Stocksnap/Tanja Heffner
What Every Parent Needs To Know About The 'Baby Wearing' Trend

Baby carriers aren't new, but they definitely feel new for many of us in the United States. As an alternative to strollers or carriages, some parents choose to use baby "carriers" to transport and hold their babies, whether they're at home or in public. Baby carriers come in different styles, with the three most popular being slings, wraps, and soft-structure carriers. 

The concept of "babywearing" in the US goes back to Dr. William Sears, a pediatrician who popularized the concept of "attachment parenting" through his book "The Baby Book" in the early '90s, though families have been "babywearing" across the world for centuries before that. 

Of course, a major plus of babywearing is that any adult can do it: A mother, father, aunt, uncle, babysitter, or so on can practice baby carrying, so long as the carrier is the appropriate size and fit. This makes babywearing an attractive option for parents who want to lighten the load of child-rearing or domestic duties at home.

Baby carriers also offer eco-conscious parents a way to cut down on the plastics often associated with traditional seats and strollers. Carriers can also be reused with relative ease. For the crafty parents, there are plenty of tutorials available online for creating your own carrer, though you'll want to ensure your creation is safe and durable before use.

Babywearing is a great option for many families, but may not be right for all kids. Talking to your trusted medical professional about the pros, cons, and possible dangers of babywearing is a great starting point, as is educating yourself about the risks of babywearing and how to keep your baby safe, should you experiment with baby carriers.

Slings 

Slings are most commonly used with young babies. It is basically a long swathe of fabric that is worn cross-body and attached over the shoulder. As explained at The Mayo Clinic, care should be taken that baby’s face is not covered and that their head doesn’t flop forward. With babies younger than four months, slings can pose a suffocation risk if used incorrectly. If your baby was born prematurely, has a cold, or was born at a low weight, definitely talk to your doctor before using a sling.

Higher end slings like Tula, which are actually slings made from handwoven wraps, are popular choices, as are slings from Seven

A post shared by Baby Tula (@tulababycarriers) on

tulababycarriers/Instagram

Wraps 

There are stretchy wraps which work great for newborns, but tend to sag and get loose once the baby is heavier. And there are woven wraps, which are made of cotton, linen, bamboo, or blends that have have a lot less give than stretchy wraps. They are often suitable for older babies right on up to toddlers and preschoolers.

Wraps have a very loyal following, with people building a stash of sometimes dozens of different weaves and patterns. Babywearing groups even have lending libraries that allow members to "check out" a wrap for a period of time. One of the most popular wrap brands is Tula, which specializes in beautifully handwoven wraps.

A post shared by Baby Tula (@tulababycarriers) on

tulababycarriers/Instagram

Soft-Structured Carriers  

Soft-structured, or buckle carriers, are gaining popularity and are becoming easier to find since big box stores started carrying a few different brands. They strap on and have a top and bottom, or waist and chest, buckle closure. The are easy to put on, easy to adjust, and easy to wear, no intricate wrap origami necessary. Many can be worn either in a front carry or back carry, and can generally be used from newborns to kids around 50 pounds.

Buckle carriers from Ergo are available at Target, as well as from Boba and Lillebaby which are comfortable and easy to adjust to accommodate any weight baby and any body shape adult.

A post shared by Boba (@boba) on

boba/Instagram

Whichever style carrier you choose, or if you alternate between all three, support and advice are easy to find online and in person. Babywearing International even has in-person meetups, so you can meet other baby wearing parents and ask questions about different carriers and learn the babywearing ropes from the pros.

ParentingNew Guidelines For Children's Health Stress Importance Of Getting Enough Sleep

We all know that sleep is important, but an update to the recommendations for children's sleep stresses sleep health as an imperative, even at a young age. Sleep impacts physical, emotional, and mental health, even in kids and teenagers.

6 months ago
ParentingWhat Every Parent Needs To Know About Biking As A Family

Biking is a fun, eco-friendly way to get kids and teenagers outdoors, especially in the summer. But it's important to refresh the whole family on safety, bike etiquette, and the rules of the bike lane before hitting the pavement.

6 months ago
ParentingThe Best Yoga Poses To Reduce Stress In Kids

One way to help children handle stress is to incorporate a yoga practice into their daily routine. Yoga expert and teacher Alice Louise Blunden breaks down the best poses for children to reduce anxiety and promote mindfulness.

6 months ago
ParentingThese Eco-Friendly Gifts Are The Perfect Way To Celebrate Dad This Father's Day

Holidays are busy with presents, and Father's Day is no exception. Luckily, it's surprisingly simple to find gifts that are not only good for the environment, but are sure to please the special dad in your life.

6 months ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our daily newsletter
Quantcast