Here are some of the most common questions that we hear asked about babywearing and using a baby carrier to transport your child.
Most styles of baby carriers are designed to carry your baby from “birth to potty training” which is typically described as 7 – 35 lbs. Check out each carrier’s specific descriptions and instructions though, as some carriers require an additional insert or specific way of carrying for newborns. The Ergobaby line of carriers, for instance, can be used for newborns but require an Infant Insert be used for the first few months to ensure that your baby has sufficient head and neck support. Other carriers, such as the Beco Gemini, provide sufficient head and neck support without the use of an insert.
The most important thing to keep in mind when looking for a carrier that can be shared between two differently sized partners is adjustability. Some slings and wraps come in sizes – usually determined by your dress, suit or t-shirt size. If you and your partner are significantly different in size but want to share a carrier, a sized carrier may not be a suitable option for you. Choose something that is very adjustable, such as a structured carrier like the Ergobaby or Beco Gemini that have really versatile straps and can fit multiple body types. Adjustable ring slings are a good option as well, as you can very easily adjust the pocket size and length of the sling.
Carrying your child can put a lot of strain on your back, particularly as she gets heavier. Back pain can result from baby carrying if your child’s weight is not being evenly distributed. Often, using a carrier that can more effectively distribute weight can really help. A structured carrier that has high density padding and multiple straps can help to distribute the weight between your shoulders and hips, which should make things a little easier on you. If you are experiencing significant pain or discomfort from carrying your child, we recommend speaking with a doctor.
Don’t worry - sometimes it can be really tough to get your carrier to fit comfortably when you’re first getting used to it. Even if you tried it on in-store and it felt great, sometimes when you get it home and are on your own it just doesn’t seem to work correctly. Check out the literature that came with your carrier. Most carriers have pretty good instruction booklets that cover the basics of wearing your carrier, instructional photos and a section on troubleshooting. If you are worried about adjusting the carrier with your child in it, put it on a few times without your baby in it and adjust it until it feels comfortable. Most carrier websites also offer videos of their product being put on. These can be very helpful and can show you all of the little ways in which your carrier can be adjusted to be more comfortable. If all else fails, come visit us in store! Bring your carrier with you and one of our knowledgeable staff members can help you find a comfortable position for you and your baby.
We have found that almost all baby carriers can be beneficial for breastfeeding. Having your child held up close to your body instantly provides a comfortable bonding experience. Most carriers hold your baby close to your chest and when adjusted slightly can put your baby into a position that is ideal for breastfeeding. Different people find that different carriers work best for them while breastfeeding, but in general with some adjustment and some persistence, your carrier can be a great breastfeeding tool. Check your specific carrier’s instructions to see recommended practices and positions for breastfeeding with your baby in your carrier.