The benefits of babywearing are endless! Not only does it give you back the use of both your hands, it gives your baby a nice snuggly place to sleep. It truly is win-win for you and your baby, but how do you know what the best baby carrier is before your baby arrives? That’s a tough question but we are going to answer it for you right here!
There are so many options for new parents when it comes to babywearing and each one has its pro’s & con’s. We suggest using a stretchy wrap in the early days, as it is the most ‘womb like’ for baby, but they require a bit of practice. Soft structured carriers are easier to use, but not always the perfect option for a newborn.
Below we have listed some designs you may come across when you are shopping for your baby carrier, we have also added some recommended brands that we have personally used and loved.
Be sure to follow safety recommendations when baby wearing, you can find the ABC’s of baby wearing over at the Babywearing International website. You can also take a look at this video for some really easy to follow baby wearing tips!
Wraps (Woven & Stretchy)
We had mentioned earlier how new babies love the material of soft stretchy wrap, they are perfectly designed to hold a baby safe & snug just like when they were in the womb. Most stretch wraps are good for up to 35 pounds but we have noticed many parents don’t feel as secure with a baby that size in a stretch (that’s basically a 3 year old!).
If you plan on having a long babywearing career (as we did, because it was so darn easy!) you might want to give a woven wrap a try. They are definitely not as cozy for newborns (no stretch), but they are so durable and secure for growing babies and toddlers. Word of warning, they can be very warm in the summer months!
Why are wraps so good? They are extremely versatile, this one long piece of fabric can be tied in ways that allow for tummy to tummy, hip, and back carries.
They can be a bit of a challenge to perfect, if you can learn this one basic tie then you have all you need. Practice it a few times before baby arrives, but like all things in parenting, you kinda learn as you go!
Speaking of easy ways to hold newborns, we have also tried this pretty cool swaddle/carrier hybrid. It’s perfect for those lazy days around the house!
Soft Structured Carriers
Both carriers we featured here are Canadian owned (the Helina Baby is actually owned and manufactured in Canada!). For our American friends you can try the Tula – although both of these brands can be shipped to you.
We love SSCs because they are easy to use and comfortable a heck. The one drawback we have found is that newborns aren’t as in love with them as their parents, although an infant insert can help. The Helena Baby was actually designed with a newborn in mind so it has adjustable side straps that make it easier for those small babies to be cozy!
Baby can be worn tummy to tummy or comfortably on the back. Chimparoo actually has a new model that makes it possible for baby to face forward, yet stay ergonomically positioned.
Another great bonus for SSCs? They can be worn well into toddlerhood so if you live where stroller accessibility is an issue, this could be a great option. It’s also great if you love long walks and hiking!
Ring Slings & Pouches
Although Ring Slings and Pouches are similar they do have some pretty big differences. They are both great for easy, simple carries and both make it easy to move baby into cradle carry position for nursing. They are also lightweight and make a great carrier to throw in your diaper bag.
The main difference is that the ring sling is adjustable which means they can be worn by you and any other caregiver. Pouches are usually not adjustable (the Hotslings pouch has options) which means sizing is really important. You can check this video to see if you have the right size for you.
There are a few drawback to these single shoulder carriers. They don’t feel as secure as many of the other carriers mentioned and they can be uncomfortable for people with back and neck issues.
Best positions for baby are tummy to tummy or hip carry for older babies/toddlers, remember the ABC’s of babywearing!
Ring Slings & Pouches
We have always loved Mei Tai’s because they are a nice blend of a SSC and a Wrap. They are easy to use, easy to share with multiple caregivers, and easy to travel with.
Mei Tai’s usually have a supportive panel of fabric in the front, but instead of having buckles like a SSC, they have long straps of fabric for the shoulders and the waist. These long straps make the carrier easily adjustable and a snug, comfortable fit for any size baby, including newborns.
We would also be able to place the Helina Baby carrier in this category as the hip support is made of long adjustable fabric, which is another reason why it’s suitable for newborns.
Another great reason for Mei Tai’s? They come come in a whole bunch of amazing patterns and designs. Oh, who are we kidding, they all come in a bunch of beautiful patterns and designs – happy shopping!
Ring Slings & Pouches
There you have it, a simple rundown of the pros & cons for each style of babywearing. Hopefully this will help you on your search for the best baby carrier for you and your baby. If you have any questions feel free to post them below, we would be happy to help!
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