It’s International Babywearing Week (2nd – 8th October) and to celebrate, I’ll be sharing information, videos and tips throughout the next week to help you along your babywearing journey.
I ventured into motherhood without a single clue when it came to babywearing or carriers! However, in my sleep-deprived desperation with a nap-and-bedtime-detesting, super-clingy limpet baba (those were the days!) and dirty dishes and nappies piling up waiting to be washed, I did my research and quickly realised that a sling was the way to go to get my hands back!
We invested in a Close Caboo Organic baby carrier and whilst I didn’t wear it as much as I wish I had (due to pre-existing back problems from getting run over some years ago) I throughly enjoyed babywearing and having her snuggled up so closely as we went about our day.
When we’re lucky enough to be graced with baby #2 I am determined to give it another go and if my crazily independent toddler would let me, I’d happily lug her around nowadays as well.
So, from those who only used their slings occasionally to babywearing pros, I’ve rounded up some thoughts and guidance from the parent blogger community together with their recommendations for which slings and carriers worked for them.
I hope it helps and you find it useful!
Babywearing Tips & Advice
‘Remember to use the T.I.C.K.S rule for safe babywearing.’ (see below) — Kate // My Family Fever‘
I loved a stretchy wrap when Ava was little! Practice tying it without the baby to start with and it’s also much quicker to have pre-tied on you if you are going somewhere as then you can just pop them in.’ — Eilidh // Mummy and Monkeys
‘I *adore* babywearing and have worn Henry since he was a newborn. We still babywear now at almost 2 and we will continue! My tip would be to get yourself to a sling library to help you find a carrier perfect for you and your baby and to get help with the correct positioning.’ — Kay // Mummy B
‘I’m a massive fan of babywearing and have worn Little Mister H from the day he was born and I started wearing Little Miss H at 6 months old. You don’t need to spend a fortune on buying a new wrap or carrier though — there are some fabulous Facebook groups where you can buy preloved wraps. Plus, in some ways, it is better to buy a wrap or sling that is broken in as the material is softer and easier to tie and mould around your child.’ — Lucy // Mrs H’s Favourite Things
Babywearing Buy/Sell/Swap Groups on Facebook
— — — > Baby Wearing Swap & Shop
— — — > Toddler Slings & Carriers FSOT
‘Make sure you have a good carrier and that it’s fitted well, it makes ALL the difference! Babywearing consultants are usually happy to help you with this without any charge.’ — Becky // The Mummy Adventure
‘I’m fairly new to babywearing — so far from an expert — but I think my biggest tip would be to start early. I left it too late with Lottie and she never took to it whereas I started wearing Frankie at about 2 or 3 weeks old and she loves it!’ — Katie // Heels & Hooves
‘We wear Buster (15 months) as it’s annoying to take a buggy to nursery and makes it much quicker to do the drop off in the morning. My husband wears him as much as I do too.’ — Rachel // The Little Pip
‘Choose an ergonomic carrier which keeps little one’s legs and bottom in a ‘M’ shape which their knees higher than their bottom. They support children so much better!’ — Lynne // New Mummy Blog
‘Practice in front of a mirror and next to a bed. I found when I was learning to do a back carry having the mattress behind me incase she fell was really reassuring.’ — Debbie // Hello Deborah
‘When it comes to back carrying, I tend to scoop my toddler up underarm whilst leaning over and quickly flip the carrier them. Everyone has their own different ways of putting their little ones in so just work out which is the most comfortable for you. Also, ignore everyone around you when back carrying in public. They will stare but just don’t let them put you off!’ — Jenny // Monkey & Mouse
‘When you’ve got a squishy little newborn you need a stretchy wrap. I’d buy two if I were you, because they quite often get poopsplosions on them! Plus, when you’ve started using the wrap and you’ve got your hands back, you’re not going to want to wait whilst you’re washing the dirty one!’ — Helena // Babyfoote
‘We used a stretchy wrap for a good while with our twins before moving on to a ring sling and then a full buckle. All suited for the stages they were at and the full buckle was great for back carries.’ — Lynne // A Day In The Life of a Mum of 6
‘There are plenty of YouTube tutorials online if you need help tying your sling/carrier and you could also make use of any local sling libraries — they’re great if you want to try out some of the more expensive carriers too!’ — Laura // Wafflemama
‘Don’t get seduced by a pretty pattern — go for what’s comfortable! Get your partner involved as well. My husband loved babywearing too!’ — Sara // Ballsy Mama
‘When you get to the toddler stage, ringslings are great for quick ups (and subsequent downs!)’ — Kim // Raising A Ragamuffin
‘Forward-facing carriers are unnecessary! By the time they’re old enough to want to see the world they can go on your back and peek over your shoulder!’ — Frances // Whinge Whinge Wine
— — — > Read the NCT’s guide on baby sling safety which mentions why carrying a young baby facing outwards is not recommended.
