Did you know babywearing carriers have been around for centuries? It is one of the most effective ways to calm and carry your baby. Carrying a heavy baby can be physically exhausting, no? An inconsolable (heavy) baby is stressful to deal with too. Babywearing is your go-to solution to many mom-problems!
When your baby is close to you. This closeness offers many mental and physical developmental benefits for newborns and infants. Especially in the fourth trimester.
The Fourth Trimester: The Need-to-know
This is three months, post-delivery. The fourth trimester is a crucial time. The baby learns to adjust to the environment outside the womb. If you think about it, being born and the first few months can be stressful for newborns. The transition can be rough on the new babies.
All that time your baby was warm, cozy and safe inside the womb. Now it’s suddenly exposed to the cold life outside. All that time blissfully swimming naked in the womb. Now abruptly made to wear plastic-y diapers, layers of clothes and what not. Babywearing helps make this transition easier on the babies and can save your sanity too!
Why Babywearing Calms Your Baby?
The Pediatrics journal study says infants who are carried cry and fuss 51% lesser in the first 3 months. Babies are happier and take more feedings.
Comfortable Ergonomic Position
The positioning is important. Babies in ergonomic carriers, facing the mother reminds them of the position in the womb.
Gentle Reminder of the Womb
The baby can hear your heartbeat. The soothing rhythmic sound and movement is reminiscent of the time your baby has spent in the womb.
The baby knows the mother’s scent and taste. Babywearing keeps the baby near the mother, which reassures the baby immensely.
The cozy environment, the familiar scent, and movement, is all comforting to your baby.
Benefits of Babywearing for the Baby
When the mind is at rest and body is comfortable, your baby remains calm in the carrier. The nearness also helps the baby listen to your voice and conversations clearly. This really helps your baby build vocabulary. Ask me, my 2-year-old spoke in full sentences… Your stress-free baby can now focus on developing gross and fine motor skills. Improve vocabulary, social, emotional and motor skills etc. with babywearing!
Improve vocabulary, social, emotional and motor skills etc.
- The decrease of stress hormones results in a happy baby.
- Development of muscles for sitting, standing, walking.
- Falls asleep easily and quickly.
- The sights, sounds, and the environment is all stimulating for the baby.
La Leche League International is a trusted source. Be sure to check out their more detailed account on babywearing benefits for the baby.
How babywearing is good for You
Babies don’t come with a manual.
Carry Your Baby Correctly… Less Painful for You
Carrying your baby the first time can be tricky and scary, no? How about carrying a 7kg+ baby around all the time? It’s almost hard labor! Babywearing distributes the weight of your baby. So you don’t have a backache or shoulder pains. You learn to hold your baby the right way with time and much practice. So between that there is babywearing!
Overcome Postpartum Depression
Post delivery, mothers can often find themselves depressed because of hormonal overdrive. If the new mother thinks… “Why is the baby crying all the time?” “Am I doing the right thing? The right way?” “I’m such a bad parent.” … this is psychological torture and can affect both parents, impeding proper childcare. Babywearing calms the baby, helps them fall asleep faster too. This is encouraging, especially, for the mothers suffering postpartum depression.
Multitask with a Pleasant Baby
Babywearing can help you deal with the tumultuous newborn days. A calm baby is an obvious benefit for the mother and the people around. Yes! But there is more to babywearing that just having a pleasant baby.
Bond with Your Baby
The position is ideal for the mothers to develop a bond with their newborns. Do you know the intoxicating baby smell coming from the head? It is pheromones. This hormone is known to get you addicted to your baby. Thus creating a bond, which encourages you to tend to your baby intuitively.
Boost Breastmilk supply
The nearness increases the feel-good-hormones for the parent. This not only makes you happy but also boosts the breastmilk supply of the mother carrying the baby. WooHoo for babywearing!
I always wanted to wear my baby. But at first, I wasn’t sure which carrier to buy. I made a lot of expensive mistakes. It is not always about the money, though. It is about comfort for you too.
What to Wear?
Slings or ring slings are great for short-term (less than 20min) useful for around the house. They are one-sided.
Wraps can go little longer but if wrapped incorrectly can cause a backache and shoulder pain.
“Soft Structured Carriers” are the ones with the buckles. SSCs are great for the older and heavier babies. Perfect for hiking, long walks or travel, but expensive.
When it comes to baby carriers, you need to make an informed choice. Here is an account of my favorite carriers.
I Began My Babywearing Journey With a Sari.
