Diaries Magazine

Babywearing - What's on Offer?

By Sjay235 @naturalmommainm
Ever since we had Isabelle and delved into the world of babywearing, I've noticed other people wearing their babies pretty much everywhere I look! I previously posted about the Boba 3G carrier we got before Isabelle was born, and the dos and don'ts of baby wearing 'safely'.
I think when a lot of people are thinking of babywearing they look to high street retailers for answers. However, as I discussed in my previous posts, the common high street carriers don't keep your baby in an optimum position, and quite often aren't very comfy for parent or baby. I'm part of several babywearing groups on Facebook and one of the most common things I see from new posters is "I have had a high street carrier but it's so uncomfy to use for long periods - is there anything else I can try?" Unfortunately, many parents who want to babywear may not know about other options available to them. That said, ANY babywearing is a bonus for babies and parents!
So this is my quick guide to what else might be on offer for you if you want to regularly babywear, and are looking for something more ergonomic, and something comfier, than a high street carrier. Thank you so much to the wonderful babywearing mummies and daddies of Northern Ireland who let me use their pictures to show off the different types of carriers!
Babywearing - what's on offer?
1// Soft structured carriers (aka SSCs or 'buckles'):
The Boba 3G we used is an example. These are very similar to 'normal' high street carriers in that they have straps, buckles and a structured waist and area against baby's back. They are good for getting on pretty quickly, and can be adjusted to be used with different people. Buckles are normally used on the front or back, but some can be used for hip carries too.
(Keep your eye out for the chance to win a beautiful SSC in the next few weeks!)
Babywearing - what's on offer?
2// Ring slings:
These are quite common, and can be used for carrying your little from birth until toddlerhood. They are especially great for quick trips - I use mine if Isabelle and I are just nipping into the supermarket for one or two things, for example. They are easy to adjust, but it can take a while to get to grips with exactly how to position it for maximum comfort. They are usually used on the hip, but can be used on the front and back too.
Babywearing - what's on offer?

3// Woven wraps:
Katie Hopkins takes a pretty dim view of these! These are a long piece of woven fabric which you wrap around yourself and baby in different ways to create different carries. They have a learning curve, and can be confusing to start with, but they are really supportive and a great option to carry any size of little person. They have the added bonus of coming in a massive range of colours, designs and sizes, as well as different price ranges.
Babywearing - what's on offer?

4// Stretchies:
These are very similar to wraps, but are made of stretchier fabric, and are most suitable for carrying tiny babies up to about 6 months. They can be pre-tied and you can pop your newborn in and out when needed. Many mummies start with stretchies and then move on when their little one gets too heavy. (Check out me wearing Isaac last week - lovely baby cuddles!)
Babywearing - what's on offer?

5// Mei Tais:
In my mind, these are a hybrid between an SSC and a wrap. They have a structured panel similar to an SSC, but long straps which you wrap and tie around you instead of buckles. They are easier to get to grips with than wraps, and I find our mei tai is really easy to use on my back with Isabelle.
If you are really interested in babywearing, try and get along to your local sling meet to try out a few options before you buy. In Northern Ireland, Sling Library NI are a wonderful bunch of very knowledgable ladies who want to share the babywearing love. There are sling meets all around the country, and Facebook is a great place to find your local meet.
There you have it - babywearing wrapped up in a nutshell. I'll leave you with some more pictures of babywearing goodness! Including some bear/doll/dog-wearing by some of the little people!
Babywearing - what's on offer?Babywearing - what's on offer?

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