There are many reasons people come to babywearing. For some its is a fundamental part of their parenting (attachment parenting), for others it helps them to manage a baby and other young children’s needs and the logistics involved with having more than 1 little person demanding your attention, for others it’s a purely practical solution for travelling when they cant use their stroller. Whatever your reasons for looking into baywearing are, there is for sure a carrier out there to suit you and your baby.
Carriers are a very personal thing and what might suit one person may not be the best choice for another. Some carriers are a one size fits all, some brands come up small or big therefore might suit a more petite person or a taller broader person better. At Eggs & Soldiers we have over 40 different types of carrier and our staff can help you choose the right one for you. If you’d like some expert help, book a consultation with Sarah from Luxe Carriers. Sarah is a qualified babywearing consultant offering both consultations and carrier fittings in our store or at your home.
We picked Sarah’s brains for some information on each type of carrier to help you:
So you are trying to wrap your head around babywearing and want to know what types of carriers there are out there. From wraps to slings to buckled carriers, there is a whole world of devices out there you can wear your baby in and we don’t want to overwhelm you so let us simply introduce to you 4 main types of carriers that you can wear your baby or toddler in.
A few points to note when looking for the right carrier for you:
- The seat of the carrier should go from baby’s knee to knee
- Baby’s bottom should be in the optimal M shape – Bottom lower than knees
- The carrier should support (and doesn’t straighten) the baby’s spine from the neck all the way down to their bottom
- The carrier should allow the wearer to keep baby above their belly button
- The carrier should be tight so that the baby becomes part of the wear’s center of gravity
A wrap consists of a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around baby and the wearer. Wraps can be stretchy or woven.
You tightly wrap the jersey fabric around your body and tie it at your hips. Once it is on, slide baby in so that their head is close enough to kiss. This carrier is perfect for new born babies as it best mimics the womb and is great for doing skin to skin. I recommend a stretchy over an insert in a soft structured carrier. A stretchy wrap is the better option for wearing premature babies in as there are no buckles, straps or seams to press on the tiny baby’s body.
Woven wraps come in a range of sizes, designs and combinations of fabrics from gauze (good for warm weather), cotton, linen, wool, and other fabrics. Although it can take some getting used to, a woven wrap can be very versatile and allow you to carry your baby in a great variety of positions
A ring sling is a long piece of fabric (about as long as a bath towel) that has 2 rings (made of continuous pieces of metal) sewn securely into one end of the fabric. You need to thread the fabric through the rings like a belt and wear the sling across your shoulder. Baby either sits on the front or hip of the wearer. There are other positions you can use with a ring sling, but these are dependent on their age and baby’s developmental milestones. A ring sling is a fast and convenient way to carry your baby when you need to quickly pop into the shops or pick up another child on the school run.
The Mei Tai is an Asian invention! It is a square piece of fabric with shorter straps that tie around the wearer’s waist. Then there are longer straps that go over the wearer’s shoulders and cross around back and hips until there is no more fabric. The Mei Tai is very comfortable and can be a lot lighter to wear than a woven wrap. It is also more flexible for baby and wearer.
The design of the SSC (also know as a Buckle Carrier) comes from the Mei Tai. Instead of using long pieces of fabric to tie around the wearer’s body there are adjustable bands that click around the wearer’s waist with a strong buckle and adjustable straps that go over the shoulder. Like a backpack, but worn in front. These are the most common and favored carriers. Please note that some of these types of carriers are suitable from 6m+ but an insert can be used to make it suitable for newborn babies, others are suitable from newborn without the use of an insert.