Why Should You Wear Your Baby?
There are many benefits to baby wearing including but not limited to:
·Reduced crying and fussiness.
·Helps with bonding (great for adoptive parents, too).
·Provides intellectual and physical stimulation & encourages verbal development.
·Allows caregivers and parents to respond quickly to a child's needs.
·Allows hands free to perform household tasks or care for other children.
·Perfect for times when a stroller is not practical.
How Should You Wear Your Baby?
There are many different brands and styles of carriers on the market today to help you care for your child. We often have several of each brand and style in stock. Deciding which carrier or carriers to buy will be easy if you ask yourself these questions first.
·What age is the child you are trying to carry? Infants need total body support from head to toe so some carriers will not work until a child is at least a couple of months old and can hold their head up well.
·How heavy is your child? A carrier that supports your child's weight evenly across your body is better if your child is older or heavier than a carrier that sits just on your shoulders.
·What activities will you be engaging in while carrying your child? Some activities such as running or cooking are not advisable while carrying your child but most carriers are fine for light housework, walking, tending to other children and even some for hiking.
It is a good idea to bring your child with you when you are shopping for a carrier and if someone else often cares for your child bring them along so you can try different styles. Also, you may find that you need or want more than one style of carrier as your child grows or you choose to do different activities.
If you have answered the questions above then it is now time to choose a carrier When purchasing a baby carrier and each time you use it look at the carrier itself and make sure that all the parts are in working order. Never use a carrier with worn fabric, twisted straps or cracked buckles and contact the company for instructions specific to that carrier.
The 5 Basic Types of Carriers, Plus 1:
Slings- These carriers can be used from newborns all the way through early childhood. Many have weight limits around 40 lbs. They are lightweight, portable and washable. They can be worn on the front back or side of the caregivers body depending on the age and size of the child. They are designed for light, mostly indoor activities.
Wraps- Designed to be used from newborn through early childhood, they have the same advantages as a sling with these added features: They are worn over both shoulders and around the caregivers body so many can support a heavier child; You may be able to engage in slightly more strenuous activities; and many people find them more comfortable to wear especially if they have back problems.
Front packs- This is your basic Snugli or baby bjorn type of carrier. These are suitable for newborns up to about 20 lbs. These are worn on the front of the caregivers body over both shoulders. Most of these carriers are washable and lightweight. These are designed to be worn for moderate activity such as walking or light housework indoors or out. Many people find these to be very useful for the first couple of months.
Frame backpack carriers- A child must be able to sit up fully without assistance before using this type of carrier. Most are recommended for ages 6 months -3 years. Many have weight limits of around 40 lbs. These carriers can be used for activities such as brisk walking or easy hiking. They allow the child to see things around them over other adults. Finding a proper fit for these carriers is a must, however, so look for ones with adjustable frames and safety straps for the child as some children are able to push up and out of these carriers. Many people find these good for occasional use such as a trip to the aquarium or zoo so the child can see but do not like these for every day activities such as housework.
Hip carriers- These also can only be used for children over 6 months. Most have a weight limit of about 35 lbs . These carriers are good for a toddler who wants or needs to be carried occasionally while you are out doing an errand or caring for another child.
Ergos- These are in their own category as they do all of the functions of the above carriers. It can be used with the infant insert for newborns as a sling carrier, a front pack carrier for infants as soon as they can support their head, A hip carrier for 6 months+ and a back carrier for children weighing up to 65 lbs or more. They are washable and easily carried with you.
Whatever carrier you choose you are sure to enjoy spending time with your child and they will enjoy spending time being close to you. This article is just one in a series that Enkore Kids provides as a service to our customers. I hope you have found this article helpful and suggestions for improvement are welcome.
- By Susan McCarthy, Enkore Kids, LLC