I have now discovered how wonderful it is to wear my baby. I wore my older son, who is now 6, but the carrier I used was not ‘great’. My baby is now 3 months old and I have been wearing him constantly. As a working mom I want to have time to bond with my baby. Using a carrier to wear him allows us to develop this bond. He is safe and secure and very calm when I wear him.
The best part about wearing him is that I am ‘hands free’ so I can give my older son the time and attention he needs. In my new found passion for baby wearing I have bought 3 new carriers. This is much to the dismay of my husband who felt that the ‘old’ carrier we had would be just fine. I wanted to share my personal experience with these carriers thus far.
his is a long piece of fabric that you ‘wrap’ around yourself. An example is the Moby wrap or the Boba wrap. It took some getting used to. I was very intimidated by the length of the fabric. However after using You Tube to get me started and lots of practice I thoroughly enjoyed my wrap! When my baby was first home and weighed less than 6 pounds I felt he was very secure in the wrap. It gave him great support, even when I had to bend down and pick up toys. The drawback with the wrap was trying to use it in the parking lot of the grocery store. It was way too cumbersome for that.
The ring sling is exactly what it sounds like. It goes over one shoulder and has 2 rings that the fabric slips through. It took some practice to keep my son in an upright position, he had a tendency to slip down and his chin would touch his chest. But after practice this has become my “go to” carrier. I keep it with me at all times. I can slip him in when I am grocery shopping or going to church. He is close to me and in the cold weather I would just zip my coat up over him. He stayed warm and cozy. I may have looked like I needed to lose a few pounds, but it also kept him safely away from curious strangers. A word of caution with ring slings. You can find them homemade on Etsy, but you have to be sure the rings are sturdy enough to hold the weight of your baby. The Maya Wrap is one brand that has a good reputation.
This is a carrier with buckles. It offers the ability to hold your baby in many positions as they grow. The Ergo and Lenny Lamb are some examples of this type of carrier. The Ergo can be equipped with a “newborn insert” so you can wear your newborn. I found this insert to be cumbersome. When I swaddle my newborn and wear him with the ergo I think it works quite well, however this type of carrier seems to be best suited for slightly older babies. Whatever carrier you choose there are a few ‘rules’ to be aware of. The most important rule is that your baby should never have their chin against their chest. This can cause breathing problems. Your baby should always be close enough that you can kiss the top of their head. Also, the baby’s bottom should always be lower than their knees.
Whichever carrier you choose the benefits of babywearing are well documented. This includes improved bonding and increased success with breastfeeding. So go pick out a carrier (or two … or three) and enjoy spending time with your baby! And if you have questions about wearing your baby or what type of carrier might be best for you come to a playgroup run through the Midwives of New Jersey. The Moms that are part of these playgroups have a lot of experience wearing their babies and would be delighted to talk to you!