Baby Wearing - Slings & Carriers

a woman holding a baby in her arms

Baby Carrier Guide

What is Babywearing?

Babywearing is the practice of carrying your baby or toddler using a sling or carrier. It offers numerous benefits, including bonding, convenience, and mobility. Choosing the right type of carrier depends on your comfort, baby’s age, and desired level of closeness. Here's a comprehensive guide to babywearing and the different types of slings and carriers available.

Benefits of Babywearing

Benefits for Baby
Close Bonding:
When babywearing, babies are nestled close to their caregiver's body, providing a sense of security and comfort. This physical closeness promotes bonding and attachment, which are essential for healthy emotional development.

Regulated Sleep Patterns: The rhythmic motion and warmth provided by babywearing often soothe babies to sleep more easily. Being held close to the caregiver's body can help regulate baby's sleep patterns and promote longer and more restful sleep. Studies have shown that carrying your baby, resulted in a reduction in baby’s crying by 43% overall, and 51% less at night.

Enhanced Cognitive Development: Babies in carriers have a front-row seat to observe the world around them. This exposure to different sights, sounds, and experiences stimulates their senses and promotes cognitive development.
Improved Digestion: The gentle pressure of being held close to the caregiver's body can aid in digestion and reduce symptoms of colic and reflux. The upright position in many carriers also helps prevent gas and discomfort.
Hands-Free Interaction: Babywearing allows caregivers to attend to their baby's needs while still being able to engage in everyday activities. Whether it's shopping, cooking, or simply going for a walk, baby can be right there, experiencing the world alongside their caregiver.

Benefits of babywearing for parents

Convenience and Mobility: Babywearing frees up caregivers' hands, allowing them to tackle household chores, run errands, or even pursue outdoor activities while keeping their baby close. This increased mobility promotes a sense of independence and empowerment.
Physical Comfort: High-quality carriers are designed with ergonomic features that distribute baby's weight evenly across the wearer's body, reducing strain on the back, shoulders, and hips. This ergonomic support ensures comfort for extended periods of wear.
Emotional Support: Babywearing promotes a strong bond between caregiver and baby, fostering feelings of closeness and security. The physical contact and intimacy of babywearing can also boost oxytocin levels, promoting feelings of calmness and well-being.
Ease of Breastfeeding: Many baby carriers are designed to facilitate breastfeeding on the go, allowing caregivers to nurse discreetly and comfortably while out and about. This convenience makes breastfeeding more accessible and promotes a strong breastfeeding relationship.
Cultural Connection: Babywearing is a time-honoured tradition in many cultures around the world. By embracing babywearing, caregivers can connect with their cultural heritage and pass down this cherished practice to future generations.

Types of Baby Carriers

If you’re thinking about Baby Wearing, researching what carrier is best suited for your needs and preferences is essential. Whether you prefer simplicity, versatility, comfort or style, there’s a babywearing option to suit every family. 

the six popular baby carriers
Babywearing Guide by Brooke Maree

Soft-Structured Carriers (SSCs):

Benefits: SSCs feature padded straps and a structured body panel, providing excellent support and weight distribution. They're easy to use and versatile, suitable for various activities.
Appropriate Ages: Most SSCs are suitable for newborns with the help of infant inserts, although some brands offer models specifically designed for newborns. They can typically be used until toddlerhood or beyond, depending on the carrier's weight limit.

Ring Slings:

Ring slings are made from a long piece of fabric with adjustable rings, allowing for a customisable fit. They're great for quick ups and downs and provide a snug, cosy environment for newborns.
Appropriate Ages: Ring slings are suitable for newborns through toddlers. They're particularly popular during the newborn and infant stages due to their snug and supportive hold.

Wrap Carriers:

Wraps consist of a long piece of fabric that wraps around the caregiver and baby, providing a customisable and secure hold. They offer excellent support and versatility, allowing for multiple carrying positions.
Appropriate Ages: Wraps are suitable for newborns through toddlers. Stretchy wraps are often preferred for newborns due to their soft and cosy feel, while woven wraps offer more support and are suitable for older babies and toddlers.

Mei Tai Carriers:

Benefits: Mei Tais feature a square-shaped body panel and straps that tie around the waist and shoulders, combining elements of wraps and SSCs. They offer versatility and a comfortable fit for both caregivers and babies.Appropriate Ages: Mei Tais are suitable for newborns through toddlers. Their adjustable design allows for a snug fit from the early days of infancy through the toddler years.

Hybrid Carriers:

Benefits: Hybrid carriers combine features of different carrier types, offering versatility and customization. They often feature adjustable straps, multiple carrying positions, and ergonomic design elements.
Appropriate Ages: Hybrid carriers are suitable for newborns through toddlers, depending on the specific model. They typically offer a range of carrying positions to accommodate different stages of development.