I loved how it was organic and soft for the baby. Sari wrapping my baby in public was a bit much. The sari would be all over the floor. Yuck. I always had an audience. As though I was putting up a free show. Clueless bystanders watched me in awe (or was it disgust?). Step right up, step right up. Come one, come all, and see the most amazing super mom trussing a baby to her body…
After a while, the sari can stretch itself out. This can be unsafe for the baby because the sari carrier becomes loose. You cannot carry your baby for a long time then.
- Variety of designs
- Fabric unreliable after many uses
- Ergonomic support questionable
- Tedious job of wrapping (especially in public places)
Rs.300-500 per cotton sari
I then Graduated to a Mei Tai Wrap
This is also a wrap, like a sari. Except it is well organized. With a sari, you need to fold it right. With a Mei Tai, it’s already folded in the right places. There is no fear or anxiety stitched in the right places. I was concerned about the fabric stretching with use. I wouldn’t know that because I sold it within 2-3 uses.
- Thicker fabric (than a cotton sari)
- Tedious job of wrapping (especially in public places)
- Unsafe for babies if wrapped incorrectly
- Limited designs
Rs.4000-7000 for a brand new baby carrier. A second-hand can cost you much lesser. I had sold mine for Rs.1500
In LOVE with the Baby K’tan.
Baby K’tan is an award winning carrier. It is meant for 4kg+ babies and saved my sanity with Baby#2. It is like a t-shirt! Everything like the wrap, minus the knots. You securely put your baby in and go hands-free! I used Baby K’tan ACTIVE wrap for both my babies. But they do have a variety of baby carriers to choose from. I trust this brand.
- No-hassle wrap
- No knots
- No loose ends
- Reliable fabric
- Different fabric textures
- Perfect for newborns
- Gets uncomfortable once baby starts moving/engaging (6months+)
Rs.7000 with shipping
Important note: Be careful when you pick out the Size.
The size of this Baby K’tan ACTIVE baby carrier depends on You, not the size of the baby.
I purchased size L (from the local “Mom n Me” store) thinking that would be correct for my first baby (who came out 4kg +). Since I wear a size small, size S or XS is ideal for me. I contacted the official Baby K’tan website and asked if I could send it back. To avoid international shipping troubles, they offered me a 30% discount to get a new one instead. I bought the XS size and it came within 10 days, from Canada.
Grateful for the TULA Baby Carrier!
I used it on my toddler on my pregnancy walk with Baby#2 too 🙂 Tula is THAT comfortable!
So there are two sizes for Tula SSC.
- Standard size for 7kg+ babies
- Toddler size for 11kg+ babies/toddlers
My baby#1 was a big baby and so I ordered the toddler size for her. I soon realized I had to wait a long while before using it on baby#2.
PRO TIP: Order Tual from the Tula Poland website for super fast delivery to India.
I ordered my second one from the Tula American website and I’ve been waiting for it for over 5 weeks now. *sniffles* Here is a quick review from my trusted mommy-pal Sheetal. Remember her? She’s the same awesome person who introduced me to freelance writing. She’s the boss when it comes to parenting and has been my inspiration.
I started babywearing when my kid was around 11 months old. We started with a Mei Tai carrier and moved on to the present SSC which is the Tula. I wish I knew of babywearing much sooner than I did and now I recommend it to all expecting moms that I know of. Investing in a good quality carrier is totally worth the money. With our Tula, I have traveled alone with my son quite a few times by air between cities and even gone on treks. It has been the best buy so far! It makes me more independent, keeps him happy and secure and me, handsfree!
Are expensive baby carriers worth the investment?
Are you thinking about the money? I suggest dividing your investment into the number of months you would use it. A proper baby carrier like a Tula baby carrier would last you 2-3 years. That is less than Rs.350 per month for your investment of Rs.12,000. Besides, the resale value of a Tula is high. And second-hand Tula is around Rs.8000- 10,000. Tula enthusiasts prefer to buy used SSCs. This is so because the used SSC’s texture is softer for the babies. So all in all, a great return on investment for your Tula baby carrier! No?
Want to know more?
Join Facebook Groups! Before you make a hurried sale, I suggest you join a group and check out the latest on baby carriers. There are new products coming in all the time. There is the Anmol Wrap which mimics the Mei Tai and Tula. They are easy on your wallet.
You can type Babywearing in the facebook search bar. Check out online second-hand stores to get great deals. Expensive carriers are worth the investment. Consequently, you may find affordable alternatives that serve the purpose too. Choose wisely. Now isn’t that awesome? Therefore, instead of suffering all that back and shoulder pain, or pushing bulky strollers around. Wear your baby!
Here’s a quick recap on a perfect infographic:
Learn more about the Benefits of Babywearing