Babywearing

Which baby carrier to buy first?

Time and again a new caregiver asks this after being convinced for babywearing. If you are new to babywearing follow this to know more about it .

Babywearing is a very personal choice and therefore there can’t be one carrier that fits all! There are a multitude of carriers out there, so how would one buy “the” one?

Best thing to do would be to go to a babywearing meet. A babywearing meet is a place where usually a babywearing educator (yup there are degrees in Babywearing too ☺️, yours truly being one ) teaches caregivers how to babywear. There are many educators spread out through India and most of them also do one on one consults that are charged nominally.

If you can’t go to these meets and consults then look for resources in the Babywearing grps on Facebook here and here. Buy the one that appeals to you most!
Let’s start with a short introduction of each carrier

Ring slings

19723959_1615629091842357_176211714_o

These are rectangular pieces of cloth usually around 80 inches (ring slings are available only in one size in India but abroad they are sized) with weight tested rings on the other side. The rings are special in that they are unwelded and weight tested.

The fabric is passed through the ring in such a way as to lock the rings and fabric in place. You get more idea from a video tutorial here

Ring slings can be used for front and hip carry. One might be able to do a back carry, but it’s an advanced carry and requires lot of practice. You can buy ring slings from Soul, Kol Kol, Anmol, CnC, Almitra, LittleWings and Cookiie carriers.

Meh Dai

19747904_1615666148505318_1890426239_o.png It is a traditional Asian carrier which has a rectangular panel of cloth that has straps on either side at the top and bottom. These straps secure the carrier to the caregiver and the baby is held in the rectangular cloth. You can do a front, hip and baby carry with various finishes. You can buy Meh Dai from Soul, Kol Kol, Almitra , CnC, LittleWings and Cookiie carriers.

Soft structured carrier/ full buckle

19747708_1615668151838451_1866742473_o is a rectangular panel of cloth with buckles in place of straps of Meh Dai. It is the easiest to learn. Most of the structured carriers are sized for standard roughly from 7kg-15kg and a toddler carrier 11-20kg. But some can be used for smaller babies even from birth!
You can buy SSC from Boba, Soul, Kol Kol, Anmol, klingaru , LittleWings and Cookiie carriers.

Woven Wraps

19727248_1615669098505023_1941450348_o These are the most versatile carriers. They can be used from smallest of babies to the biggest children that need carrying. You can do a multitude of carries that no other carrier provides. A comprehensive list can be found here. They come sized from
Size 2 which is 2.6mtrs
Size 3 , 3.2mtrs
Size 4, 3.6 mtrs
Size 5, 4.2 mtrs
Size 6, 4.6 mtrs
Size 7, 5.2 mtrs
Size 8, 5.6 mtrs
Size 9, 6.2 mtrs
Here is an excellent article about base size and how to start wrapping.
You can buy a wrap from Soul, Anmol, Cookiie carriers, LittleWings, CnC, Almitra.

Stretchy and hybrid wraps

They are one size and made of stretchy t-shirt like material that needs to be tied quite snug and then the baby can be taken in the wrap. They are awesome for newborns but can be only used for front and hip carries but not back (some hybrids with hemmed edges can be used for back carry ). In India only Anmol makes stretchy and hybrid wraps.

Onbuhimo

19807518_1615670468504886_1088232167_o : It is a traditional Japanese carrier that is used for high back carry. It has a rectangular panel and two straps and is used as a hammock to carry baby in back. There is no waist to this carrier unlike a ssc and the weight is borne on the shoulders alone. It’s usually only recommended for babies that can sit on their own. You can buy an onbuhimo from Soul, Kol Kol

Hip seat carriers

These are meant to be used once the baby can sit with support. By nature they are bulky but are quite comfortable according to users though I’ve no personal experience with this kind of carrier 🙂

That’s the basic list of carriers that are presently available in India.The cost of the carriers can be a bit steep compared to other carriers available in market but that’s the cost you pay for having a tested and comfortable carrier. Most of the carriers in the market are untested and are not comfortable beyond the first year.

Tested narrow based carriers (like mothercare) pose NO harm to the baby as was thought of initially but most of these are not comfortable when the baby is 10 kg and above.

Investing in a carrier is the best thing I’ve done and I don’t regret my decision one bit 🙂
I hope this clears some of your doubts regarding babywearing, please pour in your questions and suggestions and I’ll be happy to help. 🙂

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