I’ve had a lot of babywearing questions and I thought I would answer some here. I love babywearing and have done it with all three of my boys. With my first, it was most convenient for getting stuff done when he didn’t want to be put down. But with my second two, babywearing was a matter of survival. When I did preschool drop off and pickup babywearing kept my newborn high above the germy little hands that wanted to touch the baby. It helped me keep my hands free to hold and tend to my other children. It got me through many colic-filled weeks. It made plane travel way easier. It has been such an key part of my motherhood journey and I’m so grateful to the babywearing brands that have been a part of that. Here are a few FAQs & answers for those who wanted to know more:
The one I wear the most is the one on the far right and it is last season’s Crane (bamboo). The far left is Dove and center is Mockingbird, which is a double layer and I’m trying to break in. All are from Wildbird.
2. What baby wraps and carriers do you recommend?
I have and have loved our Ergobaby (the 360 is probably my favorite but we still use our original one from 7 years ago). It is my favorite for when I quickly need to throw baby in a carrier (school pickup or other quick trips in and out of the car), long wears like the zoo or a hike, and it’s the carrier my husband is most comfortable using himself.
My favorite for newborn snuggles and has been my Solly wrap. I wore Calvin in my Solly(s) till around 8 months. But Quincy got so heavy early on so by 5 months I could hardly wear him in it anymore (bad back after 3 kids). But I have a couple that I wore my boys in that I’m so attached to and just cannot manage to part with.
I never had a sling before Quincy (well I got one when I was pregnant with him and used it with Calvin a couple times but it doesn’t really count). I didn’t use it much in those early days because he had colic and the thought of learning a new method was way overwhelming for me at the time. I used it a few times but I was so unsure back then of what was making him so uncomfortable and I wasn’t confident in my slinging yet. But around 4 months we started using our Wildbird sling really regularly, and soon I was nursing him in it. After that, the sling was my go to and we’ve never looked back. Now that he’s walking Quincy won’t let me wear him as often or for as long, but I’m not giving up on that time yet.
3. How do you breastfeed while babywearing?
I actually wrote a whole post about this that you can find here. Breastfeeding while baby wearing has been such a game changer!
4. If you can only pick one way to babywear, which would you pick?
I get this question a lot, and I get it — not everyone thinks you need three different types of baby carriers. But if you are registering I would highly recommend you put all three on your registry, which you can do with a service like Babylist. And if you’ve already had your first baby and don’t feel comfortable registering again or aren’t having another shower, etc. then see if you can buy used or borrow from a friend. I have a Solly that has gone around a group of friends like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Solly Wrap 💛
5. My baby doesn’t seem to like babywearing. Am I out of luck?
No! Honestly, I think a lot of babies fuss against babywearing at first or have periods where they fight it. My advice: keep trying. As long as you are using one of these three carriers (I can’t speak from personal experience to any others but some that sort of dangle baby rather than keeping them positioned ergonomically might just be uncomfortable) and as long as you are doing it correctly, I would keep trying. Practice at home a bit, ask a friend who has used the carrier if the positioning is right (you can find carrier support groups on Facebook that can help too) and stick with it.
6. How do you braid your sling?
I hope to add a little video at some point but until then here’s the best I can do:
- thread your sling (if you need help with this part check out Tayler’s tutorial on the Wildbird site, which I linked to at the bottom of this post) and pull the tail halfway down so that you have three equal pieces (two are each half of the looped part of the sling and one is the tail)
- lay the sling on the floor or hang the ring from a sturdy hook so that you can braid the three pieces together
- cross the piece on the far right over the middle piece, then the one on the far left over the new middle piece. repeat the process, which is braiding.
- braid it as tight as you can to help break it in (you can also wash then steam iron to help break in new crunchier slings)
7. Which sling should I get? Linen, bamboo, single or double layer?
Wildbird describes their fabrics best here so you can get an idea of the differences. Personally, I started with a single chambray, which became buttery soft and I loved so much and used until Quincy got a bit too heavy and I needed more support around 8 months old. Then we tried bamboo and I absolutely love it. It is super soft right out of the box, which is great because I use my sling almost daily and never really had time to break them in. I tried a double linen last fall but really couldn’t get the hang of it. The bamboo was much easier to manage, which makes it a great choice for beginners as well as bigger babies. I recently decided to give double linen another try now that Quincy is 26+ lbs and starting to kill my back and I feel like I could use more support. Plus, any excuse for a pretty new bird, am I right? But if you are new to slings and starting with a newborn, I say go chambray or bamboo. Or you can try to score an already broken in sling from the Wildbird Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook group, which is also a great resource in general. If you’re buying for an already heavier baby then I’d start with linen.
I hope that helps answer some of your baby wearing questions! Feel free to leave others in the comments and I’ll add to this post as they come in.
Also, check out my babywearing and nursing-friendly wardrobe essentials post. Because not all clothes are created equal when it comes to either one. And don’t forget to enter to win a Wildbird sling, as well as 11 other amazing prizes from some of my favorite brands in my Treat Yo Self Mother’s Day Giveaway. It ends on 4/24/17!
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