Best Carriers For Babywearing Beginners by Rachel Stewart for Families Magazine – Gold Coast
Babywearing For Beginners
I didn’t really put much thought into babywearing (“wearing” your baby in a baby carrier) before I had my first baby. I’d assumed he would be perfectly happy to sit in his pram while we’re out and about. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Any time I put him down in those early months he screamed at the top of his tiny little lungs. It didn’t take long pushing his pram while carrying him in one arm to realise that babywearing would make our life a LOT easier.
Over the last eight years since my son was born I’ve owned several different carriers. I’ve had a few different soft structured carriers, slings and wraps. So here are the brands I’d recommend keeping an eye out for when you shop for your baby carrier.
Soft Structured Carrier – Ergobaby Adapt
If you’ve already started looking at baby carriers you’ve probably already heard of Ergobaby. They are one of the most popular carriers available! They are comfortable, versatile and reasonably easy to use. (And there are HEAPS of videos on Youtube if you get stuck with it.) They’re suitable for front, hip and back carrying.
They can be used with newborns to toddlers up to 20kgs.
I’d recommend beginners start with the Ergobaby Adapt carrier. I find it’s the simplest to use and most adjustable of the Ergobaby range.
If I could only recommend one carrier, the Ergobaby Adapt would be it.
Ring Sling – Little Frog Ring Sling
Whenever someone asks me to recommend a carrier that is suitable for newborns to toddlers, but costs less than $100 I always direct them to the Little Frog Ring Slings. They offer a really great balance of quality materials and value for money. They also come in a huge range of colours and designs.
Ring slings are easy to use, but you just need to make sure that you’re following safe babywearing guidelines (as with any carrier). Because Little Frog Ring Slings go on and off so easily they’re perfect for quick trips like dropping older children off at school. They’re also great to use at home for those days where baby just doesn’t want to be put down.
Stretchy Wrap – Hug a Bub
A Hug A Bub stretchy wrap is essentially a long piece of stretchy cotton fabric. They take a little getting used to as you need to wrap them around your body. But trust me, once you get the hang of it it’ll become second nature. They look way more complicated than they really are!
Once the stretchy wrap is on you can pop your baby in and out of it without having to re-wrap each time. They are super comfortable for newborns and small babies. Although they say the Hug a Bub can be used with toddlers, I personally think once baby is getting up around 10kgs the stretchy fabric doesn’t offer enough support.
If you’re still loving the wrap style carrier I’d highly recommend moving on to a Woven Wrap.
Woven Wraps – Yaro
A woven wrap is a lot like a stretchy wrap except they’re firmer and don’t really stretch, which means they’re more supportive – but a little more skill needed to use.
However, just like with a strechy wrap, with a bit of practice they are a very comfortable and supportive carrier. There are so many different brands and types of woven wraps, but Yaro is one that is generally recommended for people new to babywearing. They are easy to “break in” (meaning, the fabric becomes softer with use) and they are an entry level price (generally under $150). They also come in a great range of colours and designs.
Toddler Carriers – Toddler Tula
Okay, so the Toddler Tula is actually a soft structured carrier, but I feel that it’s worth mentioning toddler carriers separately. While many of the other carriers mentioned CAN take a toddler, it’s good to know there are bigger carriers available.
I was using my Ergobaby carrier on a daily basis doing long walks with my daughter on my back. But by the time she was two and a half years old, even though she was still under the weight limit of the Ergobaby, her legs had outgrown it. She just wasn’t getting enough support. The Toddler Tula was so much more supportive and comfortable for both of us. Even now at nearly five she still fits in it! (Not that I need to carry her anymore.) And you’re absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to patterns and colours.
Looking for even more information about baby wearing? Check out this great guide to baby wraps.
We also love this great review of the best portacots – it’s a detailed read to help you decide on the best one for your baby!