So many first-time parents feel overwhelmed, confused, and downright intimidated about babywearing. And we get it—what’s right? A wrap? A sling? SO MANY KINDS OF CARRIERS OMG. Forward-facing? Back carrying? What do I do if my baby doesn’t like it? How do I get to be like these effortless parents and their cozy-looking babes on Instagram?!
Whoa, slow down. Like everything in parenthood, babywearing has a learning curve. And you will get it! In the meantime, here are our tips for killing that babywearing confusion and easing the process of wearing your babe on your bod.
1.Try a lot of carriers, multiple times
It’s sort of like finding the right mattress or pillow—you’ve got to find what works for your body, baby, and lifestyle. If it doesn’t work one day, try again the next (or when baby is bigger). Some bodies and babies love the soft, flexible ring slings, while other people appreciate the support of structured carriers like Lillebaby.
For newborns, Solly Baby carriers are soft and snuggly (and thin, so just as good for hot climates as cool ones. We especially love Wildbird and Sakura Bloom for ring slings and ErgoBaby for structured carriers.
We know carriers can be expensive when you’re trying to find your groove. Look on social media resale groups for used deals, borrow or trade with another parent, and see if there is a babywearing lending library in your area.
2. Reach out for support from experienced babywearers.
Chances are, there is a babywearing educator in your area, a mom group, or just one experienced babywearing parent who will be willing to troubleshoot with you. Via Facetime or socially-distanced in a park outdoors will work for these COVID times! (and psst—a postpartum doula can also help!)
Social media can also be a great place to ask questions of other parents and learn more about the world of babywearing. Check out babywearing groups on Facebook or pages on Instagram. Social is also wonderful for visual how-tos for different carriers, wraps, and more. For example, TikTok is chock full of awesome babywearing videos! (and psst—a postpartum doula is another great resource!)
3. Be open to change!
Some carriers and positions work really well for certain stages of babyhood, and then you’re on to the next. This is a journey, not a destination—and it’s evolving. Babywearing is part of the relationship between you and your baby, and that relationship will change over time. Savor, be mindful, and enjoy the ride! Know that babywearing is just one tool—for both carrying and closeness—in your parenting toolbox.
4. Trust that you’ll get it.
When you feel all fumbly in the newborn days, it’s easy to give up and think that babywearing isn’t for you. That could NOT be further from the truth, because babywearing is for everyone. Keep trying and know that in time, you’ll be a pro at the wraps, buckles, cloths, and straps. And you’ll love the ease of this way of transporting your babe! No stroller? No problem.
5. Close enough to kiss
One more super important tip for safety: when carried on your front or hip, your baby should always be close enough to kiss. This goes for a baby or toddler of any age. Learn more on the ErgoBaby blog!
Keep on keepin’ on and soon, that babywearing confusion will be a thing of the past.