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Babywearing 101: A Crash Course in How to Wear that Baby!

 img_1127When I first became a Mom, I read about all the benefits of babywearing and knew that I wanted to keep my baby close and reap all the benefits of carrying her around. However, the more I researched, the more confused I got! Which carrier did I want? How does one carrier cost so much? What if I buy it and it doesn’t work for my body? Can I even babywear after all?
 
After three babies and trying numerous baby carriers, I wanted to share what I have learned. This is simply a basic overview of babywearing: the main types of carriers, their cost, some pros and cons of each and some recommended brands.

Ring Sling

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Age: newborn-toddler

Cost: $-$$

Pros:

  • Quick and simple to get on and off
  • Easily adjustable for different people to wear the baby
  • Easy to nurse the baby
  • One piece of cloth that folds up and can fit in a diaper bag or purse

Cons:

  • Not as comfortable if wearing baby for a long time
  • Usually at least one hand is still occupied while wearing baby

Brands to look for: Homemade, Sakura Bloom


Stretchy Wrap

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Age: best for newborn, but can be used up to 25 pounds

Cost: $

Pros: 
  • Baby is held tight and snug (resembling the womb)
  • Easily adjustable for different people to wear
  • One piece of cloth that folds up and can fit in a diaper bag
Cons:
  • The piece of cloth is extremely long and can be hard to figure out how to tie
  • Not as sturdy for heavier children beyond the newborn stage

Brands to look for: Moby, Boba, Homemade


Woven Wrap

Age: newborn- toddler

Cost: $$-$$$

Pros:

  • One piece of cloth that folds up and can fit in a diaper bag
  • Adjustable for more than one person to wear
  • Strong fabric makes it able to support even a toddler
  • Gorgeous, colorful fabrics
  • Extremely versatile- the baby can be worn in the front, back or side.

Cons:

  • One long piece of cloth takes practice tying and adjusting
  • Woven wraps are made of material that is often more expensive

Brands to look for: Elleville Zara,  Oscha Woven Wrap


Tie Carrier 

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Age: 6 months- toddler

Cost: $

Pros:

  • Cost effective
  • Is not bulky and can be folded up

Cons:

  • Not supportive on the back and shoulders
  • Long tie can often drag on the ground and be hard to manage

Brands to look for: Infantino, Homemade


Buckle Carrier

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Age: newborn-toddler

Cost: $-$$$

Pros:

  • Cost effective
  • Comfortable on the shoulders and back, especially for longer periods of time
  • Very easy to put on and adjust
  • Versatile for newborn all the way through toddler

Cons:

  • Adjusted to only one person at a time
  • Cannot be folded to fit into a bag; bulky

Brands to look for:  Ergo, Tula


External Frame

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Cost: $$$

Age: 6 months- toddler

Pros:

  • Great for long hikes
  • Extremely supportive on back and shoulders
  • Extra pockets perfect for day hikes or overnight camping

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • Expensive
  • Cannot be used until the child can sit up on their own

Brands to look for: Kelty, Osprey


A few babywearing 101 tips:

  • If at all possible, find a store that sells multiple carriers and try them all! What works for one person may not work for you!
  • In my experience, you get what you pay for. Some brands are much more expensive, but provide much more support or last longer. Don’t go cheap with a baby carrier.
  • Do your research on hip dysplasia and how a baby should be situated in a carrier. Newborns should be supported differently than a toddler.
  • Practice, practice, practice! It may take a few tries before you get it right, especially in the wrap carriers. 

15 Responses to Babywearing 101: A Crash Course in How to Wear that Baby!

  1. Jacki January 5, 2017 at 8:14 am #

    Ergo is definitely my favorite and I’ve tried several styles. It was great for baby and my toddler and much easier on my back for longer wears. Another tip is “Close enough to kiss!”. I see so many people babywearing (yay!!) but baby is being worn too low.

  2. Emily Music January 5, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    Thanks for sharing! I had very little success baby wearing with my first baby, but hope to put these tips to use with the next!

  3. Shannan Panganiban January 5, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    This is amazing!! Thank you for all these tips and styles!! We love the Ergo personally!

  4. Nicole Banuelos January 5, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

    What a great and informative post! I could never figure out my ring sling carrier but I did love the Moby for the first 2-3 months and the Ergo after that.

  5. Stephanie Gilbert January 5, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

    I love that buckle carrier! There are so many more options for carriers now that my babes are no longer babies!

  6. jessica January 6, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    what a great way to see how they all work! My favorites are the buckle carriers and then then stretchy when they’re real tiny. I can’t wait to wear this baby when she comes out in March.

  7. Justine Y @ Little Dove January 6, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    I love baby carriers but I’d like to get some different kinds if we have more kids. I have a stretchy wrap that I LOVE that’s made of a mesh material and it’s to wear in the water! It’s so nice for the summer when I want to go to the pool or lake with my littles!

  8. Savanna January 6, 2017 at 11:48 pm #

    I love the look of woven wraps but always had a hard time with them! Thanks for these tips!

  9. Ashley Solberg January 6, 2017 at 11:52 pm #

    Oh my goodness! This is such an amazing guide! Love that you showed variety and what each is good for too <3

  10. Coppelia January 7, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

    I loved my Moby wrap & you are absolutely right on the con of how hard it is to figure out at first! Once you get the hang of it, though, it’s awesome!

  11. Rachel January 7, 2017 at 11:07 pm #

    I love baby wearing! My favorites are the Infantino Mei Tai and the Ergo! 🙂

  12. Patricia January 8, 2017 at 12:30 am #

    What a great and comprehensive list this is! I’ve only ever used the ergo but I would definitely like to try some different styles if we are blessed to expand our family in the future!

  13. Amber Starr January 8, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

    Great post, especially for babywearing newbies! I absolutely love my Ergo and ring sling. I was actually surprised at how long I have been able to use the ring sling and it’s so simple to use.

  14. Beth Newcomb January 8, 2017 at 9:38 pm #

    I couldn’t live without our Sakura Bloom ring sling! #babywearingforthewin 🙌

  15. Taylor January 9, 2017 at 9:55 am #

    This is great! I love babywearing too! Thank you for these tips!