Babywearing from Birth to Toddlerhood
Babywearing is practiced by parents all over the world with all kinds of carriers. From structured child-carrier backpacks to knit wraps to papooses, the principle is the same: babies love to be held close by their moms and dads, and parents love to have free hands. Whether you’ve got a brand-new baby, a six-month-old, or a toddler, here are some of the best practices for child wearing.
NewbornsMake sure your baby is very secure in the sling, wrap, or carrier. Most newborns prefer a nice, tight swaddle that mimics the security they felt in the womb. A super-secure carrier is not only more comfortable for baby, but also ensures he can’t slip out. It’s also very important to make sure your baby’s head is properly supported and that chin-to-chest positioning is minimal (chin-to-chest can increase risk of restricted airflow).
Some great newborn carriers include:
- The Ergobaby with infant insert. It’s designed to evenly distribute your baby’s weight between your hips and shoulders so you don’t get sore. The infant insert helps support your baby’s head and neck in a natural position. The Ergobaby is available in lots of colors and fabric styles, like vintage blue, natural linen, and even patterns like Sea Skipper.
- The Happy Baby Wrap. This flexible knit wrap has lots of position variations based on how you wrap it. It also helps distribute baby’s weight for optimal comfort, and allows baby to be right up against your body without getting too hot. It comes in polka dot, sapphire, sea foam, slate, slate stripe, and sunshine, so you can match your wrap to your outfit or mood. You can even use the wrap as a belly support during pregnancy!
- The Sakura Bloom Sling. Slings are as stylish as they are functional. The Sakura Bloom slings are made of flax linen, so they are stronger than cotton and naturally antibacterial. They are also thermo-regulating, which means you stay cool and dry in the summer and warm and cozy in the winter. The slings come in a variety of colors in both the linen style and the chambray style, and there’s even a silk option for extra style and comfort. Here’s a demo of how to wrap your newborn in a sling.
As your baby grows bigger and stronger, you may find that different positions are more comfortable. Your little one is getting heavier, which means weight distribution for your body is changing. Some babies prefer to look outward to see the exciting world around them, and some prefer to face inward. Here are some carrier options for babies three months and up:
- The Ergobaby Four Position 360 Carrier. It allows you to hold your baby in four comfortable positions: front-inward, front-outward, on your hip, and on your back. The supportive design is consistent with all Ergo carriers and makes carrying your baby easy and comfortable. It also comes with a cool option for those hot months. You can even purchase teething pads for the shoulder straps or a teething bib for the carrier so your baby can gnaw safely while you are out and about.
- The Ergobaby Wrap. Newborns aren’t the only ones who crave bodily closeness when they’re being carried. The Ergobaby Wrap (available in Eucalyptus or Clay) is supportive for babies and parents, and can be worn in different positions as your baby grows. Here’s a tutorial for wrapping babies with the Ergo wrap.
Wearing bigger kids isn’t for everyone, but many parents enjoy toddler-wearing. For the most comfortable hold, you might need to switch what kind of carrier you use. Look for something that provides lots of support and distributes weight properly so you don’t hurt your shoulders or back.
The Ergobaby Adapt 3 Position Child Carrier is a great option for parents carrying toddlers or big babies. It’s compatible for babies as newborns without an infant insert and can carry kids as big as 45 pounds. The classic Ergo lumbar support waistbelt and padded shoulders make carrying comfy and safe.