Intro to Baby Carriers

Posted by  | Tuesday, February 15, 2011  at 9:19 AM  
This week we'd love to share about Babywearing. We originally covered this topic in October of 2007.

Baby Carriers are a great way to tote your little one around – you can use one while at the store, around the house, or to church. The following post will include 1) Types of Slings, 2) Different Ways to Carry the Baby, 3) Benefits of Each Type of Carrier, and 4) Helpful Links.


Ring Slings – A one-shoulder type carrier. They are adjustable because of the rings that hold the fabric together around your body. They can have a short tail (the part that hangs down in front) or a long tail. A longer tail can serve as a cover-up for wind protection, nursing, or sleeping babies who don’t want to be disturbed.

Pouch Slings – Also a one-shoulder type carrier. They are not adjustable, and must be made/purchased according to the size of the wearer. They are the easiest to use of the carriers because there is no adjusting to be done – you pop baby in and out fairly easily. These are now being sold at select Target stores under the Hotslings brand name.

Mei Tai – A two-shoulder sling that requires tying. There is a body and four long strips of fabric that make up this sling. The bottom strips are tied around the waist, and the top strips are wound around in different ways to carry baby.

Wraps – A long strip of fabric that can be tied in a number of ways. There are wraps made of stretchy, t-shirt like materials (i.e. Moby Wraps) and wraps made of woven fabrics. The fabric is wound around mom and baby to create different carries.

Ergo Carrier – A constructed carrier that distributes the baby's weight evenly over the parent's body because it has two shoulder straps and a very supportive waist belt. There is also an infant insert, blanket-type thing that can be used with small babies. This carrier is especially great as your baby gets heavier.

Structured Carrier – The most popular being the Baby Bjorn. These carriers are worn over two shoulders.

Here are the the types of slings/carriers that can be used for each carry.
1)Cradle Carry – Ring, Pouch, Wrap & Ergo w/ Infant Insert
2)Tummy to Tummy Carry – Ring, Pouch, Mei Tai, Wrap, Ergo & Structured
3)Kangaroo Carry – Ring & Pouch
4)Front Facing Carry, Legs Out – Structured (this is not a recommended carry because baby's back is not encouraged to round, but to hollow. Also, all of his weight is being held by his crotch.
5)Hip Carry – Ring, Pouch, Mei Tai, Wrap & Ergo
6)Back Carry – (Can be done in Pouch & Ring Sling – but it’s awkward), Woven Wraps & Ergo

Ring Slings - PROS: inexpensive to make, pretty fabrics; CONS: not as comfortable w/ toddlers, fussing w/ the rings
Pouch Slings - PROS: easiest to use, pretty fabrics; CONS: not adjustable
Mei Tai - PROS: good weight distribution, pretty fabrics; CONS: long tails of fabric, more cumbersome to put on
Cotton Wraps (like Moby) - PROS: good weight distribution, holds baby securely; CONS: plain fabric, takes time to wrap it around, covers your whole outfit
Woven Wraps (like Didymos) - PROS: good weight distribution, holds baby securely, very versatile; CONS: must learn to wrap each carry, fabric drags when putting it on
Ergo - PROS: great weight distribution, very comfortable; CONS: a little hard to snap on
Structured - PROS: inexpensive, can be bought in a store; CONS: not good for baby's development, not comfortable

I’ll also throw in here my top picks for a few categories. I’m sure the other authors will chime in as well with their picks.

For a Newborn Baby, I pick a Ring Sling or a Cotton Wrap because these mold the best to the little newborn ball of a baby.

For Someone who can only get ONE carrier (boohoo for you!), I pick an Ergo because this really is the cream of the crop. I’ve heard tons of raves about it and never heard of someone who didn’t like it. (Ironic: I don’t actually own one of these! I made all of my own baby slings and couldn't ever bring myself to spend the money.)

The Easiest in my opinion is the Pouch Sling. This is probably the one I used the most with both my kids. I used it until my kids were almost 2. I used the hip carry to take them in the store, to church, and out and about when it wasn't convenient to have a stroller.

HELPFUL LINKS (I know, a personal plug!)

1 comment:

Kari said...

You said you used the pouch sling for a long time. How do you put such a big baby in a pouch sling? (That's what I have, right? :) ) I also need to know how to put my bigger baby in a ring sling too. Maybe another update here or to the sling blog is in order? Or maybe a trip to good ol' Indiana to your favorite cousin's to show her in person?

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