Babywearing is my favorite thing to do. My family doesn’t understand it, and my friends think I’m weird… But it’s amazing. I have been wearing P since he was about a month old. I started out with a narrow base walmart carrier, and I was damn proud… I wore that thing everywhere! I quickly learned that the narrow based non-ergonomic carriers were hard on me, and not comfy for baby but everyone has to start somewhere!
A friend added me to our local babywearing group on Facebook, and I was so overwhelmed with all the different types of carriers! So, this post was born to help any potential beginning babywearers navigate the waters.
Buckle Carriers AKA Soft Structured Carriers (SSC)
These are the most common and easiest option to start with. My favorite brand is Tula. They’re super comfy for long wears and adjust in every way imaginable to accommodate wearers of all sizes. You can do front carries (shown above) and back carries. If it weren’t for our Tula I would have probably lost my mind a long time ago, not even exaggerating. P doesn’t like to go to sleep most of the time, but falls asleep within 10 minutes in the Tula… Its magical.
This was our second type of carrier, and almost as easy to use as the Tula. It requires a little more adjusting and tightening to get the seat just right, but can still be done in under 2 minutes or so. I got the ring sling to wear when I wanted to be a little more “aesthetically pleasing”. I’m self conscious about my hips, and SSC’s make them look larger than they actually are… Just so ya know. You can mainly only do front carries and hip carries (shown above) in a ring sling, though there are some youtube tutorials for back carries If you are a brave soul. There are many brands of ring slings, and they can be made from many different materials, so a bit of research will be useful to decide which sling is right for you and your baby. The one pictures is a Tula cotton/tencel blend and worked just fine for me and my 15 ish lb baby.
These are good for newborns, up to 15 or so lbs. They aren’t comfy or as safe with larger babies. It’s only recommended that you do front carries with a stretchy wrap, as they can slip easily and if baby is on your back, that’s clearly not a situation you want to be in. I actually made this particular wrap from some knit fabric I bought at Hobby Lobby. I wasn’t sure if I would like wrapping and only planned to wear it around the house so that worked for me. There several brands of them you can buy for less than $50, Moby seems to be the most popular.
Last but certainly not least is woven wraps. These are the most versatile carriers in my opinion. You can do front carries, hip carries and back carries. These carriers have the largest learning curve. There are hundreds of different carries you can learn- quick ones, easy ones, fancy ones, ones for wiggly babies, ones for babies that lean etc. The possibilities are endless. We have only had our woven wrap for about a month, and have only mastered two carries in that time, but it is quickly becoming a favorite for it’s comfort and versatility. I put woven wraps right up there with my Tula, second only because it is more difficult to learn.