22 Jul BabyWearing: Which carrier to choose
Wear alllll the babies! There is no doubt about the endless benefits that babywearing has for both mama and baby. When it comes to choosing which babywearing carrier it can feel overwhelming, I hope my review of the carriers I have tried and use while babywearing my two kiddos will help you in choosing which wrap or carrier would be best for your family.
- PROMOTES BONDING
- REDUCES INFANT CRYING BY 43%
- HELPS REDUCE POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
- CALMS GAS & REFLUX
- MIMICS THE WOMB – TOOL FOR ‘KANGAROO CARE’ OR SKIN TO SKIN ( wraps and slings)
I’m so happy that I chose to wear my babies, and as a mama who works from home, I think my productivity and sanity depended on it. Babywearing gave me a sense of confidence in my motherhood. By wearing my babes I felt more in tune with their cues, was able to provide comfort for them while doing chores, running errands, working, traveling and more.
As a new mother it reduced my anxiety of taking my new precious bundle out in public because I was in control, by wearing my baby I didn’t feel pressured to have to pass him off to anyone, it prevented unwanted touches from strangers at the grocery store. It also allowed me to take my baby places and ease them into this big busy world without feeling overwhelmed because they were snuggled close.
By my son’s 1st birthday he had been to 15 states and to Canada, and by my daughter’s, 10 states. Babywearing also eased the transition from 1 to 2 kids, keeping my daughter wrapped to me allowed me to chase my toddler around handsfree. Plus I’ve never felt more like superwoman than I have when wearing my babe and nursing at the same time!
A question I get asked a lot is which baby carrier I recommend…
Just like you wouldn’t wear the same shoes to a wedding as you would on a hike, I think there are occasions, and seasons of life for different carriers. I’ve experienced the immense benefits of all the carrier I outline below which is why I feel confident in my investment into each of them.
I’m going to list the brands I have and love, however basically I think having a wrap, a ring sling, and a softshell carrier are beneficial to any family with tiny humans. If purchasing multiple carriers isn’t realistic for you I hope my honest opinion about each of these types will help you make the best decision on which babywearing carrier to choose for you, your baby, and your lifestyle.
I received a Modern Wrap at /.,my baby shower with my first and absolutely loved it. Not gonna lie I was intimidated by it at first but once I tried it I was hooked. We used it so much in the newborn phase that I wished I had a backup for when it was in the wash. When pregnant with my second I was gifted two Solly Baby Wraps, holy-softness there’s no comparing how soft these are!
- This wrap is lightweight and breathable. Living in AZ this is a MUST.
- The material is so soft and comfortable, a total must when wearing your little one, and this style of carrier allows for a level of closeness that is so special.
- No metal so you can wear baby through airport security
- Can fit in most diaper bags
- Wrapping allows you to get a
- Wrapping this (really any wrap) is kind of a pain, if I was running errands I didn’t love fiddling with tieing it especially because I was nervous about the long fabric touching the ground in the process. However: When I was at home I would just wrap it in the morning and keep it on most of the day so I could pop baby in and out without a lot of hassle
- This isn’t necessarily a con but I felt like this type of carrier has a short lifespan in the sense of it was really only useful to me in those very early baby stages.
Note: I also had a Moby wrap and I wasn’t a fan, unfortunately, it was bulky and thick (too hot for us here in AZ.) Another wrap I never owned myself but have tried out (and heard from fellow mamas) that unfortunately just didnt work out was the k’tan wrap. I didnt feel like it was a good fit for baby and I because I couldn’t make it tighter. These wraps may work for some and thats wonderful, there is no one size fits all for babywearing, I just wanted to be sure to give my honest opinion on methods I have tried.
Quick facts about the Solly Wrap – front worn facing inward only – Newborn – 25lbs
When searching for a ring sling I was looking for something that had the aesthetic I liked but wasn’t going to totally break the bank. Then I stumbled upon Wildbird and absolutely fell in love. I could ( and probably will ) write an entire blog post on Wildbird ring slings but I’ll try to stick to a few key points. I discovered ring slings when Tate was about 3 months old and wore him until he was about 20 months (by then I was too pregnant to continue to wear him comfortably.) With my daughter I was very comfortable slinging and began slinging her at 3 days old, she’s now 15 months and I sling her almost every day.
