Baby Wearing: The Dos, The Don'ts And Which Ones I Recommend
As a mom, the days of doing anything with two hands are behind you. Whether it’s responding to emails, making dinner or walking the dog-chances are you’ve got a little one in tow. I am a HUGE fan of baby wearing for a few reasons. First, it promotes bonding with your baby especially in those early days. There’s nothing like that sweet little newborn nestled against your chest-it’s calming for both you and him/her. Second, it allows you to get things done and offers you some freedom! Babies love to be cuddled-who can blame them?! And there are days when it seems like you can’t put them down. Wearing your baby frees up your hands so that you can get a few things done while they hang out or take a nap. Third-it’s a great way to practice focusing on your breath while managing a [very light] load. Going for walks with your baby in a carrier is a great way to begin moving in those early postpartum days. There may even be days you try to get your workout in wearing your little one. With the additional weight strapped to the front of your body, it’s essential to engage your core and bring attention to your breath.
So let’s go over the dos/don'ts of baby wearing.
Get a quality carrier that you can easily take on and off.
Take the time to size it appropriately for you and your baby.
Maintain good posture while baby wearing. Stand tall and aim to keep the shoulders, rib cage and hips stacked neatly on one another.
Allow the weight of the baby to pull you forward. Watch for collapsing in the low back. If you find this is happening, you may need a carrier with more support.
Hinge forward at the hips to pick something up. For obvious reasons-this isn’t the safest maneuver for the baby. Equally as important-you are risking injury to your back. If you need to pick something up-bend at the knees, keep your torso up and the weight in your heels.
Continue baby wearing if you are feeling pelvic pain/pressure/discomfort. See a Pelvic Floor PT!!!
Top 3 Recommendations for Different Stages of Baby Wearing
BabyK’Tan: I can’t say enough about this carrier; all of the comfort of a Moby wrap, without the hassle of putting it on. You order this carrier in a size specific to you (if in between two sizes-opt for the smaller one!) and it comes in a ton of colors/patterns. It takes less than 60 seconds to put on and is super comfortable. The baby feels secure and well supported. This carrier can hold the baby in 5 different positions, and is suitable for babies from birth up to 35 pounds (although I’d recommend switching to something with more support as your baby creeps closer to 20 pounds)! The material is very lightweight and soft. Best of all: there is an “active” model that wicks away moisture/sweat and has UV protection-which is awesome for baby wearing over the summer. It also comes in at a pretty low price point compared to other carriers. For the first few months-this is my “go-to” carrier.
BabyBjorn: You can’t really beat the ease of the BabyBjorn. No wrapping, all you do is put it on and add the baby. What’s nice about this carrier is that more than one person can use it-the straps are adjustable so for example: both my husband (who is 6’) and I (a whopping 5’4”) can use the same one. The straps are nice and thick offering great support, especially as the baby is getting bigger. In my experience, this carrier is a great option until the baby is approaching the one year mark. Then I move onto the Ergo. You can get an infant insert and use this from birth. This carrier can get a little pricey depending on the model.
Ergobaby 360: If you have a baby who loves to be in a carrier-this is a must have. The Ergobaby has really great back support with a thick strap that wraps around your low back. This is essential as your baby is getting heavier, as it supports you in maintaining good posture. Additionally, there are multiple wearing positions-including backpack style. This is great as your little one is getting older/bigger and is interested in checking out their surroundings. While expensive-it is absolutely worth it if you like baby wearing!
In summary; there are a TON of carrier options out there, each with their own benefits. The most important thing is that while wearing your baby you are able to maintain good posture, keep your core engaged and that you BOTH are comfortable. If you can find one that supports these three things, baby wearing can be a Godsend!