My favorite babywearing photo ever, fall 2008
While my babywearing days were blissful, they have also passed. I am thankful for every moment. I did try pretty much every style of carrier there is. This is what I've learned...
A Ring Sling is a must-have carrier for newborn on up to toddler. My personal favorites include Sakura Bloom [if you have the $, the Luxe is absolutely worth it], I also love the Artisan Silk & Essential Linen. The very first sling (and my forever favorite) I ever bought was on ebay from Kimz Kreations. It was mama-made and only $15. To this day it is still my favorite ring sling.
A Stretchy Wrap like a Moby or Sleepy Wrap (or my favorite the Gypsy Mama Bali) is wonderful for newborns, and Woven Wraps like Didymos or Storchenwiege are ideal as baby gets heavier (the woven fabric won't sag like the stretchy.) It looks like a huge long piece of fabric, but is really easy to figure out. Must see: watch this awesome video of a Dad putting his newborn in a wrap.
A Mei Tai ended up being my favorite carrier. It's a traditional carrier with four ties, but is the easiest to put on and wear in my opinion. I prefer using my mei tai when baby is at least three or four months old, or whenever they have decent head support, and I continue to use it until they are three years old. It's the most comfortable for longer wear. After all I've tried, my favorites (and the ones I still use today) are a really old Freehand mei tai (the style I prefer is no longer made) and a gorgeous one from Baby So Smart.
If the ties aren't for you, buckle mei tai carriers like the Ergo or Boba are a popular choice. Great for active moms & dads, and for longer wear as well. I do like my Ergo, but don't wear it nearly as often as my mei tai.
BABYWEARING SAFETY IN THE NEWS
Due to recent recalls of certain baby carriers (Bag Slings = no no.) that all babywearers have been warning Moms about for YEARS, some people are assuming all babywearing is unsafe. This is not true. Babywearing is absolutely safe and can be an amazing method of bonding and loving your child.A refresher:
- Your baby should be in a position similar to holding them in your arms
- You should be able to kiss the top of their head
- Your chest, back, or sling fabric should not obstruct baby's face
- Do not wear a carrier that is too tight or too loose, or not properly fastened
- Read and follow your carrier's instruction manual
- Be aware of baby's temperature, don't let them get too hot or too cold
- Do not perform any activities that you wouldn't normally do while holding your baby in your arms
IN MY EXPERIENCE
To break it down for you, if you could have only one sling, I'd get a ring sling. Two? Ring sling and mei tai.
Find helpful tips for using your carrier at TheBabywearer.com and Sakura Bloom has a whole series of helpful videos for using your ring sling.
Just for fun don't miss these fabulous, hilarious, & heartwarming babywearing videos.
MY PARTING GEM OF WISDOM
Babywearing is not just for parents to have their hands-free. I encourage you to wear your baby in times of rest, and not always busy-work. Take it easy, snuggle, love, do lots-of-nothing with your children while you can.