Baby wearing is not new, but it has certainly become more popular in the States these past few years. From woven wraps to slings to soft-structured carriers, it can be overwhelming to navigate all the options and chose the best fit for you and your family. In this post I'll cover what I know about the different types of carriers and share my opinions and experiences.
The most exciting part is that I'm also offering you the chance to win a $50 gift card! To enter the drawing for this prize you must comment on this post and let me know which carrier you are most interested in, that think would work best for you, or is your favorite (if you already baby wear). The contest will close and a winner chosen in 7 days. If you want to put this toward a baby carrier of your own, check them out!
The Boba was my first wrap. It's very similar to a Moby or a Solly, but I have a Boba so that's what I'll talk about today.
This wrap is made from a high-quality French terry material , 95% cotton and 5% spandex.
The Boba is recommended to be used from birth to 18 months/up to 35 pounds, but I personally would only use it for the first few months. Due to the stretchy nature of this wrap it has a lot of give and slip so when your baby gets heavy they tend to slide down after awhile, and the straps can dig into your shoulders.
The important thing to remember about baby carriers is that different carriers will work better at different times and stages. I consider the Boba to be the perfect beginner wrap and fantastic for newborns. It can be tied on before you insert your baby which is very convenient when going out. I like to tie it on before I leave the house so that I'm not wrapping in a dirty parking lot or store with the tails dragging on the ground. You cannot do back carries with any stretchy wrap. This is very dangerous because your child can slip out of it.
Mommy's kitchen helper!
Ring slings are by far the best (that I've found anyway) for quick ups and trips.
When I have to run in to the store for a minute or carry Calvin in to church, situations where I need to be hands free but only for a moment, I find my sling is what I reach for.
There's no tying it on and it takes literally two minutes to get him in and ready to go.
The cons of the ring sling are that I can't bend over at all or he will slide out the top. He's not nearly as secure as he would be in a stretchy wrap.
Obviously you cannot do a back carry with a ring sling.
I like ring slings for a quick wear but not long term.
Sleepy squish! Four days old in the ring sling.
Woven wraps are by far my favorite (of the carriers I have used) way to wear my baby.
They are so supportive, versatile, and you can carry your child in them for...well...pretty much as long as you want. Your little one may become heavy enough that they pull uncomfortably on your back and shoulders, but your wrap will hold strong. I've even seen people wear other adults!
When you begin looking into the world of woven wraps you will hear it said that once you start you can't stop.
That you'll get addicted.
This is [usually] true.
There are so many beautiful woven wraps.
From different weaves, patterns, and colors, to numerous fabrics and combinations thereof. There are also several different sizes (or lengths) that all have different wraps and purposes as well.
I happen to own two woven wraps, a size 6, which is my base size, and a 3. They are Didymos brand, which is a well known and reliable brand of wrap, though they can be expensive when you buy new. There are several more affordable options, such as Girasol and Lenny Lamb, that you can find used for well under $100 in a BST group.
I always suggest buying a used wrap, as breaking wraps in can be quite a chore; one that I have never attempted myself and was advised never to try. It involves a lot of braiding, beating, ironing, washing, and use before it gets soft and easy to use. In the mean time they are difficult to wrap and tighten and can get really frustrating, therefore not ideal to learn on and not good for beginners.
There is a learning curve to using them but once you figure it out it there's a good chance that it will become you preferred carrier over the slings and stretchy wraps.
I suggest joining some of the BST (buy/sell/trade) groups on Facebook to learn more about woven wraps.
You can do back, hip, and front carries with a woven wrap.
Check out Wrap You In Love for tutorials.
Didymos Lisca size 4
Didymos Prima Papaya size 6
Front Wrap Cross Carry
Didymos Prima Jade size 3
Tri blend 55% cotton, 25% hemp, and 20% linen
Soft Structured Carriers
Supports 12-33 pounds
(can be used with smaller babies using the infant insert)
Lillebaby Complete Airflow
360-degree carrying: fetal, infant, outward and inward facing, back carries, and hip carries
Does not require an infant insert
Tula Ergonomic Carrier
Front and back carry
Supports 15-45 pounds
(can be used with smaller babies using the infant insert)
I don't own a SSC (soft structured carrier) but I know that they are beloved by those who do. They are the simplest to use. Buckle around your waist, insert your baby, pull the back panel up, buckle around your shoulders.
Ergo, Lillebaby, and Tula are the most popular and best for baby's posture and based on friend's recommendations and my own research I would suggest any of these to someone looking to invest in a SSC.
Tula has, in my opinion, the best prints (campy is a personal favorite of mine. If I ever get a SSC, it will be Tula Campy!), but requires an infant insert for a baby under 15 pounds that is an extra cost (as does the Ergo). Lillebaby does not require any extra insert for newborns and has the most carry options, though they are a little bulkier than the Tula and more expensive than the Ergo.
Depending on your needs, any one of these carriers might be a good option for you if you're uninterested in learning how to wrap or dealing with a lot of fabric.
Baby wearing comes with a lot of fun accessories.
My personal favorite are baby wearing coats!
Well, that wraps up (haha, get it? Wraps up!) this post! There are so many more baby carriers out there, but these are the ones that I would personally recommend. If you aren't sure what would be the best fit for you, see if there is a local baby wearing group in your area. Most of these groups have a 'lending library' and you can try different carriers out for a few weeks to see what works best.
Stay warm and have fun wearing your baby!
“This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a gift certificate”