February 20th, 2013
By Doula Jen
We recently received an email inquiry from a new mom looking to get started with baby wearing. She didn’t know where to start! We had a great email exchange back and forth and I thought I’d share the most information-packed note I sent. There are A LOT of products out there and some of them can seem—to the novice—like complicated contraptions that must be impossible to master. If you too are overwhelmed by the world of carriers, wraps, and slings, this should get you started. Remember, we answer our phone 24/7 and respond to every email. Question about baby care? Mama care? Just ask!
Thank you for reaching out. You came to the right place! We LOVE baby wearing. It is a practical, healthy, and easy way to bond with baby.
As already mentioned, our favorite carrier for newborns is the Moby. At 13 weeks, your little one might be getting big for this kind of wrap. The original model is supposed to go to 35 pounds–and technically, it does–but it is VERY stretchy, so it’s a bit difficult (although not impossible) to maintain a tight wrap. They do have a product with an area of non-stretch material that is good for larger babies and toddlers. You can find both at their website.
Mei Tai style carriers are a good next step from the Moby. They offer the same simplicity of design and are perhaps a bit easier to figure out. They often come in really fun colors and patterns. New ones are available at BabyHawk and Mei Tai Baby. They are also available at eBay and at TheBabyWearer.com gently used.
Ergo carriers are great and are the most popular snap and buckle, no tie style carrier. They are a bit pricey and while they really are comfortable and sturdy, I personally favor the Mei Tai and Moby because they are one size fits all. Grandma, Dad, Mom, sitter, doula, friend can all put these carriers on without readjusting (or messing up pre-adjusted) straps.
A lot of people like slings, but they are kind of becoming outdated with the introduction of so many great front and back carriers. Front and back carriers distribute the weight evenly for you, the wearer. Slings get uncomfortable quickly, as you are usually bearing all of the weight on one side of the body. Some slings are a bit dangerous too, even when used properly.
The previously mentioned TheBabyWearer.com is a WONDERFUL starting point if you need more info than this. There are forums, reviews, trades. Really great site. And if you are feeling confused about how to put a certain carrier ON, YouTube is a good resource. Lots of videos SHOWING and telling how to tie the Moby, for example.
Hope that helps. Let us know if you need anything else.
(FYI-Lindsay went with the BabyHawk. An excellent choice!)