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In our modern day and age there are many things that help us to make life easier. I cannot imagine living in any other era, although I used to dream about the past, more romantic times. After realizing that there were no modern meds, and postpartum options that we have now, I swiftly became more of a realist rather than a romantic who fantasized about what ‘I thought’ was a more ‘elegant and beautiful era.’
While there are certainly benefits to the 1800s and Jane Austen’s romance, nothing beats the comforts of today. On the other hand, there are many practices from the past that we have forgotten or chose to overlook in our modern day and age. One of the practices is babywearing. In this post I will break it all down for you and hopefully this will help you to be more aware of the benefits of this old practice from days past.
What is Babywearing? What are the Benefits?
Babywearing is basically a way for you to carry your newborn, infant, or toddler on you while having your hands free. You ‘wear’ your baby during your daily activities. You might say, well, this is pretty extreme. However, studies have shown over and over again that baby wearing is one of the best ways to bond with your baby, promote healthy growth, increase your chances of better breastfeeding, and even help you with postpartum depression and anxiety.
Babywearing does not have to be by the mother only. It can be anyone who takes care of the baby. Your significant other can wear the baby when you guys go shopping instead of putting the baby into the stroller. Grandparents, even siblings can wear the baby while going about their daily activities.
Babywearing can be done by anyone who cares for the baby. It can be mom, dad, grandparents, siblings, and anyone who is helping you with the baby. You basically just wear your baby on you during your daily activities.
This babywearing practice is widely forgotten in our day and age. However, many moms in our country are slowly beginning to introduce it back into our society. I personally have started to wear my baby and I have to say that there is no better experience out there. I have seen the benefits of this practice firsthand.
My little one is eight months old now and over twenty pounds. I use this carrier here, but I will list all the many different options available down below that will satisfy all tastes and preferences. There are so many options that no matter the age and weight of your baby you can find something stylish and enjoyable for both baby and ‘wearer’.
Studies have shown that babywearing helps with postpartum depression, stimulates better breastfeeding, helps the baby to grow faster and even cry less.
Babywearing can be done as early as newborn. In fact, if you have noticed, our hospitals are now promoting skin to skin much more than they used to. Back in the day, the skin to skin practice was mostly used with premature babies and the babies that needed extra care and attention. Now, everyone wants to do skin to skin because studies have shown that this is one of the best things you can do for your baby once he is born.
Babywearing is like the continuation of the skin to skin. You can wear him skin to skin or clothed. The smell of your skin, the sound of your heart and your breathing, the womb like wrapping around him all promote a healthy neurological and psychological as well as physical growth and development.
By wearing your baby you are basically helping your baby get a better start in life with being happier, more stable emotionally and overall encouraging a better communication skills with the surrounding world and with yourself.
While it can be taxing on you physically, there are products that help with the weight and also help to support your back. I personally was not able to wear my baby until about 4 months old because I had a tough recovery. However, every time we went somewhere my husband would wear him. Our son would sleep nicely on daddy’s chest and no matter where we were he was much more quiet and didn’t have the crying fits that he would when we put him in the stroller.
Another great thing about babycarrying is that you pretty much can do anything with him. Since you have both hands free, you don’t have to push a stroller, or find ways to juggle multiple things at a time while also trying to figure out how to hold your fussy baby.
It does getting a little bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it this whole babywearing experience really grows on you. I can honestly say that my baby is much more emotionally stable and happy after I wear him. He looks me in the eye more and there is a better communication established. I can just see that he is happier.
There are many options available for babywearing. You can find the best product for your baby and your needs no matter how old or heavy your baby is. Whether a newborn, infant or toddler, there are various options available to satisfy you.
So let’s look at the babywearing options and available products out there. Quite honestly, there are so many of them that you just have to find a babywearing chapter in your area and go there to try all the various options to see which one you and your baby like best. Then you can buy one knowing what to expect.
Keep in mind that because all of these products will be new to you they might all seem to be difficult to learn. However, it is very temporary and after a few tries you will be able to say which product you actually like and which you certainly dislike.
