Babywearing is the practice of carrying a baby on one’s body in a sling or other type of carrier. Babywearing is nothing new. People around the world have used material to support carrying their babies for thousands of years. I find that it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the beautiful history of black and indigenous people carrying their children with homemade fabrics.
There are many benefits of babywearing for both the baby and caregiver, including babies who cry less and caregivers who are able to be hands-free.
How do you know which baby carrier is right for you?
What to consider when choosing the baby carrier that’s best for you and for your baby:
- Consider the child’s weight and age
- Your body type
- Physical limitations or issues
- Whether you will be sharing the carrier with your spouse or other wearers
- Activities you plan to do while wearing
All of these factor into which carrier to choose. If there is a babywearing group such as Babywearing International in your city, that would be the best place to start your research. Babywearing groups often have lending libraries and trained educators who allow you to try on and check-out different carriers until you find the perfect one.
Here’s a round-up of the different types of carriers and a few of our picks.
Types of Baby Carriers
Ring Sling carriers are a piece of fabric with two rings on one end; the fabric is threaded through the rings to produce a pouch where baby rides and an adjustable tail This style of carry can be used from infancy to toddlerhood. I like to use ring slings to carry my child upright on the front or on the hip. A ring sling folds up nicely in a diaper bag.
Our Pick: The Moby Ring Sling. It comes at an affordable price and is made of soft, breathable cotton to keep you and baby cool. It also comes in several different stylish options.
Asian Style Carrier
An Asian style carrier has a panel and four ties. The bottom ties go around your waist and the top ties go over your shoulders, cross and wrap around with different options of finishing ties depending on the brand of carrier. This carrier style is very versatile for the different baby stages and size of person babywearing.
Our Pick: Baby K’tan
Stretchy or Woven Wrap
A long strip of cloth that is wrapped and tied to hold the baby to your body. Stretchy wraps are great for infants, while woven wraps accommodate newborns up to toddlers. Wraps offer a large variety of fabrics, patterns and carrying styles. One popular way to use the wrap is for a “front wrap cross carry”. Wraps are really great for those early months as most babies really seem to enjoy being carried in a wrap.
Our Pick: Boppy’s ComfyChic Hybrid Baby Carrier. It’s made of a yoga type material, so it can fit all sizes and is breathable for you and baby. It also has a padded waist belt and wide shoulder straps to evenly distribute your baby’s weight.
Soft Structured Carrier
Often referred to as a “buckle carrier”, this carrier buckles around the waist with two shoulder straps. While this carrier may feel bulkier, it offers an easy, quick two-shouldered carry option which is great for movement and dance.
Our Pick: LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons Six-Position 360° Ergonomic Baby and Child Carrier. The LilleBaby soft structured carrier offers the ultimate support for mom and baby without sacrificing on comfort and airflow. This high-quality carrier is ideal for moms who want more support than the other baby-carrying options, but still want to retain the breathability of a simple cloth wrap. This carrier can grow with your child from newborn to toddlerhood, as it supports babies who are 7–45 pounds. It also has the capabilities to carry babies many different ways — on the front, back, or side.
There are a variety of carrier brands and styles. When wearing your baby, make sure to check their positioning often, make sure they have an open airway, keep baby high on your chest and secured properly. As always, check your specific carriers manufacturing instructions and weight restrictions.