Babywearing Basics - Page 2

  • Pouches – Pouches are just a piece of material with a curved seam in the middle.  They are a pretty simple design.  They are not adjustable so you need to pick the appropriate size in order to make sure it fits you properly.  With a pouch your baby can be worn lying down inside the pouch, sitting upright, or on your hip.
  • Ring slings- Ring slings are similar to pouches, but instead of the material being sewn together with a seam, the tail end of the sling slides through a set of rings.  You can adjust the sling to fit your baby.  A ring sling is pretty versatile.  With it, you can wear your baby lying down, sitting upright, on your hip, or even on your back.  Putting your baby on your back may take some practice and is not suitable for small infants.
  • Wraps- Wraps are very practical, easy and like the ring sling, they are also versatile.  A wrap is just a long piece of material that you wrap and tie around your body to keep your baby in place.  There is more than one way to tie a wrap.  Your wrap may come with instructions or even a video on different techniques for tying the wrap.  Follow the instructions that come with your wrap to learn how to tie it so that your baby can sit on your hip, lay nestled in front, or ride on your back.
  • Mei tais- Mei tais are slings are a little different than wraps, ring slings and pouches, but are also really easy to use.  They are designed with a square shaped piece of material for the body and then straps on the top and the bottom.  The top straps are long and you can tie them around your shoulders and the bottom straps are shorter and tie around the waste.  With a mei tai you can carry your baby in the front or on your back.  They are great for older babies.
  • Soft structured carriers- These type of carriers are a little more mainstream than the pouches, slings, wraps, and mei tais.  You may have an easier time finding this type of carrier at an ordinary department store.  They look similar to a mei tai but they have some structure to them.  They wear like a back pack with straps that you snap together at your waste or you can turn it around and strap baby on your back.

Babywearing Safety

Babywearing is great for moms who want to spend more time holding their babies but need to have their hands free so they can get things done.  Even though, you can do a lot while you are wearing your baby, there are certain things you should not do while you are wearing your baby.  You should never cook or carry hot drinks around while you are wearing your baby for obvious safety reasons.  You should also make sure that you check your baby’s position to be sure that she has a good air supply.  If she is tucked in your sling in a way that compromises her air supply she might suffocate inside the sling.  Make sure that she can breathe well when you wear her in the sling.  You may want to get some exercise while you wear your baby but you should not do high impact things like jumping or running.  You should also make sure that you are using a sling that is intended for your baby’s weight and age.

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