Why Baby Wearing?
There are many reasons why baby wearing is so great. Convenience being at the top of my list. You guys, I don’t know what I would have done without a form of baby wearing for any of my three boys. Two words for you: Hands Free! Hands free is a big enough perk if you ask me but the added bonus that your babe or toddler is attached to you and can’t terrorize everything in sight is like pure bliss. You name it I have probably done it with one of my carriers. House work, laundry, cooking, walking and travelling. On the daily I use a carrier for school pick up and drop off as well.
Not only does baby wearing make motherhood dare I say it easier at times, there are so many benefits for mom and baby. Carrying babies is good for their physical and mental development. Carriers improve yours and babies core muscles and posture. 50% less crying and fussing when carried. Keeping babies close when sleeping can reduce the risk of SIDS and increase your peace of mind. Moms who baby wear are twice as likely to successfully breastfeed. Babies tend to be calmer, more alert, observing and taking in the world around them. Regulates body temperature.
I’ve had several different carriers but here I will only compare the 3 most recent kinds that I use and love. Ergo Baby with Petunia Pickle Bottom, Beluga Baby Wrap & Lille Baby Ring Sling.
Choosing the right carrier for you
Ergo Baby w/ Petunia Pickle Bottom Carrier
Ergo carriers are considered soft structured carriers. Weight recommendation is from 5lbs up to 45lbs. 100% certified organic cotton twill body and 100% certified organic cotton sateen lining. Supports front and back baby wearing. Features a sleeping hood with elastic edge and snap to snap attachments. Hood supports babes head while sleeping in the carrier and protects from sun and wind. Adjusts with 5 different levels for babies growth. Padded waist band and shoulder straps made with high density foam.
Beluga Baby Wrap – The Rachel
This is a wrap style carrier. Suitable for babies newborn to 25 lbs. Beluga wraps are 4.2 meters in length. Made from sustainable and eco friendly bamboo. Unique four way stretch that wearers and babies love. These carriers are honestly the softest I have ever felt. Folds up into attached storage pouch. Fits perfectly in diaper bag without taking up space or adding extra weight. Made locally here in Vancouver BC!
Lille Baby Ring Sling
Sling style carrier suitable for infants from newborn to toddler. Recommended from 7lbs to 35lbs. Made from 100% natural premium linen fabric. Beautifully engraved zinc alloy rings are durable and easy to adjust. Removable pouch for storage. Optional padding provides extra comfort. Available in one adjustable size measuring 27 inches by 78 inches.
All three types of carriers give the benefits mentioned above as well as so many others. I have used a structured style carrier for 11 years and just newly discovered wraps and slings. Ergo feels very supported and distributes the weight evenly. It’s honestly been my go to being so easy to use with two simple clips. Love being able to use it front and back. Some days this thing has saved my life and my ears. Makes long days and trips pleasant with how happy each of our boys has been in it.
While pregnant with Cruz I discovered the Beluga Baby wraps at a local baby market. Haley is super helpful and showed me how easy they were to put on and tie. I had always been interested in trying one but felt like they might be difficult to use and lets me real, no mama wants anything that makes things harder. After trying one on, feeling how incredibly soft they are and how easy it actually was to use I knew I needed one before little Cruzie arrived. I really loved how soft it was against my newborns skin and how it mimics a womb like feeling for baby after birth.
The Lille Baby carrier is the newest we’ve tried but really fell in love with it from the moment I tried it on. I absolutely love that baby is in a side carry position like a little koala bear. Cruz is all smiles feeling like he is being hugged 24-7 in the sling. To be honest, I was a little unsure of how secure the ring sling would be with a 25lb baby starting out in it. Well those thoughts were completely unnecessary because it felt well supported on me and didn’t slip around or loosen at all when wearing him. Cruz loves being next to me in the sling and not just because he can grab my face and tries to rip my top down to find his oh so precious milk makers.
Baby Wearing Safety Checklist
Keeping your baby safe with K-I-S-S-E-S:
Keep your baby close enough to kiss! While you don’t want to constantly be bumping your little one, their head should be close enough to your chin that you can easily bend your head to kiss your baby on their head.
- In View
Keep your baby in view at all times. When wearing your little one, you should always be able to glance down and easily see your baby’s face. The fabric of the carrier should not close over their face. (this would be more of a problem with a sling or a wrap). If the baby is in a cradle position, they should be facing upwards and not toward your body.
- Supported Back
Your baby should be held close to you so that their tummy and chest are against you. Keep their back supported in a natural position. If you gently press your hand against your baby’s back, they should not uncurl or move closer to you.
- Supported Hips
You want to always be sure that the carrier you’re using is supporting your baby’s hips and thighs. Ideally, the baby’s legs should be in a “M” position with their knees higher than their bottom. Their weight borne by their bum and thighs. If the width of the seat portion of a carrier goes from knee to knee, then this will also ensure that gravity pulling on a baby’s weight isn’t putting too much strain on their hips.
- Easy to Breathe
Keep your baby’s chin off their chest, so that their airway is open. Always be sure that you can fit the width of two fingers between your baby’s chin and their chest while they’re in a carrier. Little ones should never be curled so their chin is forced into their chest, as that will interfere with their breathing.
No matter whether you’re using a wrap, a sling, or a soft-structured carrier (and anything in between!), make sure that the carrier is holding the baby very snug against your body. While you obviously don’t want it overly tight as to cut off circulation, keeping your little one tight against you will prevent the baby falling out of the carrier. Any slack or loose fabric can also cause an especially young baby to slump over, possibly restricting their breathing.
Acronym based on the T.I.C.K.S rule for safe baby wearing from the school of baby wearing & the ABC’s of safe baby wearing from baby wearing International.
Honestly all three styles are excellent options. I would have a hard time choosing just one. (Which is why I have all three). I would definitely recommend testing out the different options available. Borrowing them from friends or family to see what works best for you and your baby before purchasing a style you may not like.
If you have one of these three what do you like/dislike about it? If you have another kind you absolutely love drop me a comment I would love to hear about what you are using!