Baby Wearing

Baby wearing is the age old concept of strapping your baby to your body.  Although American Mommies treat baby carriers with the same pomp and circumstance as other baby gear like strollers, nursery furniture, and breast pumps, baby wearing is a very basic necessity for mommies. It’s especially life saving if you have a baby who wants to be held–oh, wait, that’s every single baby on the planet. Most babies calm right down when they’re held snug to mommy or daddy’s chest, and even fall asleep. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types:

1.The Wrap: Not nearly as complicated as it looks, you can learn to tie yards of cloth around your body to safely secure your baby to your body in no time. Especially good for little tiny babies who like to be snuggly.

Gorgeous handmade sling from Etsy seller Zmunki

2. The Sling: The simplest form of baby wearing. It is one long piece of cloth wrapped around your shoulders. It’s especially good for tiny babies who are nursing frequently, because you can nurse hands free in the sling. A tip: be sure to spread the fabric at your shoulder out from your neck down the top of your arm, or else you’ll get some dreadful neck pain.

ObiMama Mei Tei

3. The Mei-Tei: Just like it sounds, this contraption can be tied around your body with long straps. It’s highly adjustable and very supportive since one set of straps is tied around your hips, taking the weight of the baby off your back. The straps can be a bit dangly.

Ben nursing in the Manduca carrier

Ben nursing in the Manduca carrier

4. The Soft Structured Carrier: My favorite, hands down. It’s like a mei-tei but instead of having long straps to tie, you have handy buckles.  The belt conforms to your hips, balancing the baby’s weight beautifully.  Folks can even tote around preschoolers in soft carriers because the design is so supportive.

5. The Back-Pack Carrier: Built on a frame, this sucker is made for heavy duty outdoor activities like hiking and back-packing. They also have a reputation for being more manly than other types of carriers, so daddies are less reluctant to use them. Since they are designed like backpacks, they are very supportive and can handle big kids.

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