So maybe you’ve heard of this term, baby wearing? Or maybe you just want some help wading through the explosion of baby carrying products that are out there now. Well, I’m here to help. After having a few kids I’ve tried out my share of babywearing slings as well as popular baby carriers.
A friend with young twins recently asked me about how to use a sling style baby carrier. She said with two babies, she just didn’t have enough hands. I told her you can actually carry two babies at the same time, using two slings, but she said, “I’ll start with one, thanks!” Talking with her about my favorite sling, and how to use it, I was reminded of how much I like sharing with other moms about the benefits sling use has brought to our family.
Use a Baby Carrier to Bond with Your Baby
Babywearing is the idea that you carry your baby most of the time, because it makes life easier for the parent by making the baby happier. Advocates of babywearing also say the increased interaction with mom or dad is good stimulation. The most common questions I’ve gotten when I’m out and about with a baby or toddler in a sling carrier are:
“Hey, where can I get one of those?”
“What do you call that?” and “I wish somebody would carry me around like that!” and “Most comfortable seat in the house!”
For those last two, I just smile and agree.
Another common concern is, “Doesn’t that hurt your back?”
The answer is no.
And actually, using a baby carrier is better for your body because it distributes the baby’s weight, instead of concentrating it all in one place, such as your forearms. If you take your chiropractor’s advice and alternate which shoulder you put your babywearing sling on to, that’s even better for your back. The above photo is a nice sample of a baby sling properly fitted at the waistline.
When I carry a little one in a sling carrier, I notice that the baby (or toddler) is held to me securely, and that I can truly use at least one free hand to: grocery shop, unlock a car or house door, or whatever it is I need to do.
Depending on which “carry” the child is in, I may be using another hand to give extra support, or make sure a wiggly child doesn’t wiggle out, or flip back.
In my Experience Baby Carriers are also Great Because They:
- allow you to walk further, do more with baby.
- go faster and be more mobile than you would be in a stroller.
- allow you to include baby in your adult “personal space,” making it less likely that someone will touch your baby without your permission, if that’s a concern for you.
- encourages more interaction with baby, more conversation.
- makes baby happy, because they are ‘up’ and a part of your world.
- help soothe a baby down to sleep.
- give dad lots of extra cuddle time with baby.
Babywearing Wraps Without the Wrapping
There’s also a new company that has taken the inconvenience of wrapping and securing a baby carrier and done away with it.
The Baby K’tan Baby Carrier is made from soft organic cotton.
It can be worn like a regular soft wrap but without all the wrapping. It’s a cross between a sling and a front carrier. If you are interested in getting one (they are really reasonably priced) get your pre-pregnancy T-shirt size. It will hold babies between 8 and 35 lbs. There are no buckles, straps, or wrapping involved.
The carrier is meant to be fit and snug and can be worn in many positions. You can order directly from K’tan, but you’ll have to pay between $10 and $15 in shipping.
If you want to order a Baby K’tan Baby Carrier free shipping, then check out Abe’s Market. They will ship all orders over $49 for free.
The back of this carrier has an “X” shape. Unlike a traditional cloth baby wrap, this is shaped like a pair of tubes.
Moms and dads just simply slip it over their shoulders and place the baby into position. It is easy, and safe. There’s less of a chance for human error when there aren’t any buckles involved.
Baby K’tan offers simple videos for newbie customers on how to safely wear the Baby K’tan baby carrier. They also offer a comparison video that shows how much easier it is to put on a Baby K’tan Baby Carrier than a baby wrap.
Like this wrap?
So do I!
So let’s say you’re ready to give this a try! Where do you start?
I’ve used baby carrier slings for years, and I’ve tried lots of different brands. My absolute favorite all cloth side wearing baby carrier continues to be the Sling-Ezee. And now they’ve tweaked the design to make it even better, and added lots of gorgeous new fabrics.
One of the reasons I love the Sling-Ezee is that it comes in sizes. Sometimes moms think this means the size has to do with the size of the baby — not so! The size is for the mom or dad. If the mom is petite, she’ll need a petite. If dad for instance is very tall, he should get a long, and won’t be able to share his sling with a petite wife.
Over the years, I’ve met lots of moms who said, “Oh, I tried a sling, it didn’t work.”
One of the reasons for that lack of success is a poor fit. If you buy a “one size fits all” sling at a chain store, there’s a good chance it won’t fit you. If you’re petite and you buy a “one size fits all,” baby will be down at your hip, instead of up at your waist. That will feel totally wrong, and of course you won’t be happy with it.
For more on sizing, check out the sling sizing chart at Sling-Ezee.
Front Fitted Baby Carriers for Babywearing Moms and Dads
Now if you are more inclined to wear a front fitted baby carrier sling, check out Belle Baby Carriers. I really like the fact that these are made right here in the U.S.A. They are not hard on your back, either. Unlike most other brands on the market, this baby carrier is specially designed to take the weight off your back. They have designed a simple, ergonomic style that is easy to use for mom or dad and comfortable for baby. If you’ve got a baby between 8 and 30 pounds this baby carrier is ideal for you.
The company makes a special line of their baby carriers with organic cotton and hemp fabrics, too. This particular baby carrier is meant to carry the weight at the waistbelt. Their design brings the weight down to your hips instead of your shoulders. They use steel rings that provide a fail-proof way to secure the waistbelt. If you’d like to learn more about this type of baby carrier, visit their website.