In honor of International Babywearing Week, which just passed, this week's post is about babywearing.
What IS babywearing, you may ask? Babywearing is exactly what it sounds like, wearing or carrying your baby in a sling, carrier or wrap. Babywearing allows moms and dads to continue to do their day-to-day tasks while holding their child close and still having the ability to use their hands. It allows for new mommies and daddies to hold a newborn baby close and make them feel as if they are in the womb again. It makes household chores easier when you don't have a toddler getting into everything, instead putting them on your back. A baby can be worn from birth until you feel that you are ready to be finished babywearing; even 4 and 5 year olds can still be worn!
There are many different types of carriers out on the market today. They vary from long woven pieces of fabric called wraps to soft structured carriers (i.e. an Ergo). Some of the most common types of carriers are wraps, ring slings, mei tais and soft structured carriers. A wrap is a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around your body and your child to form a seat and allows a variety of carries depending on the length of the fabric. A ring sling is a long strip of fabric with two rings that is worn across one shoulder and also makes a seat for baby. A mei tai is made of a large rectangular panel of fabric for the body with shoulder straps and waist straps. A soft-structured carrier is similar to a mei tai, but instead of tying the straps, there are buckles to attach the waist and shoulder straps to the body of the carrier. Choosing the right carrier for you is important, so if you get the chance, I'd recommend going and trying them out and seeing what kind you prefer before buying since they can be an investment.
For more information on babywearing, check out Babywearing International for more information on choosing the right carrier for you, more benefits for both you and your child, and safety while babywearing.