Benefits for getting help when you got a new carrier

When you get a new carrier – or a used one, but new to you carrier – it can take a little while to get comfortable with this carrier. Maybe you haven’t used this style of carrier before or maybe this buckle carrier is different to the one you have used before or maybe you haven’t used any carrier at all before this one. No matter what your situation is, it can often be helpful to get some help. This could be a professional babywearing consultant, volunteers at your local babywearing library meeting or a friend who knows this type of carrier well.

These are some of the benefits for getting help with your new – or not so new – carrier:

6 reasons why you should learn how to wear your baby before it is born

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting a friend who was pregnant. She told me that they were given a carrier by friends, but she didn’t know anything about the carrier. I suggested that I could teach her and her partner how to use the carrier in a safe way and they were very happy that I did.

Afterwards my friend told me that she gained so much confidence in using the carrier. She is planning to start using the carrier right after birth and now felt comfortable to do so.

I also had a positive experience being taught how to use a stretchy wrap during my antenatal class. I’m still grateful to our amazing antenatal teacher for giving me and my partner the tool of babywearing confidently!

If you are still not entirely convinced, I have put together a few more reasons:

My 5 top tips for using an onbuhimo

Since my daughter outgrew our Manduca carrier when she was about two years old, I have used an onbuhimo to carry her. I have found this carrier to be very comfortable for both of us. It has a wider seat for my daughter to support her long legs better and I’m happy that there is no waistband that digs into my tummy.  

Onbuhimo’s are great for carrying your toddler or young child on your back. And because onbuhimo carriers do not have a waistband, it is an ideal carrier for anyone who is pregnant and would still like to carry their older child.

However, sometimes it can be a bit tricky to get a comfortable fit for your onbuhimo. These tips below should help:

My 5 top tips for using a ring sling

Ring slings are my favourite type of carrier! They are great from newborn up until you don’t want to carry your baby on your hip anymore. It can be a bit tricky in the beginning to learn how to use a ring sling, but once you know what you are doing it is one of the quickest carriers to put on!

I certainly didn’t fall head over heal in love with it right from the start. First, I started off using my ring sling like a hammock, instead of my baby being upright (this was early days for me, and I did not know what I was doing!). A few months later I went to my local Babywearing group and they showed me how to wear my baby safely in the ring sling. But for some reason it wasn’t comfortable, and I quickly gave up. Another couple of months later, I tried the ring sling again and this time my daughter was big enough to be carried on my hip. This was way more comfortable for me and from then on, I loved using the ring sling for short carries around the house, while cooking dinner or while going shopping.

My 5 top tips for using a meh dai

I have loved using a meh dai for quite some time when my daughter was little. This is such a great carrier if you want the snug feeling of a woven wrap, but also want some of the structure of a buckle carrier. A meh dai can really give you something from both worlds! If you have used a stretchy wrap with your baby and are used to wrapping already, a meh dai might be the perfect progression for you.

Meh dais can be used from newborn babies until toddler. Some meh dais have adjustable back panels to be able to grow with your baby, but you can also get meh dais in different sizes to either fit a baby or a toddler. A meh dai will fit any caregiver and does not need to be adjusted between caregivers. Front and back carries are the most common type of carriers being used with a meh dai.

My 5 top tips for a woven wrap

Woven wraps are the most versatile carrier there is and can be used from newborn up until toddler. It doesn’t matter what body type your baby or you are, a woven wrap will always fit. They fit around your baby nice and snug and you can use them for any kind of carry (front, back, side).

However, most parents I meet shy away from woven wraps and quickly put them in the too hard basket. Even parents who have used a stretchy wrap during the first months – and therefore have mastered wrapping techniques -, often want to continue with a soft structured carrier. Assuming, that a soft structured carrier will give better support.

Hopefully, my tips will help to take away some fears you may have and encourage you to have a go at wrapping your baby!

My 5 top tips for using a soft structured carrier

Soft structured carriers (or buckle carriers) are the most used type of carrier. This is not surprising. Soft structured carriers are easy to use as you only need to close a few clips and tighten a couple of straps and off you go.

What makes things tricky though are all those different options that are out on the market and are growing by the day! When choosing a carrier, it is not just about the print on the fabric, but also about all kinds of different extra features that can make life easier – or not.

Here are my 5 top tips (plus one bonus tip) for using a soft structured carrier:

My 5 top tips for using a Stretchy Wrap

I love using stretchy wraps – especially for tiny little newborns! I have used a stretchy wrap with my own daughter during the first 5 months. I have also been recommending them to many soon-to-be parents.

Stretchy wraps fit every body-type and every baby, which makes this wrap very versatile! In my post about stretchy wraps I talk more about what a stretchy wrap is and what to look out for. I have also created a quick demonstration for tying a stretchy wrap which you can watch here. In this post however, I want to share a few tips and tricks, which will make using a stretchy wrap easier and more comfortable.

Can I go hiking with my baby?

My husband and I love to go hiking, or as we say in New Zealand “tramping”! Half a year before I became pregnant, we did one big 3-day hike once each month. We had also booked us into the Great Walk on Stewart Island over Christmas, which is a fairly easy hike. But by that time, I was 8 weeks pregnant, felt total rubbish and only managed to finish the hike because my husband ended up carrying all our gear by himself!

Once our daughter was born, my husband was very keen to go out hiking again – me, not so much, mainly because it felt so complicated most of the time. But together as a family we started going hiking again when our daughter was 7 months old.

From my own personal experience, I have put together a bit of information about babywearing when you go hiking.