Babywearing for Beginners

Posted February 29, 2016 by Julie in Parenting, TopPosts / 57 Comments


Do you struggle with finding ways to do anything with a baby around? My little guy always wanted to be held so getting anything done around the house or on the computer was nearly impossible.

Babywearing is a great option, and I’m certainly a fan. It frees up your hands and keeps the baby close to you, so win-win. I’ve tried multiple types of carriers over my first year with Baby H, so I thought I would share my experience with you.

Learn about Babywearing and Wear Your Baby Like a Pro

Learn the Best Baby Carrier Options for You

 

Baby Carriers for Newborns/Infants

wrapThe first baby carrier I tried when Baby H was a newborn was the wrap. This one I feel has a huge learning curve. It felt like I was doing a magic ribbon dance every time I wrapped myself and baby. People love this option because you can do so many carrying positions with one wrap. I personally used it maybe twice. An example wrap is the Boba.

 

 

ringslingThe next type I tried was the ring sling, and I think I used this one the longest. It too has a learning curve, but when my friend showed me how to use it on myself, it really clicked. It slings over one shoulder and centers the baby in front of you, though you can do multiple positions with this carrier as well. I wore him a lot with the ring sling, at home and out. An example ring sling is the Beco.

 

 

Baby Carriers for Toddlers and Older Infants

 

meitaiAfter a while, Baby H was just getting big and wiggly, and I wanted something that was quicker to use, especially at the grocery store. This was when I switched to the Mei Tai carrier. It puts on like an apron, then folds up, and the ties cross behind your back, splitting the weight evenly. I felt a lot more in control with this carrier, and it was easier to put on and adjust. An example Mei Tai carrier is the Infantino.

Recommended Post:  The Shift Working Mom and the Child Care Conundrum, Guest Post by The Mama Nurse

 

 

ergoAs my little man kept growing, though, I felt I needed something with more structure. I also needed something very quick because he was even more wiggly, and it is difficult to wrap a wiggly baby without a second pair of hands. So I got a structured carrier, the Ergo, and I love it. I put it on around my waist, click. Then I stick the baby in the pouch and click the clasps behind my neck/over my shoulders. Two clicks, done. This has been a fantastic option for me and the most comfortable. I’ve loved using this for my older baby, but you can get an insert for newborns as well.

> > Click here to learn more about the Ergobaby carrier.

 


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There are many different types of baby carriers, and the brands and costs vary. You can also buy them second hand at yard sales and other mom-to-mom resale groups. I absolutely recommend babywearing and am happy to have been able to try various styles and finding some that worked for me at different stages.

If you want to learn more about baby wearing, visit BabyWearingInternational.org and see if there is a local chapter to you. If there is a BWI chapter near you, you can join as a member and try out a new carrier each month. You can read about the benefits of babywearing on the BWI website.

Have you tried babywearing? What is your favorite carrier? What “chores” are you able to do with the baby in the carrier?

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Wear your baby like a pro. Learn the basics of babywearing and the best baby carriers for newborns, infants and toddlers.

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JuliepicI'm Julie, a new mom who works full time and blogs, all while wishing I had more time to read fun books. I write about being a first time working mom in order to help myself and other working moms in our journeys to find balance between family, responsibilities, and hobbies so we can thrive both at home and at work.
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57 responses to “Babywearing for Beginners

  1. Heather

    Hi! We love baby! With my oldest, I only used a wrap. I made two for $15! so much cheaper than buying a Moby wrap and it was nice to have two so that when one was dirty from lots of use, we had another on hand. With my 9 month old, I found a k’tan carrier for $10 through a facebook group…for mommas tha like Moby wraps, but are tired of the time and hassel of tying them on, the k’tan is a great option…the only complaint I have is that the material was sooo stretch.

    Next we moved on to a baby bjorn, another resale purchase, for $2! Which is great for short trips out of the house (an hour or two). It has great back support, is so easy to get on, and slide baby in, and so easily adjustable. But, mommas new to baby wearing need to be aware of that some styles of carriers should only be used for short time periods. And the origional baby buorn is one of those. It is a y shaped carrier, aka a “crotch dangler” and used for long periods of time can create a potential for hip problems. But for short use, like an hour or two here and there, they are great.

    I really, really wanted an ergo, but couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. Then I stumbled on an evenflo natural soft structure carrier. Regular price, they are $25, but I found it through resale for $10. I am absolutely in love! I love the back carry. I can get so much more housework done, cooking is easier, I can reach the sink to wash dishes, and my always wants to be held baby is so happy. Baby wearing rocks. And I love having multiple carrier options. My next purchase will be a ring sling!

