Baby Carriers & Babywearing
Baby Carriers are wonderful for babies and toddlers alike, and allow you to bond together. But which should you buy for your little one? Make choosing your baby carrier easier with this handy buying guide.
Welcoming a new baby to the world can be a joyous and challenging time. Keeping your baby close facilitates deep bonding; building a strong, mutual attachment whilst being hands free (think hot cuppa, going to the loo, shopping, relaxing together).
Your baby is new to the world, and your baby needs to be carried. Here's why:
- carrying your baby helps develop a secure mutual attachment;
- it allows both parents, or indeed any caregiver, to develop a deep bond with baby;
- it increases parental sensitivity to a baby's needs - you learn to interpret their noises and expressions so much quicker;
- it simulates the sensations of pressure, motion, warmth and security of the womb;
- carrying your baby in a sling reduces their level of stress, and
- it can greatly reduce crying and fussiness, and also helps your tired baby fall asleep.
In this sense then, a baby carrier or sling for baby is absolutely invaluable.
Adjusting as a family and adapting to the changes, can be challenging. A baby carrier can make this transition simpler - babies are calmed when they're next to you, they hear your heartbeat, they smell you and feel you. And it's the same for you - you feel them, hear them, smell them. It all makes sense. Our bodies understand. They produce oxytocin which has positive effects on baby and mother (on all 3 aspects - your mental health, and your emotional and physical well-being). It all makes sense - it’s a wonderfully human action, and it’s for everyone.
Buckle Carriers For Newborns
Newborn-suitable buckle carriers - one of the most often talked-about sling topics. Whether you like to use buckles with a newborn or not, it's fair to say that they do, quite rightly hold an appeal for many parents, and in the last few years there have been several new carriers produced which are really rather excellent.
Given the huge choice of newborn buckle carriers, we've come up with this helpful infographic to let you see the relevant features of each, to help you make an informed choice.
Not all newborn buckle carriers will fit your newborn. They are all suitable ‘from’ newborn, however as newborns vary so very much, a carrier that fits one newborn may not fit another. They depend very much on factors other than weight, including dimensions, physiology and build.
The best buckle carrier for a newborn is one that fits them well, supports and respects their physiology and does so safely. It should be comfortable for you, and just your style!
The Best Baby Carrier
Which is the best baby carrier? Which sling is best for you? Which sling should you choose? Common questions indeed, but ultimately the best carrier for you is one that your little one and you both find comfortable. There are a few things to take into account - help to narrow your choice down by considering:
- your budget;
- your lifestyle;
- the age of your baby, and
- who will be using the sling.
You're on this website, and you're looking for information on carrying your baby. You know yourself and you know your baby. Allow those instincts to guide you - what style catches your eye? What seems like a good option for you, your little one, your whole family?
Choose a sling that you like - you're far more likely to use a sling or carrier that you love the look of. Whether it's a certain style, colour or pattern, choose the one you really love! Check out our introductions to each style for the specifics of each: Stretchy Wraps, Ring Slings, Buckle Carriers, Woven Wraps and Mei Tais. If you'd like more detailed advice, or you have a specific query, just ask. We love helping families to both start or continue their carrying journeys.
Baby Slings & Wraps
Most people imagine a ‘sling’ as a less structured carrying option. Most styles tend to fall into this 'less structured' category, from stretchy wraps, ring slings and meh dais, to woven wraps. Most really good meh dais and ring slings are made from woven wrap fabrics, so let’s look at the options for this style.
Woven wraps are similar to stretchy wraps in that they comprise one long piece of fabric with no buckles, fasteners or rings. Woven wraps can be tied in different ways for different carries. They differ from stretchy wraps in that woven wrap fabric is far more supportive. It has a slight diagonal stretch, making it firmer - supportive enough to hold a heavy toddler. Woven wraps can be tied for front, back and hip carries. If you've loved using a stretchy wrap for your baby, then a woven wrap will allow you to continue wrapping with a larger, heavier baby, toddler and child.
Woven wraps are incredibly versatile - depending on the length of the wrap, they can be used for many different carrying positions on the front, hip, and back and from newborn through to toddlers. On average, a 4.5-4.7m wrap will allow for most carrying positions. There is a learning curve with wraps, however all come with detailed instructions, and we are always super-happy to advise and provide guidance on which wrap is best for you.
Woven wraps come in different sizes: Size 1 (2.2m); Size 2 (2.6m); Size 3 (3.2m); Size 4 (3.6m); Size 5 (4.2m); Size 6 (4.6m); Size 7 (5.2m); Size 8 (5.6m).
Woven wraps are a beautiful way to carry your little one. There is a sort of ritual to wrapping; the cloth, the movements, the finish. It can seem daunting - the long length of fabric, without structure, and yes, there is a learning curve with it, for sure. However, the lack of structure is exactly what makes a woven wrap so versatile. It can be used with even the smallest babies all the way to preschoolers. The very same wrap. Which also means a woven wrap can be the most economical, cost-effective sling to use.
Baby Carriers From Birth
The period from birth to 3 months is known as the fourth trimester. Those first weeks and months are a time of great change for baby and you. Being held, being close, eases the transition from womb to world. Carrying in arms and in a sling is essential to the normal physical, psychological and neurological development of your baby. It’s the foundation on which their whole lives are built.
Every time you hold your baby close, the hormone oxytocin is released. Oxytocin (sometimes called the love hormone) is the hormone that underlies trust - it gives us that happy, warm feeling. So when we carry our babies close, oxytocin is released - it’s a feel good thing. Babies are meant to be carried. They need to be close to you, to be held. Babies feel more content and calmer next to you - you make them feel secure and safe. You are their world.