Also know that there are weight limitations to each of these. You might like one for newborn but a different one for a toddler. Since they’re all pretty expensive i stuck with the one that has an infant insert which I can just remove when my baby outgrows it and keep using my carrier still after that.
Just try to keep an open mind and know your options so you can make the best educated choice.
All The Babywearing Products
There are so many options available that it can be stressful to figure out which one will be best for you and your baby.
Let’s look at the general options and the pros and cons of each. Hopefully once you know what is out there you will be able to chose and select easier. Some options you will be able to reject pretty much off the bat because you will be able to tell right away that this or that option is just not for you.
Likewise, some will be more appealing and those are the ones you want to investigate more. Nonetheless, keep an open mind because you really never know with these until you try them. That is why I highly recommend finding your local babywearing society and getting in touch with them.
Wraps are basically a long stretchy fabric like a giant scarf. The biggest benefit of the wraps is that they offer infinite variety and wrapping options. They come in pretty much any color and style and in almost any type of fabric so that you can have either winter warm or summer cool wraps to accommodate your weather.
Another big benefit is that you can adjust it to suit you baby’s body and position which means nothing will be poking him like seams or wide seating part because you can adjust the wrap exactly to fit your baby.
The wraps can be used for newborns, babies and toddlers. You can pretty much wear them for the entire babywearing experience. They are also easy to change so that you spouse can adjust the wrap to his body while when you wear it you can adjust it to your body.
The biggest con to wraps is that you got some serious knots going. If you have manicured or long nails this is not going to work unless you have someone tie it for you and untie it. If you are like me and love wraps but also love your long nails, you might have to get a couple different carriers so that you don’t have to sacrifice your nails indefinitely.
Another major con is that because it is like a giant scarf, you have a long tail hanging down to the floor which makes it very easy to trip over and fall. Unless you tie it up in another knot or work it into your wrapping somehow so that you don’t have the tail dangling around you hazardously.
Some of the best rated baby wraps are:
Boba Baby Wrap Carrier
This is one of the most mom-beloved wraps. It is perfect for newborn or baby up to 35lbs. It is easy to comfortably and discreetly breastfeed newborn in this wrap. It is machine washable and has a lifetime guarantee. It is 95% cotton and the little bit of spandex it has goes towards helping the wrap to keep its shape no matter how much you tie and untie it or how much you use it.
CuddleBug Baby Wrap
This one here is like the Boba above but it has different, more lively colors and tying techniques. It is much more stylish than the Boba, but might be a little too heavy for hot summers because it is a bit thicker than Boba. You can also use it with a sling so this wrap offers dual options both as a wrap and as a sling. Max recommended weight is 35lbs.
Baby K'Tan Wrap
The Baby K’Tan are not wraps in the traditional sense because they are not like a long piece of fabric that you then wrap and tie however you want. The K’Tan is already pre-wrapped for you so that you don’t have to do anything other than put it on and put your baby in there.
That is the ultimate beauty of this wrap. In addition, you do not have a long tail to deal with because you wear this wrap like a shirt almost. It has versatile options and is super easy to use.
The only drawback to this wrap that we personally experienced was that it is not suitable for larger babies. Our baby was 8.3lbs at birth an he outgrew the K’Tan pretty much within the first three months. However, for the first three months, the K’Tan worked really well for us and he really enjoyed it.
Buckle carriers are basically the ones with the buckles and straps and a seat for your baby. In other words, you buckle the baby onto yourself. You can strap the baby to your front, back, or hip. In addition, these buckle carriers offer you a lot of flexibility and free your hands to do things while you walk around with your baby on you.
Here are some of the best sellers. I will start with the one I have because it is very durable, easy to wash, and once you get the hang of it you can carry your baby in there for quite some time from infancy through toddler.
Ergobaby Original Award-Winning Ergonomic Multi-Position Baby Carrier with x-large Storage Pocket
In addition to the baby k’tan this is the buckle carrier that we have. I will be honest, this carrier took me quite some time to get used to. About a week to be able to do it all on my own. At first, I thought it was the worst product anyone could have ever created. However, after figuring out that you can move the straps to position them in a way that makes it easier for you to buckle them all up yourself, I found myself loving this carrier.
