What is babywearing?
Babywearing is the practice of wearing or carrying a baby or toddler close in a wrap or other form of carrier. Babywearing is an age-old tradition in countries all over the world. In recent years, the babywearing trend has been gaining momentum, as parents are seeing the benefits over other carriers, like strollers. Babywearing is increasingly being seen as in vogue amongst fashion stylists due to innovations in design, coupled with widely recognized benefits. There is a variety of options for wearing your baby, such as using a baby wrap or ring sling.
What is a baby wrap?
A baby wrap is a long piece of fabric used to carry a child from birth to toddlerhood. Depending on the age of the child and your experience with babywearing, wraps can be used for various carrying positions, such as front carry, hip carry and back carry. The lengths of wraps vary from 2-5+ meters (or 2.2 – 5.5 yards) based on your size and the age of your child. Wraps are available in different fibres and blends of fibres, which provide varying levels of support and comfort. The advantages of using a wrap over other carriers includes versatility, as well as support and weight distribution on the wearer. Wrap carriers are also often chosen for their minimalistic, naturally beautiful look.
What is a ring sling?
Ring slings are one shoulder slings made of a long piece of fabric that is attached to a pair of rings. Ring slings are adjustable and like the wrap, can be used from newborn stage through toddlerhood as a front carrier, hip carrier and also back carrier. For newborns, ring slings work best in an upright frontcarry.
Learning to Babywear
The best way to learn to babywear is to take the time to thoroughly review the tutorial videos, read instructions and primarily, practice. It can take a number of tries to master the art of babywearing but once you do, you will be happy with the benefits of your accomplishment. It is advised to start front carrying. You can start learning by watching our tutorial videos for Front Wrap Cross Carry using a wrap or the Ring Sling carry for the ring sling.
Once you have mastered the Front Wrap Cross Carry, you can move on to other front carries, hip carries and back carries. It is also advisable to consult a babywearing specialist, like a babywearing consultant, before starting to wrap. In general, Ring Slings are easy to use from day one onwards for front carrying as well as hip carries. Woven wraps can take longer to master but also offer additional benefits and are more versatile. Certain designs and blends are easier for beginners, like Arrow Voss and Argus Lovebird, as they are easier to tie when first learning. For more information on mastering the learning curve, read our Babywearing with Confidence tips.
At what age can I start wearing my baby?
If all safety instructions are considered, it is advised to use an Artipoppe wrap from birth until both caregiver and child no longer feel comfortable with it. Carrying your baby until the age of 4 is very well possible. However, with heavier children back carrying can be more comfortable than front carrying. Read more in the Babywearing FAQs.
Consult an expert if your infant was born prematurely, or if your infant has respiratory illness or other respiratory problems. Extra vigilance is required with these babies. Attend to and check on your baby often, especially those under 4 months of age.
The upper weight limit of a woven wrap has more to do with the comfort of the wearer than it does the weight of the child. Learn more about Newborn Babywearing.