‘I would advise practicing putting your sling on a few times before your baby arrives! It’s so much easier if you’re familiarised yourself with it ready for when your baby is around.’ — Alice // Living with a Jude
‘Wear less than your normally would — and that goes for baby too! Babywearing is a warm business and little ones can easily overheat. My advice is to buy an oversized cardigan to go over both you and baby and then it’ll be easier to gauge your temperate and theirs!’ — Rachel // Vintage Folly
‘Have a muslin or dribble cloth down your front so you’re ready for any spittle or sick!’ — Laura // Oh So Mummy
‘Slings are a bit like jeans — what suits one person won’t suit another! Sometimes it’s a sling that you haven’t even considered or heard of before that ends up being the perfect fit for you and your family!’ — Vivienne // The Mother’s Room
T.I.C.K.S — Essential Babywearing Safety Advice
Wuti Wraps & KangaWraps
‘I suggest having 2 wraps depending on the weather. I have a Wuti Wrap which is thinner and lighter (great for warmer weather) and I also have a KangaWrap which is thicker (better for colder days/winter). I would recommend trying a few out at sling meets or borrow from friends to begin with as you might find that you and your baby don’t get on with a certain type of carrier. Elian hates my sling but loves my wraps.’ — Chantele // Two Hearts One Roof
Madame Googoo & Soul Slings
‘My Madame Googoo Minnie Mouse (I designed it myself!)’ — Jade // Mummies Waiting
‘We’ve just got the Baby Björn One so that she can face out and watch the world and she is really comfy in there too! I love the fact that this one can be used facing in or out and can also be used for back carrying so will last until the toddler years. It’s also super comfy to wear!’ — Katie // Heels & Hooves
‘My favourite one that I’ve used is the Baby Björn One and I love it because it can be used with a newborn without an insert and with toddlers too. I used it with both my daughters and you don’t have to change lots of settings to swap between children of different ages and sizes. It’s really comfortable to wear and you can wear older babies/toddlers on your back too! Another bonus is that it washes really well in the machine and doesn’t take too long to dry which was brilliant with a reflux baby!’ — Petra // A Mum Reviews
‘We still use a Tula with Ava now that she’s almost 3. It’s so simple to use and Daddy loves wearing her too!’ — Eilidh // Mummy and Monkeys
‘I love Tula! We have a fair few of their carriers and they’re the most comfortable by far. Beautiful designs too!’— Kay // Mummy B
‘My favourite is the fox print toddler Tula!’ — Jenny // Monkey & Mouse
‘I’m a huge fan of Lenny Lamb wraps and carriers (read about the ones Lucy loves and uses here). I have one of their bamboo wraps and a toddler ergonomic full buckle baby carrier and I adore them both. The carrier is a converted bamboo wrap so it’s super soft and secure plus it’s really comfy. Also, the designs are completely swoon-worthy!’ — Lucy // Mrs H’s Favourite Things
‘I loved my Lenny Lamb ring sling when the girls were little but use a Connecta most days now that they’re older.’ — Donna // The Sleep Thief’s Mummy
‘Our favourite is the Ergobaby as it’s the most comfortable as your baby gets bigger! We have the original but we’re hoping to get the 360 soon.’ — Lisa // Mummy Gummie
‘We love the Ergobaby Adapt which keeps our little one in the ‘M’ position and has the advantage over the other Ergobaby carriers as it can be used from newborn to 4 years without an insert. It’s so well thought out too and comfy. I’ve owned other carriers like the Beco Butterfly which is ergonomic and the Baby Björn which is not and the Ergo wins every time!’ — Lynne // New Mummy Blog
‘We had an Ergo 360 which was brilliant for both of us. I did want a Tula as the patterns were gorgeous but I just didn’t find it comfortable. I’m glad I tried them first and didn’t impulsively buy!’ — Sara // Ballsy Mama
‘I like stretchy wraps when baby is newborn and Connecta when they’re older.’ — Sophie // Sophie & Lily
‘I’ve tried all of them pretty much (17 slings and counting!) and my favourites are still a simple stretchy wrap until about 4 months then a Connecta from then until preschool age. I currently carry both my 2 year old and my 4 year old in a Connecta!’ — Lauren // A Scrapbook of Our Lives
‘Our favourite carrier is the Connecta. We love both the solar weave version and the wrap conversion. They both suit my 6″5 XXL other half and myself too (5″7 and size 10/12).’ — Helena // Babyfoote
‘My favourite carrier is the classic Connecta.’ — Rachel // Vintage Folly
‘Twin parents absolutely must consider the TwinGo! It’s suitable for ages 4 months plus and has been a lifesaver for all of those awkward times when a pram just wouldn’t suffice, be that from going out and about on public transport to simply settling two fractious babies that wanted to be held.’ — Amber & Kirsty // Meet The Wildes
Rose & Rebellion
‘My last carrier was a buckled one from Rose & Rebellion. It was beautiful, comfortable for us both and super easy for back carries. I was so sad when my babycarrying days were over and always recommend it to everyone!’ — Laura // Wafflemama
‘My stash is shrinking now due to carrying less as my little one is older but I still have room for 2 ringslings with my favourite being a Baie Trowen Ferric. It’s my favourite because the colours and celtic knot pattern are beautiful and because it’s so soft.’ — Kim // Raising A Ragamuffin
‘I had a Moby for when they were first born. They were premature and loved being cocooned in the wrap! As they got older I used a woven and also a ring sling, it was so easy to just throw it on and pop them in for the school run or shorter journeys.’ — Laura // Five Little Doves
3 Amazing Babywearing Tricks That Will Help Your Carrier Fit Better by Renne at Close Enough To Kiss
Why Slings Are A Family Travel Essential by Naomi at Trips With A Tot
Our Experience Of Babyweaing by Helena at The Queen of Collage