussy baby, wearing your baby is what works best.
I discovered babywearing before my daughter was born, and my obsession with learning as much as I could about carriers and positions didn’t hit until shortly after she was born. Simply put, babywearing has saved me in more ways than one. It has given me the confidence to get things done while being an attentive mother.
I’ve worn my daughter at conferences, during meetings, at Disney World, at the grocery store, at airports. You name it: I’ve worn her there. I don’t claim to be a know-it-all in the babywearing department, but I do know a few things. For moms, dads and caretakers of newborns and toddlers, these carriers will likely change your life.
Wraps are probably the most intimidating baby carrier, because they look difficult to get right. Guess what? They aren’t.
Stretchy wraps take some getting used to. Once you get the hang of them, carrying your baby couldn’t be easier. Wraps like the Moby are intended to be worn for smaller babies, whereas makers like Lenny Lamb, Girasol and Oscha make wraps in various fabrics for babies of all sizes. Wraps are versatile, which means you can use them while carrying a baby on your front, side or back. They are customizable, which means other individuals carrying the baby can adjust the wrap to fit them comfortable. They double as blankets, changing pads and bibs, and they really are essential for those looking to wear their baby.
Strollers are great and we’re grateful for their existence, but wrapping your baby on your back is really considered the first stroller.
For moms that don’t think they’re coordinated enough to deal with longer wraps, ring slings are perfect. Not only are they quick and easy to figure out, but, like wraps, they can be used for newborns and toddlers. Ring slings are perfect because you can really get a nice and comfortable fit since you can adjust the fabric around the ring. Moms can discreetly nurse in public while carrying baby in a ring sling They also tend to be the more affordable option for those new to babywearing. I also find them perfect during the warmer months. Less fabric means you and baby can stay cool and comfortable.
Soft structured carriers
If you’ve heard of the brands Ergo, Tula, Boba and Beco, then congratulations! You probably know a few things about soft structured carriers. Because so many brands make these, your best bet is to read up on reviews and the pros of cons before making your purchase. Unlike wraps and ring slings, SSCs, which have buckles and straps, aren’t as customizable. That means, petite women, larger women, shorter women, tall women and even some men may struggle with finding a comfortable fit.
However, it isn’t impossible, and once you’ve found an SSC that works great for you and your baby, you’ll likely sing its praises for months to come. Like wraps and ring slings, you can rock these carriers from newborn on up to toddlerhood. Some brands like Tula have two sizes: a standard carrier and a toddler carrier. This is perfect for parents whose children grow out of the smaller size. Babywearing can still happen comfortably for all in the larger size.
I’ve carried my daughter in so many carriers and they’ve all worked in various situations. During the newborn and infant months, I found wraps and ring slings invaluable. The ring sling, for a while, was especially my favorite, because it was so quick and easy to pop her in and out. As she got older, the soft structured carriers were fantastic for wearing my daughter on my back at Disney World, through airports and in areas where dragging a stroller would have been a pain. Even at 2 years old, my daughter continues to reach up to me and say, “I won wrap, Mama.”
Oh yeah, she knows the powers of babywearing, too.