Babywearing 101

Babywearing is one of the oldest traditions of parenting around the world. It just feels intuitive to keep a baby close, and it is such a good attachment tool. Here are just a few of the many benefits of carrying your baby:

Carried babies cry less. Babies that are held cry less than babies that spend a large amount of time in strollers, playpens, or car seat style carriers. Babywearing allows parents to be in tune with their babies needs for food, diaper changes, or love.

Enhanced development. Babies in arms spend a greater amount of time in the "quiet alert" behavioral state, the optimal state for learning. These babies are intimately involved in their parent's world, more engaged in what is going on around them, and able to learn from human interaction. Babies in arms are at the center of activity rather than the center of attention, which is a healthy atmosphere for development of sense of self.

Develops strong attachment to parents. Babies love to be held. This communicates to them that they are loved and cared for. Babies know they are safe when they can feel your heartbeat, hear your breath, and look up at your face. Keeping your child close provides warmth, comfort, and security. All are essential to healthy development and promote bonding between parent and child.

Lowers stress level of infant. Studies have shown that infants who could not feel or see their caregiver have more stress hormones circulating through their bloodstreams. Stress irritates the baby's digestive system causing the baby to spit up more often and increases the occurrence of diaper rash. Using a baby carrier calms your baby and allows you to address fussiness, swaddling, reflux, as well as colic.

Freedom of movement. Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean your life is on hold, so make things a little easier on yourself with a baby carrier. Free your hands to allow for playtime with other children, go to the park, for trips to the grocery store, or to accomplish day-to-day activities and still be in close physical contact with your baby.

Types of Baby Carriers

Wraps: A wraparound carrier, or wrap, is the simplest baby carrier. It is a long piece of fabric that is used to tie the baby to you. It has been used across the globe in many cultures because of the versatility and simplicity. Wraps are one of the most comfortable baby carriers for you and your baby. There are hundreds of ways to wrap your baby, so there is a carry style for everyone. Weight is evenly distributed across your shoulder, back and waist. The sleepywrap is a great example of a wrap that can be used on the front or the back, from newborn to toddler phase.



Pouches: A pouch is a tube of fabric with a curved seam sewn in the middle providing a "pouch" for baby to sit in. Pouches are non-adjustable and custom fit to the wearer. Pouches use a one shoulder style carry and are very easy to use. Pouches are excellent for quick trips and errands. They can be used for a newborn carry, upright carry, and a hip carry. Hotslings is the original designer pouch-style baby carrier, and still the best. Hotslings are the perfect marriage of fashion and function; they come in great colors and patterns and can even be purchased at Target. There are no fasteners or hardware to worry about and the streamlined design is geared toward the comfort of both the parent and the baby. Hotslings pouches have minimal padding so they’re extremely compact and easy to carry. They also allow you the flexibility of moving the baby around on your body quickly and easily from front to hip to back with no adjusting, unbuckling or retying. We love the stretch fabric option because it has a little give. Another great pouch option is the Peanut Shell, made of a variety of fabrics with stylish and thoughtful details that go with any style. The fabrics are adorable, some are reversible, and they also have matching nursing covers, which makes for the perfect public-nursing combo. Each pouch also has a toy loop and pocket.



Ring Slings: Ring Slings are adjustable pouches where the sling material loops around the body and gets passed through two rings at the shoulder. The fabric that gets pulled through the rings is called the tail. The tail and the adjustability are what makes the ring sling appealing to many moms. Rockin’ Baby Slings are reversible ring slings that can be adjusted while you wear them by pulling on the tail or sides of the tail. Rockin' Baby Slings actually live up to their name: they are fun and funky, and work really well. The tail is extra long to shade baby from the sun or use as a cover while nursing. This sling is also a good choice if you plan to share it with loved ones of a different size (that's right, hubby) because it has such a wide range of adjustment. Rockin’ Baby Slings can be worn in five different carrying positions , to match baby’s mood and development, from birth to around 3 years of age or 40 lbs. For a luxury ring sling, check out Bronwen Handcrafted ring slings. These handmade slings are crafted of gorgeous and luxurious fabric. The tail is made of fine fabric and it is nice to have for nursing because it can cover up a bare midriff. It can also be used as a pillow for the baby, wrapped around the rings or tucked underneath the sling if you don't want to show it off. In this sling babies can be carried in the cradle hold, upright hold, kangaroo hold, side carry, and hip carry. Bronwen wins for beautiful fabrics, and check out their baby shoes, too.



Flexible Knit Slings - These super-soft slings have a stretch to make for extra comfort for baby. Serene Sling makes a sling that’s as comfortable as your favorite knit top. Unlike other slings that bind and confine, the serene sling is flexible so it hugs your baby without being too tight. Wear it everyday around the house, out shopping or on a long trip, it's always handy and folds down small to tuck away in the diaper bag. The deep pocket style keeps baby comfy and cozy so you can stay active and your baby can stay close.



Adjustible Pouch Slings - the adjustible pouch is similar to the ring sling, but doesn't involve the two rings and the tail that hangs down. There is a simple clip that allows you to tighter or loosen the baby's hold. Therefore, it's a bit more portable, while still offereing the same flexibility. Balboa Baby's adjustable sling is so soft and comfortable. Designed to grow, the Balboa Sling offers comfort and hands-free motion and promotes bonding. The unique contoured, padded strap evenly distributes your baby’s weight while maintaining a sleek appearance. Conveniently added, the pocket carries your belongings as you carry your most precious one.



Soft Pack Baby Carriers - This carrier in its most basic form has a rectangular or square shaped body and four straps - one coming from each corner of the body piece. They have been used for centuries in many Asian cultures. Today there are modern variations such as padded straps, buckles, and clips. ERGObaby’s baby carrier design supports a natural sitting position for babies, eliminating compression of the spine and hips that can be caused by unsupported suspension. The baby carrier also balances the baby's weight to parents' hips and shoulders, and alleviates physical stress for the parent. We love that they are made of organic cotton, and have a unisex look that dad won't mind wearing.

So how do you decide which carrier is right for you? Different carriers are appropriate for different needs. How long you wear your baby, how old your baby is, what you plan on using your carier for, and your budget are things to consider when choosing a baby carrier.

7 comments:

  1. So grateful for this post. I'll be tucking it away for future reference.

    Cheers,
    Kristen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing design!! Check out the wide range of Organic Cotton Baby Sling from Spacify.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow..they have become so stylish~
    sandy toe

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for putting a pic in of a man. I'm actually continually disheartened by the way that all things baby are marketed towards mom...like dad doesn't cuddle with, play with, feed, or generally parent his baby. My hubby and I both rocked the wrap and a carrier when Ben was tiny and had colic.

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  5. How do you know which one you want to get unless you try them all out first? Kind of overwhelming with the number of choices!

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  6. Love your post it was great to see so many carriers in one place, I just want to give a small tip:
    When wearing a pouch with a bigger child sitting up like in the picture above it is much more comfortable if you put the pouch on with the opening down. Then when you put your baby in it is much more comfortable and the baby comes closer to your body.

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  7. Thanks for writing this post! New moms need good information about the great baby carrier options out there - as one poster said, the choices can be overwhelming!

    I did want to mention that the picture of the Adjustable Pouch you feature does not look like a good position for that little baby. The sling is not snugly enough against the mama and that baby's is squished down into the fabric rather than held snugly and safely.

    A lot of these types of slings are available at our website www.CarryMeAway.com. We also have a Learn section, which can help your readers choose the right carrier for them! http://carrymeaway.com/articles.html

    Cheers,
    Laurel
    Carry Me Away

    ReplyDelete

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