Yay! Welcome to one of my favorite post I’ve ever written. You’re most likely here because you are interested in learning more about how to wear your baby! I wrote this for all of my new and expecting caregivers who have an interest in one of my favorite things about motherhood: babywearing!
Let me start with this statement. Babywearing changed my life. It made me a better mother. It made Grace a happier child. It made me a better wife! Lastly, it’s soooo helpful to me as a mother of multiples! Keep reading for a wealth of information and all the things you need to know as a babywearing beginner!
BABYWEARING BEGINNERS GUIDE
TYPES OF BABY CARRIERS
Here are the types of carriers you can use for babywearing… I have used every single one of these! Most are multi-use, but many of them I use for different reasons, and some I stopped using altogether. So here is a list, and I go into detailed explanation about my preferences below!
woven wraps (these are long pieces of fabric) woven by hand or machine on a loom
stretchy wraps (I stopped using these when Gracie was around 2 months old, and probably will never use one again as I prefer woven wraps for newborns. I’ve never used one with Norah.)
soft structured carriers (half-buckle, free to grow, obimama, etc. all fit into this category)
Fun fact: Did you know that Babywearing International has a local group in just about every major city? They host a library of carriers that you can go and try before spending money on your own! You can check out the carriers for a month, try out a new carry, and talk to a VBE (volunteer babywearing educator) about babywearing!
These are pieces of fabric that are used to do different types of carries. The most popular carry is a FWCC (front wrap cross carry). There are A TON of carriers for woven wraps, so don’t get overwhelmed if this is where you start! Try and perfect ONE carry at a time!
Woven wraps are great if you are okay with learning how to use them. There is a learning curve, and it takes dedication to learn different carriers. But the nice thing is that they work for front and back carriers, and the same wrap will typically last from the newborn days all the way into toddlerhood!
Stetchy wraps are long pieces of thin, soft fabric that you can manipulate into carriers just like woven wraps. However, these are not like woven wraps… you can only do a few carriers with these types of wraps.
I’m not adding a ton about this section as I don’t use these. I’m not a huge fan. I know some people like them for newborns, but I am an avid babywearer and prefer to keep carriers that can be used for a long period of time in my collection. Solly or happy baby wraps are just not useful past around 3 months because of the type of material they are.
SSC’s (soft structured carriers) are pieces of fabric sewn into a structured carrier with buckles on them, typically. There are several different types, and several different sizes. They can be used for inward facing front carries, regular front carries, and inward facing back carries.
SSC’s are great for front carries from birth if you have the right carrier (I love my Baby Tula Free to Grow carrier), and can be used typically from around 7 pounds to 45 pounds. There are several different types of Tula baby carriers though, so if you want to learn more
SSC’s are awesome for toddlers too because they make big sizes that fit comfortable for both the wearee and wearer.
Visit the posts I linked below titled “beginner’s guide to soft structured carriers” for more info on the types of carriers (half buckle, free to grow, onbuhimo), to learn what my favorite SSC brands are, and more!
‘Suck pads’ are a type of accessory for any SSC. They protect the sides of the carrier from being damaged from a slobbery/teething babe. Gracie looooves chewing on the sides of her carriers!
‘Reach straps’ are there to help you reach the hood and snap it on when baby is sleeping. Tula SSC’s didn’t used to come with reach straps, but they do now! Many wearers used to get fancy bows or cute hearts and feathers. One of my favorite accessory shops is Just Wee Three.
Shop baby carriers:
What are your favorite baby carrier brands?
Baby Tula is my favorite. (SSC’s, ring slings, lots of adorable matching accessories)
The mesh soft structured carriers are great for hot weather! I have a Tula coast carrier that I love! It has a mesh panel in the middle to keep both baby and the wearer cool in hot weather.
If you are looking for a hot weather sling or wrap, try out a linen or chambray material. I’ve never used silk in hot weather, but I’ve heard it’s also very breathable!
What is the best carrier for a beginner?
I started wearing Gracie with a stretchy wrap when she was four months old. I DO NOT recommend that for beginners, haha. The easiest carrier to use is the Tula Free to Grow. It’s super simple, and there are lots of videos on how to use them with your baby. They have a mesh option too, which I talked more about above.
What’s the best carrier for a newborn?
I really love the Tula Free to Grow for beginners who want to wear their newborn. It’s foolproof and extremely easy to use. It also serves as a carrier as your baby grows (the weight range is 7-45 pounds) so it’s definitely the one I’m constantly recommending.
As I’m sure you’ve seen, I wear Norah in woven wraps and ring slings as well. I’ve been using those with her since the day we brought her home. I love these things for a newborn, but I’m an experienced babywearer. My advice to you is to try out the SSC, then a sling, then a woven wrap!
I think that’s it! For this post anyway. I could go on ALL day! Thank you SO much for reading!