For centuries, mothers around the world have worn their babies. Through generations and across cultures, mothers have recognized that wearing their baby is an essential aspect of parenting — it is also practical and fun too! Babywearing is the practice of carrying, or “wearing,” your baby hands-free with the aid of a fabric baby wrap, baby sling, or structured baby carrier. The concept of babywearing has grown in popularity in recent years for a few very good reasons.
Benefits of Babywearing
One of the biggest benefits of babywearing is convenience. It allows you to keep baby snuggled close while performing day-to-day activities like cooking, doing housework, or tending to other children. It’s also extremely portable! You can wear your baby while running errands, going for a walk, attending an event, or shopping — you can avoid wielding a stroller or heavy, portable car seat through a crowded area.
Another significant advantage is maintaining a close connection to baby, allowing for natural bonding, security, and warmth. And babywearing isn’t just for moms! Dads, siblings, grandparents, and other caregivers can benefit greatly from babywearing. Since you’re holding baby in a swaddling fashion, this promotes a calm bond and sanctuary in a world that can often be overstimulating. There is strong evidence that babywearing provides many valuable benefits to both you and your baby. Wearing baby in a tummy-to-tummy fashion promotes breastfeeding, reduces colic, and may even help with Baby’s reflux.
Additionally, baby wraps, slings, and carriers are also extremely stylish! Modern baby wraps and carriers now come in a variety of colors, textures, fabrics, patterns, and limited edition prints. We sell high-quality, high-demand baby wraps and carriers from trusted brands like Tula, Ergo, Tekhni and more. Our St. Louis retail store also hosts a babywearing group, which is a great resource for trying different products, or for seeking advice, safety information, and social interaction with other like-minded mamas.
Baby carriers have improved dramatically in recent years in terms of safety, comfort, ergonomics, and optimal positioning for baby. A good baby wrap or carrier will always keep baby’s airway open, and will adequately support baby’s head, neck, back, bottom, and hips, while also providing necessary ergonomic support for you. Front-carry, inward-facing babywearing is ideal for infants and smaller babies, whereas front, back- and hip-carry babywearing works well for older babies and toddlers.
There are many types of baby carriers on the market today, most of which fall into one of these four categories.
Ring Sling –A ring sling is made from one long piece of fabric that is draped over one shoulder and secured with a set of rings, similar to a belt buckle. Baby fits in the pouch that is created either on mom’s chest or hip. Ring slings are a very simple, economical, and popular style of baby carrier, and they work especially well for newborns and small babies. They’re also ideal for breastfeeding! Popular brands include Sakura Bloom and the Tula Conversion Wrap. For wearing Baby in the water, try Beachfront Baby Slings.
Baby Wrap – Although there is a bit of a learning curve with its use, a baby wrap is extremely versatile. It can be used from infancy to toddlerhood and offer a variety of options for carrying baby. Baby wraps consist of one long piece of fabric that is wrapped and knotted around mom’s body in various ways depending on how baby is worn. Baby wrap carriers made with stretchy fabric work best for infant front-carry, while non-stretchy fabric supports infants and toddlers and provide more options for front-, back-, or hip-carry. Popular brands include the Moby Wrap (also available in Bamboo), Tekhni Woven Wraps, and Beachfront Baby Wraps.
Soft-Structured Carrier – Soft-structured carriers have the look of a backpack with padded shoulder and hip straps, and a wide, supportive panel to keep baby securely harnessed. These features offer supreme comfort for mom by distributing weight evenly, offering lumbar support, and relief from shoulder pressure. Baby is harnessed safely in front or back, and some styles are designed with the ability to hip-carry Baby. An infant insert may be needed for Baby’s first few months, otherwise, soft-structured baby carriers are recommended for babies 6 months and older. Soft-structured carriers are typically more expensive than baby slings, but fortunately, soft-structured baby carriers can be used well into toddlerhood! Best-selling brands include Tula and Ergobaby, as well as Beco, Lillebaby and Onya Baby. Accessories for soft-structured carriers includes teething/suck pads, drool pads, and the infant insert.
Baby carriers are a must-have for you and your little one! To help you decide which type of baby carrier is right for you, consider your budget, lifestyle, local climate, and how long and how often you plan to carry baby. Choose which features meet your needs, and use this guide to help you decide which baby carrier is right for you! You can also contact our Customer Service Team at 314-892-1855 for more information about the baby wearing and the products we carry.