Babywearing…I have to be honest, if the college Melissa could see me now she would be laughing her head off. Never did I think that I would wear my child in one of those crazy ‘front pack carrier things’. And yet, here I am, about to admit to you that I own EIGHT different baby carriers 😳 This post is all about the benefits of babywearing, how to wear baby, and which carriers are best.
Benefits of Babywearing
There are a lot of reasons why I love babywearing. If you are a follower of this blog, you might know that we had quite a fourth trimester. Aiden was a super gassy newborn. The only thing that would calm him down, and get him to fall asleep, was being placed in the Ergo baby carrier or Nuroo Pocket, and walked around the block (yes, this was in middle of winter).
Some of my favorite early memories of him are when he was snuggled up (and quiet) in his baby carrier.There was also the little issue, of not being able to put him down for longer than five minutes to try to get ANYTHING done. Usually his fussiest time was dinner time, and I remember Dan would harness him up and cook dinner to keep him calm. I learned you can do just about anything while babywearing including breastfeeding.
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These days, it is less of a comfort thing for him, and more of a convenience thing for us. Sometimes it is just not convenient to take a stroller somewhere (ie; Nationals Park, hiking, shopping in tiny stores, etc.). Having a baby carrier is super convenient. Of course, you can’t just have one carrier when there are so many to choose from!
How To Wear Baby & Which Carriers are Best
Here are our favorite carriers, and the situations for which we use them:
Babywearing shirt: This carrier is exactly as described. It is a shirt that wraps baby against your chest. The shirt carrier is perfect for the early months when skin to skin is so critical. I love my NüRoo Pocket shirt, although I didn’t use it much after three months. Once Aiden started to get fidgety it wasn’t as effective! Side note: I can’t find any early pictures of Aiden in the Nuroo, so the picture is a recent photo, but as you can see, he still fits!
Soft structured carrier: The soft structured carrier is probably what you think of when you think of a baby carrier. It basically looks like a backpack and is mostly worn on the front of the body, but also on the back if the baby is older. This is a carrier that Dan can (and does) wear. We have the Ergo Original and the Ergo Four Position 360. The main difference between the two is that with the 360 carrier you can wear it in a fourth position which is a forward out position. We use this for walks and hikes or anytime we think he will be in it for a longish period of time. Make sure you get the infant insert for the early months!
UPDATE: Now that Aiden is a toddler we are loving our Lillebaby Complete Airflow. We decided on the Complete Airflow instead of the toddler CarryOn because although Aiden met the weight limit he is not long enough to fit properly. We have the donuts and sprinkles which is perfect for our police family status! The biggest reason why I love this carrier is because of the lumbar support. Aiden is about 25 lbs so he is heavy to carry around but the lumbar support and neck support make a huge difference. I find that this carrier is very well priced too especially if you get it early on because it has 6 carry positions: fetal, infant, toddler, hip and back — you do not need an infant insert.
Ring Sling: I love my Kindred Ring Sling. It is a one-shoulder carrier. It is really comfortable to wear and a bit easier to store in a diaper bag than the soft structured carrier. I usually use this if I am running to the store, or if we think Aiden won’t be in it for a super long time.
Wraps: I recently got into the wrap type carriers. A wrap carrier is easiest to carry around because it’s basically just a long piece of fabric. The wraps can be a bit tricky to put on at first; however, after some practice, they are easy! I love my Hope Carried baby wrap. I usually use this carrier for trips to the store or out to dinner. I also use it if I am doing something around the house where I need to be hands-free. I also throw it in the diaper bag anytime we go out because it is perfect for ‘just in case’ moments.
Not only do I love the Hope Carried wrap, but I also love the company. Hope Carried employs women, who wish to contribute financially to their families, but cannot due to extenuating circumstances (lack of education or cultural restrictions) by teaching these women how to make the wraps and ring slings they sell.
Hiking Backpack: We love being really active with Aiden and try to spend as much time outside as possible. We learned pretty quickly that although the soft carriers can be used for longer walks/hikes it is more comfortable for everyone if Aiden is in a backpack made for these types of adventures. We got a Kelty Pathfinder and love it. Aiden loves being able to see over the top and since he isn’t right up against us he isn’t too hot. Dan typically wears it, but I have a couple of times and the weight is more manageable.
Accessories: One thing that I have run into having so many carriers is how to store them. I found these super cute baby carrier bags on Etsy which are perfect for keeping everything contained. You can also get drool pads in matching colors which are easier to take off and wash so you don’t have to constantly wash the whole carrier. You can even get a pouch to attach to the front of your carrier. I like these pouches because they can fit a lot more than the little pocket on the Ergo 360.
To summarize the best baby carriers include:
- Nuroo Pocket
- Ergo Original
- Ergo 360 (Use code: jo8KbuYBBM to save 10% at Ergobaby on one item through September 2018.)
- Lillebaby Complete Airflow (BEST VALUE)
- Kindred Wrap Ring Sling
- Hope Carried Wrap
- Kelty Pathfinder
Additional baby wearing resources: