When I was pregnant with my second baby I decided that this time I was going to buy a good baby carrier. I joined the babywearing group on Babycenter and read a lot of posts and asked a lot of questions, then I joined thebabywearer.com and watched the for sale or trade board while trying to decide what it was that I wanted. Deciding on a baby carrier was almost more nerve wracking for me than actually having a new baby! I felt like I didn’t want to get the “wrong” carrier. Here are some tips that helped me:
If possible, go to a children’s boutique that sells baby carriers and try some out. Ask them if they know about a babywearing group in your area. If there is one, go to a meeting and try some out there as well. It’s hard to get a really good feel from just a few minutes of wearing, but it’s better than blindly buying.
Leave the Big Box Store:
While it may be tempting to just pick up that carrier on the shelf while you are buying a cute new outfit, step away from the box. Those carriers are not the most comfortable for either of you and you are going to want to carry your baby past 3 months of age. Trust me, it will be worth it in comfort and price. Even though the carriers online and at boutiques are more expensive, they are going to last and be comfortable a lot longer than the one you can find “everywhere”.
Just pick one:
If it all seems too overwhelming, just pick one that seems easiest to use, or is in a color you like. I found that was my biggest problem, especially in choosing a woven wrap. There are so many choices! Someone finally just said to me “pick a color you like and don’t worry about the rest!” It doesn’t matter in the end if a carrier is good for “newbies” after a while you will not be a newbie anymore! You want something you can use and love until you baby doesn’t want to be carried any more.
Learn to use it:
Read the instructions, go to YouTube and watch 10 videos on how to use your new carrier. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice next to the bed (for safety). Ask your babywearing group if it looks right. If you don’t have a local group, try to take pictures while you are wearing the carrier and the baby and post them to a babywearing forum for help. If you feel like you can’t get it to feel safe and comfy for you and baby, you can always resell it. Remember, baby should be high and vertical in a carrier. If baby is down at your hips, figure out how to adjust baby up.
Be persistent, but it may not work out:
Not every carrier works for everyone. Some people just cannot get a ring sling to work while other love ring slings. Woven wraps are out of one mama’s league but another mama can’t go anywhere without hers. If you decide on a carrier and try to learn how to use it, but just can’t get comfortable with it, or baby doesn’t seem to like it, see if you can trade (even temporarily) with a friend who has another type of carrier, or sell your carrier and try with a new one. TheBabywearer.com has for sale or trade boards, also TheBabywearingNetwork.com. Sometimes it may be a case of you finding the best position for your baby in the carrier. Some babies prefer being able to see what’s going on so a high back carry may be better for them then a front carry where all they see is your chest. Just know that it just might be the carrier, not that your baby doesn’t like to be carried.