Babywearing for Beginners
How'd you like two free hands and a calmer, quieter baby? Wearing your baby in a sling or carrier makes life simpler. Here are the 3 most basic types of carriers and a few things to keep in mind:
*It takes practice to get the hang of it.
*You'll probably want to try more than 1 type of carrier.
*If possible, learn in-person. If you don't have any friends who wear their babies, try a moms' or breastfeeding group. If not, youTube will suffice.
1: Sling. This is the simplest design & easiest to put on. Literally, put the sling over one shoulder and put the baby in it. Great for babies 1-12 months & 6-12 pounds. (Intuitive/Right-brained types find this easier.)
2: K'Tan. This is a hybrid between a sling and a wrap. It does require a few more steps to put on, but it offers more even weight distribution, better support for preemies, and you can wear twins. (up to 10 lbs. each) Great for preemies through 18 months.
3: Structured Carrier. I love Boba & Ergo. Both allow you to wear your baby on the front, back, or hip and breastfeed. It takes about as many steps as a K'Tan, but some prefer the clips to all fabric....And honestly, for babies upwards of 15 pounds, it's much more comfortable. Ideal age 2 months (for Boba) through 3 years! (or 35 pounds.) (Linear/Left-brained types tend to prefer this style.)
There are so many babywearing options available. I reserve wraps for special requests--I love them for twins or heavy young babies that you'll wear for close to an a hour.
Jersey Shore Dar a Luz has all of these options available to try out at monthly meetings (for free). Members can borrow carriers for 2 months to really try it out and get a feel before buying.
**UPDATE** I went to a Shore Babywearers meeting, and this is simply the bests resource on the subject. Here's a link to their FB group:
Shore Babywearers These mamas could not be kinder or more helpful! They have a larger and more current library of carriers to borrow, too!
Have questions or a comment? Please leave it below or email me directly. Love to hear from you.
(Disclaimer: The contents of this blogpost are based on my experience of 12+ years wearing babies. I do not represent or sell any baby carriers--just advocate for making life with baby easier!)
Soothing a Fussy Baby
If your baby is fussing, here are my go-to calming strategies.
1) Motion. Hold your baby (most prefer upright, against your shoulder with their tummy on your upper chest) and walk around. If this doesn't cut it, pat their back gently, too.
2) Sound. White noise can help a baby settle. There are apps, but most also love a good stove exhaust fan. Music is another alternative.
3) Water. Depending on your baby's age and level of upset, try standing in front of a running faucet/shower, or put their feet in warm water. Most newborns enjoy having running water on their scalp, too. (added bonus: doesn't require full outfit change--just wrap a towel around their body and tilt the back of their head under warm running water.) For bouts of gas, serious need to reset, a bath may be in order.
4) Wear your baby. If your baby is 0-3 months old, try a sling. (i.e. Maya sling, Over-the-Shoulder Baby Holder) If your baby is bigger or 3 months old or older, the Boba Baby or Ergo carrier is simple to use and very comfortable for mom or dad. (There are countless instructional youtube videos or you can go to a Moms' group for hands-on instruction.)
5) A change in scenery. Sometimes simply going outside is enough to distract your baby from whatever is causing distress. Often stepping out onto the porch for a few minutes is enough.
If your baby is fussing frequently and not easily soothed, consider food sensitivities.
For a more complete listing of "Colic Causing Foods in Breastfeeding" please visit Dr. Sears' website:
Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Mother of Three.