It is extremely versatile, durable, and machine washable. I cannot imagine life without this carrier. I take my baby on walks outside in this thing, I walk him around the house in it, and I even cook with him while backpacking him. The only thing is, if you will be backpacking you do need extra help from someone. You cannot put the baby safely in a backpacking position all on your own. You can put him up front all on your own, but not the backpack.
I really think that there is a learning curve with all of these products. I honestly can say this was worth it and I am glad I took the time to figure it out because now I and my baby really enjoy it.
Note: you do want to get the infant insert. It comes additionally and it really makes this carrier perfect for little ones all the way to toddler years. The weight limit is 45lbs. which is great and about 10lbs. more than most carriers.
Your spouse can also adjust the carrier to be able to easily carry your baby. Then when it is your turn, you just adjust it easily to your measurements.
The biggest cons of this product is the learning curve to figure it out. Another one is that you need the additional infant insert. However, that’s because this carrier is up to 45lbs. and will last older and heavier babies for quite a while, so it is actually a benefit, in my opinion, because I plan on carrying my baby on me for as long as I can.
Infantino Flip 4 - in - 1 Convertible Carrier
The beauty of this carrier is that it is really light so that when the weather is hot outside you and your baby don’t sweat. Another plus of this carrier is the price. Can’t beat it.
However, because of the price it might not be made of the most durable material and might not last you as long as other carriers. In addition, if you are looking for a temporary carrier to take with you, let’s say, on vacation or just to have a good back up, this is definitely a great choice. The weight limitation is 32lbs. for this carrier.
Maybe I am wrong, but the biggest difference between the regular wraps and the ring sling wraps is the look of it and the fact that there are no knots. This makes a lot of sense because I would definitely not want to break my nails trying to tie and untie a huge knot every time I wanted to adjust my wrap.
These ring slings are some of the best sellers and are pretty nice to look at.
Luxury Ring Sling Baby Carrier
This ring sling wrap is made of organic bamboo and linen. It is of the highest quality and is very durable and beautiful. Bamboo is one of the most durable and breathable materials out there. It adjusts to your body temperature and keeps you either cool or warm, depending on the circumstances. This is definitely a luxury wrap with a very appealing look.
This wrap also comes with a lifetime guarantee so that is always a big plus.
Maximum weight for this one is 35lbs.
Vlokup Baby Sling Ring Sling Carrier Wrap
This is another baby ring sling wrap that offers style and comfort for you and your baby. It offers discreet and comfortable breastfeeding as well. The biggest plus for this wrap is the designs that they have and the price is very affordable.
The biggest cons to this product is that the material could be better than cotton and is definitely not a luxury product for either you or your baby. However, if you are looking for something inexpensive this is definitely a great product to get.
The weight limit for this one is 40lbs.
Ancient traditions coming from China and other Asian countries where meh dai was used for centuries. The biggest benefit of a meh dai is the unlimited flexibility. There are a lot of translations and variations of how people call them, but the latest one is Meh Dais because it is the closest translation from Cantonese.
There are also modern versions of traditional meh dais where you now have buckles so that it is easier to tie it up while you still have the flexibility of wearing your baby however you like.
Catbird Baby Mei Tai Baby Carrier, Mesa
This one here is the traditional Meh Dais baby carrier. It is the only one on the market with a memory foam so that it adjusts to your baby exactly like a glove. This one also sits higher on you and not on your belly so that there is no pressure on your recovering tummy, if you can wear your baby from early on.
The maximum weight for this one is 40lbs.
Moby Buckle Tie, Stripes
This Moby Buckle Tie Meh Dai is a combination of the traditional meh dai with the modern buckle straps for extra comfort for you. You don’t have to worry about the knots and ties with the buckles.
Because this one is a mix of the traditional with ‘modern’ buckle, the range of wearing your baby is limited to only front, back and hip. However, if you like the meh dais plus some extra ease of use, this is definitely the best modified version of the traditional meh dais.
The maximum weight for this one is 45lbs.