Babywearing 101: Part Two

Originally Published on May 10,2016 

In Part One of our Babywearing 101 Series, we discussed why wearing babies is so awesome and your basic carrier options. In Part Two, we're discussing each option in depth so you can decide what works for you! 

Stretchy Wraps- 

Some brands of stretchy wraps: Moby, Boba, Beco. 

I love stretchy wraps for newborns. They work best for babies under 15 pounds. (After that, they tend to get saggy and uncomfortable for the wearer.) Many parents use them longer but I find that to be the most ideal time in personal experience. They are long pieces of stretchy material. It usually takes a little time to practice finding the sweet spot that makes it most comfortable for you and your baby. These are very helpful in the immediate postpartum. You can pre-wrap at home and then pop baby in and out of the wrap from the carseat when you are running errands. The infant bucket car seats can be a really bulky, heavy, hard thing to carry around while you're still recovering from birth. Another perk, most strangers will not attempt to touch a worn baby! 

Woven Wraps- 

Budget Brands I Love- Girasol, Little Frog, Yaro, Storchenweige 

Mid-Range to Expensive Brands I Love- Didymos, Pavo, Tekhni, Mokosh, Risaroo Wovens, Danu Slings, Natibaby and so many more. 

 Toddlerwearing while pregnant! 

Toddlerwearing while pregnant! 

Wovens come in many different sizes ranging from 1-8. Probably the most common size that can fit the widest variety of people, while doing the most carries is a size 6. A 6 would be your base size. A base -2 sizes would likely be best for a short wrap. The options for short wrap carries and base wrap carries are endless. Most beginners like to start with a base size first. Unlike stretchy wraps, woven can be worn from birth until whenever you choose to stop. My husband has even attempted to wear me! Haha! There were lots of laughs during this wrapping session! 

 Because pictures like this are meant to be shared. Haha! 

Because pictures like this are meant to be shared. Haha! 

Woven wraps can come in a variety of patterns and designs. They have a variety of fiber content options. Some need "broken in" (why I always suggest buying used vs. new) and some are soft right out of the bag. Some wraps are better for newborns, toddlers, cold weather or warm weather. I would suggest joining Babywearing 102 on Facebook groups for more in depth information on woven wrapping. There is endless information and it can be a lot to consume. I'd suggest picking a wrap you think is pretty and going from there. You can use wovens for front, back and hip carries. 

Soft Structured Carriers: 

Budget Brand I love: Infantino Union. (Look for ergonomic options.) Brands I love for newborns/infants: Infant Standard/Plus Kinderpacks, Manduca 

Brands I love for older babies/toddlers: Tula, Kinderpack, Beco Soleil, Lenny Lamb, Ergo

 My little girl loved this dinosaur Tula! 

My little girl loved this dinosaur Tula! 

I love buckle carriers. Sometimes when moms get involved in wrapping, they don't like buckle carriers anymore but this is not the case with me. My husband uses them often, I use them for running errands as they are extremely fast and easy with minimal readjustment necessary. With two kids, I can wear both at the same time and do it in a very short amount of time. I think one of the biggest things I love about SSC's is the ease of getting kids on your back. Of course you should always practice first, use a spotter or a bed and be confident in what you are doing. Groups like Tula BST on Facebook are a great way to get a Tula for under retail price and where you can resell it when you're done using it for your baby. (Or want to size up to a Toddler Tula!) I think the biggest factor in finding comfort with a buckle carrier stems from picking one that is ergonomic. Many parents find carriers like Baby Bjorn carriers to be fine in the beginning but as the baby grows, they can get extremely uncomfortable as they are not ergonomic. Finding one that distributes weight evenly across the wearer's body is much more beneficial to your comfort level. Baby/Toddler is also held in a seated, well supported position. You can you these for front and back carries, occasionally an awkward hip carry and some carriers, like the Ergo 360 allow you to face baby outward. 

Mei Tais: 

Budget Brand I love: Infantino Mei Tei/Wrap n Tie 

Other Brand I love: Diva Milano Wrap Converted Mei Tais, Babyhawk 

 Newborn wearing made possible by a gorgeous Diva Milano WCMT 

Newborn wearing made possible by a gorgeous Diva Milano WCMT 

Mei Tais are less common but still a great option. They can fit a wide variety of sizes of people. They have a structured body panel that goes on the baby and then long straps that wrap around the wearer. This can make for a more comfortable wear as you can adjust the straps in many different ways. Mei Tais are nice because you can generally adjust the carrier to fit any newborn to young toddler, and sometimes beyond. They're not as quick as a buckle carrier. You can use these for front and back carries.. and sometimes an awkward hip carry. 

Ring Slings: 

Budget Brand I Love: Sleeping Baby Productions Slings, Soul Slings

Other Brands I Love: Sakura Bloom, Wrap Converted Ring Slings 

 Here we have a very tired postpartum mama and newborn snuggled in his Sakura Bloom ring sling! 

Here we have a very tired postpartum mama and newborn snuggled in his Sakura Bloom ring sling! 

With my first baby, I found my niche with wraps and ring slings just weren't my thing. I couldn't really get comfortable or find my "sweet spot". I didn't have patience to try when wrapping and other forms of babywearing were going so well and working for us. Then, I needed to wear while pregnant. Back carries were uncomfortable with the nerve pain I was experiencing and front carries weren't an option as my belly grew. I bought a double layer linen Sakura Bloom RS and decided to try some hip carries for those quick Walmart trips. The key to using a ring sling comfortably is finding the perfect position to start the rings out when you initially put it on so that they end up in the correct spot once you adjust. You'll want the fabric to cup your shoulder for the most comfortable wear. I love to wrap the "tails" around the metal rings so the baby has a nice little pillow to lay his head on when he falls asleep. Now that we've found the right sling for us, with the right shoulder type, we are ring sling lovers! RS's are so easy to breastfeed in and provides you with a built in cover, if that floats your boat. I would say this sling pictured (its reversible too!) and our SSC's are our most used carriers with two kiddos. 

There really are endless options. This is not an all inclusive list, either. You can get all of these different carriers made out of woven wraps, there are different asian style carriers like Onbus and many more. When hiring Maternal Roots Doula Services as your birth or postpartum doula, we can discuss your babywearing options and help you to find the right carrier for you and your family's needs. (We even let you try ours out!) Let us know in the comments what your favorite carrier is!