Tips to Babywear with Confidence

Being a new mom can be overwhelming. There are so many decisions to make for you and your baby starting almost right after you read that “positive” on a stick. The medical decisions, delivery, labor, names, then of course the baby registry. Yikes! When we were pregnant with our first baby my husband and I stood in the aisles of Target looking at diaper brands wondering, “How do we even decide?!” You can find sample registry lists online, but how do you know what you REALLY need?

Whenever I have a pregnant friend ask what are the MUST haves for when the baby comes, a good baby carrier is always at the top of my list. To some a baby carrier may seem like a non-essential, but in my experience, babywearing has saved my sanity and is my favorite parenting accessory! 

While babywearing is a huge part of how I parent, I realize to some it is awfully intimidating and down right scary. Where do you start? How do you tie the fabric? Are they safe like that? Because I am a firm believer in babywearing, I am going to share some tips to hopefully help any mama babywear with confidence.

1. Find a support system.

Like so many aspects of parenting, babywearing is easier when you don’t feel all alone. Find someone to help answer your questions and help you practice. That may sound silly, but having extra hands or eyes to help you navigate some new carriers can help you feel more confident that you are doing it right.

Do you know any moms who babywear frequently? Ask them to get together and help you out. You may feel silly asking, but mama friends are there to help each other out! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, suggestions or advice. Or send pictures or videos to a long distance friend when you are practicing. My sister and I sent each other pictures and even videos when I was trying to help her out with a new carrier. We live a few hours away, but I was still able to be a support system for her in some way. 

If you don’t know anyone personally, you can find a babywearing group. There are several groups you can find, even just on Facebook, that can help provide some support and answer questions. I recently found a group on Facebook called “Babywearers of Duluth and Superior.” If you are looking for some local connections, this is a great place to start. 

Also, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments! While I am no professional babywearer, I love answering any questions or encouraging mama friends. 

2. Find the right carrier.

Sounds easy. But then if you start looking, there are countless types and styles of babycarriers. Structured. Wraps. Slings. Different brands. Different prices. How do you start? 

Having a good support system can be super helpful in this step. Use your friends or family and ask. Ask what kinds they have, what kinds they like and what kinds they disliked. And don’t be afraid to ask to borrow or try some different carriers out. What works for one of your friends may not be quite what you are looking for and vice versa. 

This is where I think some people give up a little bit on babywearing. If you have a bad experience with one carrier don’t be afraid to try something different. It may take a few tries to find what is most comfortable for you. When you are comfortable, it will only enhance your babywearing experience!

I enjoyed a Moby Wrap first with my oldest daughter, but then when summertime started to come I knew I needed something with less fabric. This introduced me to a whole new world of carriers! I loved what I had, but then I saw all of these new choices. I was excited and overwhelmed looking at the list of options. The two things I was most interested in looking for a new carrier was easy on/off (not too much fabric or too many buckles!) and easy to nurse in. Through some research and watching many videos online, I decided to purchase a Ring Sling and it was exactly what I was looking for!

Tips to Babywear with Confidence | Duluth Moms Blog

{Photo Credit: Lily and Sparrow Photo Co.}

Now I have a Moby Wrap, Mei Tai, Buckle Carrier, and multiple Ring Slings. And I like each one for different reasons or for different things. Currently my six-month old is napping in my buckle carrier while I am writing this, but what I always try to keep in my diaper bag is a Ring Sling. There are so many options out there! Instead of being intimidated by them, see it as lots of opportunites for you to find your perfect fit. Check out this good website to learn about some different carriers. 

3. Practice. 

When trying a carrier out, be sure you are using it properly. Most carriers require a little bit of practice to figure out how to situate and adjust for you and baby. A helpful checklist to make sure your baby is safe in any carrier is TICKS.

Tight.

In view.

Close enough to kiss.

Keep chin off chest.

Supported back. 

(Learn more about these guidelines here.)

Use a mirror and practice using a carrier and use the checklist above. Before you bravely venture out to the store with your new carrier, make sure you are comfortable. The first time I tried to put on my Moby Wrap in a grocery store parking lot, it was probably pretty entertaining watching me toss yards of fabric around. But the more I practiced the easier it came and more comfortable I was putting my baby on and off anywhere. Practice at home, and especially when your baby is happy! If you wait to try out your carrier for the first time when your baby is upset it will only add to your frustration and the baby’s. 

4. Enjoy the benefits! 

There are so many benefits to babywearing. I could go on and on about all of the benefits, but I will try to keep it brief. 

Babywearing benefits include giving you:

  • More flexibility in going where strollers can’t go
  • The ability to nurse easily while babywearing
  • The chance to avoid lugging the heavy car seat all the time
  • Flexibilty with nap time when away from home
  • Help so you can do many tasks while bonding with baby

Babywearing gives me the comfort of having my baby close while it gives me mobility to go places and do many tasks. Being a mom to a three-year old and a baby means life can be busy! I don’t want to miss out on the cuddles with my younger daughter because of life. When I wear my baby I feel a tiny bit like Supermom, not going to lie, because I am able to multitask. And anything that makes me feel like Supermom is pretty great. 

I love being a babywearing mama! Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments! While I am no professional babywearer, I love answering any questions or encouraging mama friends. 

2 Responses to Tips to Babywear with Confidence

  1. Holly Q February 21, 2017 at 11:24 am #

    Awesome article! I’m excited to use our Ergo 360 with my 2 week old. I do admit that the straps and buckles are hard to navigate by myself.so I’ve only been able to use it when my.husbands been home. I hope to gain more independence with it soon though! Also, you mentioned the ability to nurse while babywearing…how do you do that? I could see that being a benefit for sure!

    • Ashley
      Ashley February 21, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

      The Ergo is awesome! Emma is currently napping in my Ergo on my back.
      Nursing in carriers is totally doable and awesome! It takes some practice though. And I find it easier when they are a bit older and have nursing more figured out. I will send you some tips for nursing in carriers! 🙂

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