    • Thanks Heather! I love having multiple carrier options too! I got a lot of mine second hand and that really helped. I haven’t tried to back carry yet but I know my Ergo has that option. Glad you’ve been able to try out so many different carriers:)

  2. I had no desire to babywear with my first daughter and I really don’t think she would have liked it either. We’re still trying to find something that works with baby #2. I have two stretchy wraps (one is a Boba) and I really don’t like them. They were ok at first, but they’re such a pain! I don’t think baby cared for it much either. One of the moms from our mom group is letting us borrow her mei tai for as long as we want and I like it a lot better so far. I still need to work on getting her sitting in it correctly and keep it from not pinching me if I take part of it off to nurse, then put it back on, but hey. I’ve only had it a few days. lol I’d secretly still like to get a soft structured carrier eventually, but sshh. Don’t tell my husband. lol

    • After trying many types, I definitely prefer the structured carrier type. Try looking for a used one at a garage sale or something like that?

  3. I did a little baby wearing with both of my babies. I have the Moby wrap. I didn’t use it too much. I did more with baby #2 because she wanted to be held more. It did come in handy, but I found when the weather got warm the girls got hot when they were in them. I have never tried any of the others. Thanks for linking up with us at Friday Funday and we hope you come back next week!

    • That is a good point, when it is hot out you both overheat quickly when babywearing. I mostly do it around the house or grocery shopping, or in cooler outside temperatures.

  4. I was just like you – my son wanted to be carried all the time so I would never get anything done until I started using my carriers. They were a Godsend! I learned to wrap using YouTube videos, but it wasn’t until I went to a local babywearing meeting that I really got how to wrap my son in one. There is a huge learning curve, but once you get it, it is so comfortable! My go-to though is still my structured carrier, especially now with a 32 lb toddler. I still us the structured carrier, especially when we go to Disney. It’s so much easier to put a sleepy toddler in the carrier when using Disney transportation, have him fall asleep, and then I have my hands free to carry the stroller, bags, etc back to the room and have him stay sleeping on mom.

    I also had a ring sling that I used when he was smaller, but it’s made with stretchy fabric, so that lasted only a little while. Once he got too big, it was just uncomfortable to use but is a great option for when you’re cooking or something because you can just hip carry and go. I’ll definitely be using my carriers with baby #2 when she comes! #FFBH

    • Yes, going to a meeting and getting help from a friend were so important to me! I don’t know that I would have stuck with it since it didn’t click right away. Though the structured carrier clicks in my mind easily – I haven’t tried the other carry positions so I’m sure they will be a learning curve as well.

  5. I had the same type of experiences with my wrap when my littles were…well, little. I love our structured Boba Air carrier these days. It’s perfect for front or back carries and as long as my back holds out, I can still use it until #babyD gains another 10 lbs or so.

  6. I love baby wearing, I didn’t even know it was a thing. I just did it because it was easier than having a stroller with my daughter. I really want a really nice one with my next baby.

    • There’s side and back carry positions for non-newborns too, but I haven’t tried those so I don’t know how difficult they are. Thanks Trista!

  7. I used to love the feeling of carrying mine around when they were tiny and I kinda miss it, they’re so big now! Love your post x

  8. My son is 10 months old, and I still wear him daily! It has been a life saver, as he is a fussy baby, to this day. Thanks for sharing your post on This is How We Roll!

    • Oh yea, babywearing is great for soothing the fussy ones – right up until they start walking and no longer want to be held all the time, unless it is on *their* terms lol. Can you tell what I’m dealing with? Thanks Andrea!

  9. This is a great little introduction to babywearing. I had a babasling when my son was a baby but he didn’t take to it at all so we used a buggy most of the time. When I had my daughter though I knew life would be easier if I could wear her, so I borrowed a stretchy wrap from a friend which I loved. Then as she got bigger I borrowed a ring sling which I still use occasionally now (she’s just turned 2 but is nearly too big for it), I’m really sad to have to stop using it as I love having her that close to me. x

    • Thanks Madeline! You might want to look into a structured carrier then, they seem to have a higher weight range than the more flexible ones like ring slings.

  10. Great post. We started with the Bjorn (HATE!) and quickly moved on to the Mai Tei which I loved and used as long as I could. I no longer wear our girl although now at almost three and going on holiday soon I did consider getting back into it and would love to know what you would recommend for toddler to preschooler age? Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub with this!

