THE MAMMOTH BABYWEARING GUIDE 2017

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.

International Babywearing Week

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.

Babywearing Collage

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

Kate Fever — Babywearing Beco Soleil

Kate carrying her son Max in her Beco Soleil. Read her review of the Beco Soleil and the Papooze baby carriers.

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

Jazooli Stretchy Wrap

Amanda from Blue Bunny Boutique cuddles up close with Elijah in his Jazooli stretchy wrap

‘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

We Made Me Pao Papoose Baby Carrier

Leanne from A Slice of My Life Wales wearing Aria in her We Made Me Pao Papoose (read her review) in the Welsh Mountains.

‘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

‘You can buy clip-on mirrors to check on your child when using a back carrier.’ — Sophie // Sophie & Lily

‘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

Papoozle Baby Carrier

Sharon from Teen Tween Toddler carrying a very peaceful baby Jack in her Papoozle. Do pop over to read about her babywearing journey.

‘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

Ringsling Babywearing

Hannah from Budding Smiles cradling her daughter, Martha, in a Rockin’ Baby ringsling (psst..for every purchase, they donate another to a mother/baby in need. How awesome is that?)

‘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

Beco Gemini Carrier

Lisa from Mummascribbles took this beautiful photo of her partner, Dean, carrying Oscar in their Beco Gemini

T.I.C.K.S — Essential Babywearing Safety Advice

TICKS Babywearing Safety

T.I.C.K.S was devised by The Consortium of UK Sling Manufacturers and Retailers

Carrier Recommendations

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

KangaWrap Review

Chantele’s husband, Jon, carrying their son Elian in their KangaWrap. You can hear what they thought in further detail by reading their review.

— — — > We Made Me Wuti Wrap Review – This Mama Life

— — — > We Made Me Wuti Wrap Review – A Mum Reviews

— — — > KangaWrap Review – The Hearty Life

— — — > KangaWrap Review – Let Them Be Small

Madame Googoo & Soul Slings

‘My favourite carriers are my Madame Googoo custom full buckle and my Soul Slings AnoonA.’ — Becky // The Mummy Adventure

‘My Madame Googoo Minnie Mouse (I designed it myself!)’ — Jade // Mummies Waiting

AmaWrap

‘We started with an AmaWrap which we still use now and she loves snuggling in to. It’s easy to wrap, soft and comfy and it washes well.’ — Katie // Heels & Hooves

AmaWrap Babywearing

Hannah from Hi Baby Blog carrying baby Lu in her gorgeous AmaWrap at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Baby Björn

‘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

Tula

‘My favourite carrier is the Tula. It’s soft, comfortable to wear and ensures correct positioning’ — Kate // My Family Fever

‘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

Mummy B Tula Carrier

Kay from Mummy B takes Henry for a beach stroll in her Tula. She’s written a really good post about babywearing lingo which is well worth a read if you’re new to the babywearing scene!

‘My favourite is the fox print toddler Tula!’ — Jenny // Monkey & Mouse

Lenny Lamb

‘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

Lenny Lamb Carrier

Lucy from Mrs H’s Favourite Things carrying Little Miss H on her back

‘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

Ergobaby

‘We love the Ergo!’ — Rachel // The Little Pip

‘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

Babywearing Ergo Baby

Hannah from Hi Baby Blog with Luisa in her Ergobaby carrier

‘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

Solly

‘We had a great stripy Solly wrap when Buster was tiny!’ — Rachel // The Little Pip

Connecta

‘Our favourite was the Connecta. The straps on the side made it easy to lower T down for breastfeeding.’ — Kate // LesBeMums

‘I like stretchy wraps when baby is newborn and Connecta when they’re older.’ — Sophie // Sophie & Lily

Toddler Connecta Review

Kaye from Hello Archie has reviewed the Toddler Connecta and I love this shot of Mr J pointing things out to Archie whilst he sits comfortably on his back.

‘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

Connecta Baby Carrier Review

Hannah from Make, Do & Push having snuggles with H-Bear in the most divine Connecta (read her review) in the Liberty Oxford Print

TwinGo

‘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

Lillebaby

‘I love our Lillebaby All Seasons as it has so many different ways of wearing our baby and the seat position is really comfortable for her.’ — Debbie // Hello Deborah

Lillebaby Complete Carrier

Sarah from Toby Goes Bananas with Gabe in his Lillebaby Complete and Toby in front having hugs too! 

Rockin Baby Pouch Review

Sarah’s also reviewed the Rockin’ Baby Pouch if you’re interested?

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

Rose & Rebellion Carrier

Laura from Wafflemama with tiny Soph on her back in the Rose & Rebellion carrier. Mosy on over and have a read about her saying goodbye to her babywearing days

Baie

‘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

Moby

‘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

Kari-Me

‘I loved my Kari-Me sling! It was so comfy and both of my daughters absolutely adored being held in it.’ — Alice // Living with a Jude

Close

‘We loved our Close Caboo Organic in the first 6 months!’ — Danielle // This Woman’s Word

Hana

Hana Baby Wrap Review

Harriet from Life With Mrs Lee has written about carrying Hugo in her Hana Baby Wrap whilst going fruit picking with the rest of the family

Further Reading

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

THE MAMMOTH GUIDE TO BABYWEARING 2017

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