For some utterly bizarre reason, I’ve always found there’s a sort of mystery surrounding baby wearing – like it’s some sort of special club you join and once you’re a member it’s forbidden to push your baby around in the buggy. (Is that just me?!) But as far as I’m concerned there’s a time and a place for both methods of baby transportation, and we’ve shared our reviews of a few types of travel systems, so today I thought we could discuss slings and carriers.

Why Carry Your Baby?

In most cultures across the world, it’s totally normal to carry your baby close to your chest and I’m sure most of you are aware of the benefits of babywearing so I’m not going to waffle on about those. For us, it was lovely for Matt to be able to carry Elle and have that bonding time with her snuggled into his chest. And as she got older she would squeal in excitement when we got the carrier out of the cupboard, which was really sweet. We also have a dog who needs a lot of exercise and a carrier meant that we could easily walk for miles across all sorts of terrain without having to worry about pushing or lifting the buggy. Plus in those moments where she just wouldn’t sleep for love nor money, putting her in the carrier was a sure fire way to get her to drift off.

Had I done a little more research before Elle was born, I would have bought something softer and more stretchy for wearing her around the house and next time around I’ll definitely invest in one, I can imagine it makes looking after two much easier.

Types of Carrier & Sling

Like with travel systems, the choice is endless and I think it’s definitely about finding something that suits you and your lifestyle. If you’re thinking about buying a sling or carrier I’d recommend searching on Facebook for sling and carrier groups in your area as they often have ‘sling library days’ where you meet up, try on different types of carrier and sling and ask the experts any questions you may have.

Here’s my brief outline of what’s available to you…

Stretchy Wrap – these are the most commonly recommended wraps for newborns as they are made from soft, stretchy fabric and cocoon your baby snuggly to your chest. (Some allow for different styles of carrying i.e. back and hip too as baby gets older). The Close Caboo or Boba Wrap are great options. This is the style of wrap I WISH I’d bought for Elle (probably even before the pram if I’m honest). She wasn’t a baby who needed to be held all the time, but this certainly would have helped me get on with things during those clingy days.

Woven Wrap – essentially a giant piece of really strong fabric that you learn to tie in different ways, these are really versatile and come in all sorts of gorgeous fabrics and colours, but it does take some practice getting the hold right, especially when you start playing around with different positions. But like anything, practice makes perfect and several of my NCT friends LOVE wrapping their bubs in big woven wraps, it’s like a giant blanket. Try Woven Wings for UK design and manufacture, ethical sourcing of materials AND gorgeous patterns.

Ring Sling – this is a sling which is made from a single piece of fabric which threads through two rings to form a loop. The sling is worn over one shoulder like a sash and can be tightened by pulling the fabric through the rings which then lock it into place. Some ring slings have padding in the shoulder which can make it more comfortable to wear, but can also make it bulkier and less easy to adjust. It’s also possible to convert a woven wrap into a ring sling. This type of sling is suitable from newborn to toddler and is a very versatile option, but personally I couldn’t wear the one shoulder style for very long before my back would start to hurt, so that’s something to consider. Try Didymos Wraps for a great selection.

Mei Tai – this is a square/rectangle shaped piece of fabric with straps on all four corners. The “traditional” mei tai has a history that stretches back hundreds of years. The carrier has its roots in Asia, where mothers often carried their babies in simple fabric carriers that tied onto their bodies. With a mei tai carrier, your baby can be worn on your front or your back, from the earliest newborn days through to toddlerhood and beyond. Try Palm & Pond for gorgeous designs. (I’m very tempted by this nautical number).

Soft Structured Carrier – this is a broad term for the carriers with buckles or fastenings that you use to strap the baby on to you. There’s usually no wrapping involved and these are the carriers which are most commonly sold on the high street. The most popular are probably the Baby Bjorn and the Ergo Baby. But we’d also recommend Tula – lots of my mummy friends rave about these.

The Team Experiences

We had the Baby Bjorn WE and I wouldn’t recommend it. Although it’s suitable from newborn I always felt like it wasn’t snug enough for Elle when she was tiny and actually it doesn’t hold her in a particularly comfortable position – whether on the back or the front. Laura loved her Ergobaby 360 and still uses it for little Bertie, who is very much an active toddler now.

Lottie – We didnโ€™t have a baby carrier with Molly and it was the one thing we wished we had bought. So when I was expecting Alice we set out to find one. We figured we might need it with a toddler and a newborn. After lots of searching and reading up we settled on the Baby Bjorn Active. Edd decided it had enough support and he liked the design. I quite fancied the white version but we ended up with black as it seemed more practical. I actually got it from Gumtree and it was immaculate. Worth a look as most people only use them for a few months and then sell them on. Anyway, back to the carrier. It was great. When Alice was first born Molly was only 19 months so rather than buy a double buggy I would carry Alice in the carrier and Molly would hop in the buggy. Made life a lot easier. It was really comfy and I could carry Alice for long distances including ridiculous cliff walks on our Devon holiday. We used it until she was around 8 months old as then she was a bit big and I found it too heavy. I also used it around the house quite a lot as Alice hated being put down. If you have a clingy baby itโ€™s a great option. I definitely liked the sturdiness of it compared to some other carriers we looked at. Plus it was easy to pop in the wash which it often needed!!

We’d love to hear your experience of baby wearing and if you have any recommendations or reviews you can share with us ๐Ÿ™‚

Image by Little Beanies