    • I wear my 16-month-old in the Ergo, which is a structured carrier. I think they are better suited for larger weights because of the structure and the way it distributes the weight. Definitely check out options and weight limits. Thanks Talya!

  11. Great comprehensive review. I started off with a wrap but got tired of all the tying, adjusting and having to support baby’s head whenever I leaned forward, switched to a structured carrier from Lille Baby. I gave the wrap away so it’ll be interesting to see how I feel about going straight to a structured carrier with a newborn if we’re lucky enough to have a no. 2 baby.

    • You know, I’ve wondered that too. The structured is great for older babies, but I don’t know how easy it will be with newborns. I’ve heard some carriers have inserts you can buy to raise the newborn up in the carrier, but I’ve also heard hacks that you can just roll up some baby blankets and use them as an insert. Guess I’ll find out when we decide to have a second little. Cause I’m right there with you, the wrap is just too much. I’ll probably stick to the ring sling with a neborn though, if I don’t forget how to use it again. Thanks Robyn!

    • I haven’t tried back carry yet, that seems a bit daunting. My Ergo can also do side-carry, but I haven’t tried that yet either.

  12. My wife definitely wants to get a sling of some sort. I think it would make my life a bit easier too if I want to keep writing this much!

    • It definitely would make it easier to keep writing, at least while your baby is little. My Toddler now is happy to be worn if I’m moving around, but if I sit down he wants to wiggle out.

  13. Those look really cool and comfortable. When my boys were toddlers they had those strap on back pack types that were really uncomfortable for me. #coolmumclub

    • There are so many different types now, there really is something for everyone, since we all have different preferences. I’m happy to have been able to try out 4 different types.

  14. Hi Julie! I love baby wearing! We used a Moby when my daughter was an itty bitty, but now I’m obsessed with my Lillebaby carrier. It has a lumbar support, so it’s super comfy! I actually broke down and bought a second Lille in a different color because I loved it so much 🙂

    • I’ve heard great things about the Lillebaby too. It is a structured carrier, like the Ergo that I’m using, so I bet I would love it too.

  15. I wore my babies a lot. My favourite carrier was one I had actually bought from the person who was teaching a Salsa Babies dance class (you wear your baby while dancing / exercising). It’s almost identical to the wrap. I loved it and it allowed me to wear my girls all the way into toddlerhood.

    Thanks for these pointers and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

  16. I did some baby wearing with my son, and we used something like the Mei Tai. He loved going to the grocery store and “helping” me push the cart. When the twins came around, I didn’t even try. I would have loved to, but twin carriers are a lot more expensive, and the twins are a LOT more weight to carry around. 🙂

  17. I wish I would have started wearing my daughter sooner than I did. It really was very useful, especially since she always wanted to be held (heck, at 3 years old she still wants to be carried!). I had the Ergo carrier when she was a bit older, but I think next time around I will try to use a wrap. Such great information!

    Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!

  18. I haven’t had much luck with babywearing. 🙁 The wraps made me nervous and the BabyBjorn that we received doesn’t seem very comfortable. Plus, #BabyGoodwin is a big ol’ baby (was almost 20 pounds when I last tried to wear him) and I’m so short and little that it’s awkward to carry him. I’ll have to try again, though… Really thought I would carry him a lot!

    • Baby H is about 27 pounds but I still carry him comfortably in my Ergo. There are soooo many carriers out there and they do have a learning curve, but are amazing once you find what fits with you.

  19. I had 4 different baby carriers, and my fave was absolutely the simple sling. Maybe not the most attractive, but it was versatile (worked from birth to 2 years) and easy to use.

    • That’s great that you tried out different carriers and found one that you loved. I’m with you that a versatile one that lasts through different stages is best. Thanks Lana!

  20. I had a wrap and a Baby Bjorn but i didn’t use them as much as i’d like. With the next one I’d like to try a ring sling and a main tai. This post was really helpful. Thank you #TwinklyTuesday

  21. I have great memories of baking and frosting not one but two birthday cakes while my youngest slept in our bjorn carrier 🙂
    Baby wearing is awesome but you are right that there can be steep learning curves. The best advice I could give is to have an experienced friend show you how to use your wrap/carrier in person!

    • Yes definitely! Having someone show you in person is wonderful. My friend who actually gave me my ring sling taught me to use it on myself. I also went to a babywearing international meeting to learn how to use other wraps.

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