Babywearing for Newbies

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You’ve seen it in the movies, on TV, and probably out in public, but the idea of babywearing just hasn’t latched onto you quite yet.

Why should you want to wear your baby?

How can you make sure you’re doing it safely?

What carrier should you buy?

We can help!

Here’s why you should want to wear your baby:

Babies who are worn:

  • cry up to 43% less
  • are more attentive
  • have increased speech development
  • have increased cognitive development due to the increased state of quiet alertness, exposure to caregiver’s facial expressions, and the stimulation of their changing environment around them
  • more easily regulate their emotional, intellectual, and physiological systems because being worn reminds baby of the motion and balance he enjoyed in the womb
  • bond more easily and more thoroughly with caregivers- proximity increases interaction, which is especially beneficial for mothers who are at risk for (or suffering from) postpartum depression or fathers/other caregivers who may not be around baby as often
  • are healthier- premature babies and babies with special needs who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not

How to carry baby safely –

follow our top 5 babywearing safety tips:

Baby should always be VISIBLE AND KISSABLE! This is paramount in making sure that your baby can breathe and is positioned correctly. Monitor your child at all times. Make sure nothing is obstructing his face. Make sure he is in the proper position within the carrier. (*Expert and seasoned babywearers may be capable of wearing an infant in other positions, but for newbies, we suggest not straying from wearing them on your front, facing you at least until they have good head control or are crawling.*)

  • Never allow a baby to be carried, held, or placed in such a way that his chin is curled against his chest; this compresses the airway, cutting off oxygen. Making sure there is a finger’s width or two between his chin and chest is a good guide.
  • Never allow a baby’s head and face to be covered with fabric. Covering a baby’s head and face can cause him to “rebreathe” the same air, which is a dangerous situation.

Don’t do any physical activity that a mother couldn’t/shouldn’t do while 9 months pregnant while wearing your baby . If a woman shouldn’t do it while pregnant because of an enhanced risk of falls, you shouldn’t do it while carrying a baby. If you should wear protective gear while doing an activity, you shouldn’t do it while carrying a baby. “Jarring motion [like jogging, running, jumping on a trampoline] can do damage to the baby’s neck, spine and/or brain,” explains the American Chiropractic Association.  It’s pretty common sense, but sometimes these things need to be said just in case.

Never use a baby carrier when riding in a vehicle. Soft baby carriers provide none of the protection that car seats provide. For those of you lucky enough to be near water: while it might seem more secure to use a baby carrier to board a small boat than to carry a baby in your arms, the safer practice is to have the baby wear a personal flotation device.

Make sure your baby’s back is straight and supported. When using carriers out and about, check that your baby is secure by using reflective surfaces as mirrors (such as car or store windows ), double check the baby’s position with your hands, or by enlisting the help of another set of eyes.

ALWAYS read, understand, and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Do NOT use your carrier for a carry position it is not intended/designed to accommodate! Use only carriers that are appropriate for your baby’s age and weight. If you have questions about how to properly use your carrier, ask! We are your Familia! You can ask us anything about any carrier we carry, and we will help you figure out the answer! If we don’t know the answer, we will find it for you. You can also always ask the manufacturer of the carrier questions as well. Many of them have FAQ and wearing 101 sections on their own websites or videos on YouTube to help as well.

Which one should you buy? One of these amazing carriers after you decide which type is right for you.

 Types of Carriers

Woven Wrap: A long, secure piece of woven fabric used to secure baby to you by wrapping around you and your baby’s body.

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Brand we carry: Bijou Wear

  • very versatile
  • individually adjustable
  • learned quite quickly with hands on instruction
  • multiple carrying positions and wrapping techniques available
  • multiple fabric types, colors, and patterns available
  • will always support baby in the correct spread squatting position if used properly
  • most popular type of carrier throughout the world and among many cultures
  • best used with upright carrying only
  • can be used to carry children of all sizes and shapes

 

Buckle-Wrap: A woven fabric carrier that criss-crosses over your shoulders and buckles at the waist. It provides all the benefits of a wrap with the ease of use that you get from a Soft Structured Carrier (Don’t know what a SSC is? Keep reading.)

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Brand we carry: XOXO

  • 4 ways to wear: front carry, facing in; front carry, facing out; hip carry; back carry
  • fits newborn to toddler, 7-35 lbs
  • panel length: 100”L x 15″W (2 overlapping panels)
  • waist range: 27”-60”
  • buckle secures an un-poppable seat
  • crossed straps = balanced weight distribution
  • one size, customized fit for all body types
  • made from recycled materials: Eco2 cotton is made from recycled t-shirts; Repreve is made of recycled plastic bottles with 1 wrap = 15 bottles!

 

Ring Slings: A long piece of fabric draped over one shoulder and looped through a set of adjustable metal rings to create a sling in which baby sits.

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Brands we carry: Bijou Wear, Moby

  • supports baby’s weight only on one shoulder- not a good choice for anybody with back problems or sensitive neck or shoulders
  • babies can be worn in front or on the hip, (hip is probably the most popular)
  • back-wearing is not recommended
  • several different styles, fabrics, colors, and patterns available
  • mesh ring slings are great for use in the water (for shallow wading purposes only, not swimming!)

 

Meh Dai: A traditional Asian-style inspired carrier with a waist belt and shoulder straps sewn onto a rectangular piece of fabric. The belt and shoulder straps are knotted, and it does not have any buckles.

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Brand we carry: BabyHawk by Moby  (Available in our Fluff and Familia Exclusive print!)

  • easy and quick to use & available in several styles, fabrics, colors, and patterns
  • Fits babies 8 to 40 lbs.
  • easily adjustable to suit varied body types within the same household
  • Front, hip, and back carry options

 

Soft Structured Carriers (SSC) : Patterned after backpacks, the shoulder and waist strap are padded, and they have buckles to secure the carrier to the body. Every brand of carrier varies greatly in many aspects like back lengths, seat widths, back widths, fabric, and belt straps.

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Brands we carry: Catbird Baby, Tula, Kinderpack, and Onya Baby

  • torso lengths and build of the babywearer will greatly affect the comfort
  • several brands, colors, fabrics, patterns, and styles to choose from
  • comfortable for long periods of time
  • different brands have different additional options like snap on bags, hoods, or lumbar support
  • easy on and off
  • multiple carrying positions are possible
  • easily adjustable for multiple wearers
  • allows air to circulate better than through layers of wrapped fabric
  • some come in mesh-like material to allow optimal airflow for summer outdoor carrying
  • easily provides ergonomically correct seat positioning
  • generally a favorite among dads and caregivers because they are simple to use

 

As always, if you have any questions, email us! We’re happy to help! Shop at our store and we will invite you to join our super awesome, secret Facebook chat group where you can get tips and help from all kinds of wonderful moms and dads!

Happy shopping and happy babywearing!

 

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