Baby wearing is not a new thing, but right now it certainly is very trendy. Long before strollers, mothers family members and other caregivers would tie the baby to them and carry on with life. Years ago, mothers had to carry on with whatever they were doing and children had to be integrated into life. When they could no longer be carried they were taught to help. We have fallen away from that in recent years. However, parents and researchers have noticed the benefits that go along with baby wearing including improved breastfeeding success rates, improved attachment, and improved maternal confidence and mood (there are a lot more benefits that deserve attention as well for more information on them please see Dr. Sears or LLL).
There are countless ways to wear your baby, one of them in bound to work for you. Years ago, there were not as many carriers available on the retail market as there are now. Parents wishing to babywear were deemed ‘crunchy’ and carriers were mostly available online or at green baby stores. Thankfully, baby wearing has become more accepted in mainstream parenting and now parents can even purchase quality carriers at Target. One of my favorite carriers is a Soft Structured Carrier known also as a buckle carrier, where the straps can be adjusted like with backpacks and fasten with buckles. It holds the baby close to the care giver in a variety of positions: hip, back, and front (see individual carrier for instructions). These carriers can be fairly expensive but they are very comfortable and useful well into toddlerhood.
baby carrier
While They Baby Bjorn and other forward facing “crotch danglers” are very popular they are not the carriers that I recommend to parents. The forward facing position, with the knees below the infants’ bottom, puts a lot of stress on the infants’ lower back and pelvis. Another type of carrier that I adore is Mei Tai carriers, they are similar to soft structured carriers in that they have shoulder and waist straps with a body panel. However, the straps are tied not buckled. These carriers are fashioned after Asian carriers that have been used for thousands of years. They may look complicated but are really very easy to use.
Another carrier type that is getting a lot of attention these days is wraps. Essentially wraps are just a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around the baby and care giver. There are countless ways to wrap- some easier than others. There are two basic kinds of wraps- woven and stretchy. Stretchy wraps are great for infants (not necessarily for preemies). Woven wraps offer more support and are more suited to older babies and toddlers. Wraps have a very definite learning curve but they can quickly become a staple in your baby wearing arsenal.
My first baby wearing adventure was using a ring sling. They have been my favorite carrier from the beginning and will always have a place in my heart. I found them easy to use and very vesicle. I was able to wear my premature infants in a front carry and nurse them. As they grew up I had them more on my hip. When I needed to get them out of the way for cooking or what not, I scooted them over on my back. Believe it or not I will miss baby wearing when my little ones are too big to pop on my back for an outing. It is comforting for babies and caregivers re-enforcing the bonds that can get tangled in a fast paced busy life.
Choosing the right carrier can be overwhelming but a lot of areas have local baby wearing groups that have a lending library and allow moms to rent a carrier to try before you buy. They can also be a great source for help troubleshooting any carrier problems and offering any advice. Baby wearing is great for moms as well as babies. Give a sling a swing- see how it works.


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