- Very well made ( by moms here in the US! Yay shopping small ) their materials, color selection and quality are just plain dreamy. I’m going to publicly say #SorryNotSorry to the husbands of all my friends who I have gotten completely addicted to WB slings.
- I can wear these slings around the house, out to Target, or to a wedding and feel like I have the perfect carrier for the occasion.
- Fastest baby carrier around -Once you get the hang of slinging it’s so easy to pop babe in and out which I love for running errands or just having the freedom of quick “ups” without hassle
- Versatility: Not only are these great for your little ones from newborn to toddler phases, but you can also carry baby in so many different ways: Front, Hip, Kangaroo, and Back carry.
- Comfort and breathability: I’m pretty sensitive to how a fabric makes me feel (especially living in Arizona’s hot climate!) and these slings are breathable! The linen is so buttery soft once broken in! (there are various fabrics you can get, linen, chambray, modal… other brands make silk slings.)
- Resale Value: Wildbird’s attention to detail and quality make their product worth every penny. Their personal connection and the tribe they have organically built around their brand truly make them more than just a product. These factors are huge contributors to these slings retaining incredible resale value.
It’s going to be hard to think of any but I’ll try!
- Learning curve… Slinging probably has the biggest learning curve when babywearing – however, once I got the hang of it, it quickly became my go-to.
***There are so many resources for slinging. Wildbird has many tutorial videos on their site, a whole facebook community dedicated to fellow Wildbird fans and caregivers willing to help one another gain confidence slinging.
- Wearing baby for long periods of time can begin to wear on you (especially your shoulder) but it’s a muscle you need to build up and eventually it gets easier!
Quick facts about the Wildbird Ring sling – 4 wearable positions – newborns to toddlers (Up to 35lbs)
Soft Shell Carriers
Let me start by saying men can totally rock the above carriers. (TBH my hubs looks extra sexy wearing our babes in a ring sling.) Considering what your spouse will use most is a key factor when choosing a babywearing carrier. I’ve noticed that a lot of men feel more comfortable wearing baby in a SSC – I also prefer them for:
- Long walks or hikes
- When I need to wear baby but also bend down a lot ( due to the head support)
We have the Ergo 360 (now they have a cool mesh option which would be legit!)
- Can wear baby in four positions ( front inward facing carry, back carry, front forward-facing, hip carry)
- Very easy to get the hang of
- Privacy shade for baby (great for the AZ sun!)
- Great support, can wear baby for a long time!
- No metal so you can wear baby through airport security
- Lumbar support waistbelt for extra lower back comfort
- This isn’t a carrier I would rock to a wedding or baby shower because of the aesthetic
- Lots of buckles and velcro so I prefer to wear this for longer carries in this rather than go to all that trouble for a short carry.
- Not a fan of the infant insert so I didn’t wear our newborns in this, I waited until they were 4ish months old, however, I believe some new models don’t require the infant insert.
Quick facts about the Ergo 360 – 4 wearable positions, 12-45 lbs
*Start with newborn infant insert ~0-4 months/7-12lbs, sold separately*
A carrier on my wishlist is the Sakura Bloom Onbuhimo but its lightweight and doesn’t have any buckles or a waistband like traditional sscs do.
It can be worn on front of back, is made from linen (hello gorgeous!) for use with babies 15 -35lbs. who are sitting unassisted, typically about 6 months and up.
Feeling daunted by babywearing? Many of the carriers on the market today have tutorial videos on their site, and offer guidance and support through Facebook groups! I also encourage you to find a local babywearing group in your area. Search facebook, google or talk to a lactation consultant they usually have some resources.
What’s your carrier of choice? Let me know if you’ve decided to jump into babywearing, and if so which babywearing carrier you choose. .