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Ways to Wear your Kiddo: Wraps, Carriers, and Resources

our first woven wrap. Basic front carry.

Some basics:

-Always follow the safety instructions for every wrap or carrier you use. Use a spotter at first to make sure babe is secure and you feel supported.

-Babe should be close enough to kiss their head without you craning your neck. I see folks wearing their babes way too low. Not only is this uncomfortable for your posture, it’s not safe for babe and their breathing.

-Babe’s chin should be away from their chest so their airways stay nice and open and free

-Only use front facing carriers specifically designed to safely front face – not all carriers are okay for front facing.

-Experiment! buy used! Watch youtube videos! Go to your local babywearing guru for advice and techniques. Not all carriers will work for you and your kiddo; don’t assume that baby wearing or toddler wearing isn’t for you.

our current woven wrap. basic front carry.

woven wraps:

Long pieces of strong cloth that you wrap around you and kiddo in an infinite number of ways. Very comfortable and beautiful. Usually have a steep learning curve and take a lot of practice. Definitely pricey, so look for used. Here’s a great Facebook group for buying used wraps

Pros: beautiful and extremely versatile, lasts through toddlerhood from the newborn stage. 

Cons: expensive, steep learning curve, often too warm during summer months, high maintenance to clean, not great for nursing while wearing-though it can be done

I LOVE THIS RINGSLING. Also, she’s nursing in this photo. While we’re protesting.

ring sling:

A variation of a woven wrap designed to be a bit quicker and more user friendly. Great for getting kiddo in and out quickly and often. Can be used with newborns on up to older toddlers. My personal favorite for getting house work done with a clingy toddler. 

Pros: beautiful and versatile, usable from newborn through toddlerhood, quick and easy, great nursing accessibility 

Cons: expensive, learning curve with placement for max comfort, not the best for long days

 

Moira strapped to me in a soft-structured carry: the original Ergo. As you can see, it’s very secure and comfortable.                                        

soft structured carry:

This is the style I see the most frequently. It’s known for its accessibility for all body types and wearable for newborns through toddlers. You may have seen parents wearing their kiddo in something that looks like a backpack; this is that style. It’s versatile and easy with usually just 2 clips. Typically, people wear the kiddo on their front facing each other. Mo and I stick to this method most of the time. When we’re on a long walk/hike, I may flip her around to carry her facing me on my back to change up the weight. Also, it’s an easy way for babe to see where you’re going.

***Not all carriers are safe to wear baby facing out on your front – you need to look for a “M” shape on the kiddo’s legs to pelvis. The Ergo 360 is specifically designed to safely wear an older infant facing out on your front – there are studies that link improper front facing to hip dysplasia. ***

Pros: widely available, beginner friendly, great for long days/hikes, lots of different designs and styles, fairly affordable especially used, newborn (depending on the style/brand. some require an infant insert for babies under a certain weight or height) through toddler years, most people find nursing easy to do while using these.

Cons: not as versatile as a wrap, not all are ergonomically safe for babe’s hip development, can be a bit too warm in the summer, 

 

      3 days post partum. Moira and I go for our first walk around the neighborhood in a stretchy wrap      

stretchy wrap:

Common for the squishy newborn days. It’s extremely comfortable for you and baby, and you can find them in about any pattern and color. They take some practice as you have to wrap and tie it completely around you before placing the baby inside the wrap which can necessitate adjustments to the tightness of the fit.  Lots of newborns DO NOT want to be put down. Even if you’re not planning to work, it can be nice to stand and stretch without supporting their full weight. I went for walks with Mo just to get out of the house once my spouse went back to work which felt more secure during autumn than hoping my 5 pounder would stay warm in the stroller. Babywearing can help increase oxytocin (the bonding hormone) and therefore milk production for lactation.

**Again, you always want the baby to be close enough to kiss, their chin off their chest, and their face fully visible.**

Pros: hands free with a newborn (need I say more?), extremely comfortable, very affordable, widely available from multiple brands

cons: babies grow out of these around 40 pounds technically, but many are too mobile and strong and wiggle out of these folds before they reach their weight limit, a bit of a learning curve for beginners, a little difficult to nurse in at first 

on the right, I’m wearing Moira in our mesh ring sling while marching in the 4th of July parade on a really hot day.

mesh wrap:

talk about innovative! The greatest thing about these is that they’re mesh and therefore really breathable and so comfortable to wear baby on the hottest of days. I have worn my extremely clingy baby in the shower, the creek, the ocean, the lake, on a speedboat, on the beach, in the pool, even just walking around in the heat of downtown Flagstaff. Some soft structured carries come with a mesh style, which achieves some of the same benefits but don’t dry as quickly from water play. I have only found these online readily available, though mine came from a thrift store, so keep your eyes peeled for this kind!

pros: summer friendly, water play friendly, you can wear babe in the shower which solves 2 problems at once, usually much cheaper

cons: hard to find, slippery – so frequent adjustments needed, not that functional in winter

 

Good luck and happy wrapping!

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