So last week was International Babywearing Week! (I know, I’m a few days late in posting about it!) Although I obviously don’t have a baby yet – one of the things I am really excited to do with Baby Sparkles is to get in some good snuggle time through babywearing.
The concept of babywearing – and really even the language of “babywearing” – can be a bit controversial. It’s often associated with attachment parenting – which has it’s own level of controversy and differing opinions. I really don’t want to get into all of that – I firmly believe that there are many different ways to be a “good” parent. And that there’s WAY too much parent-shaming out there – every family is different, every child is different and every parent is different. As long as the baby/child/family is happy and healthy – feel free to do it your own way!
But, personally, I am excited to use a couple of carriers with Baby Sparkles because I think they’ll really enhance our family life. As I note below, I think they’ll be great for some of the activities that we love to do and I’m a BIG fan of snuggles so I’m just excited about it. I did a lot of research into carriers, talked to friends and new moms, and even tried some on before I chose which ones I wanted.
I ended up choosing the Baby K’tan and the Lillebaby Embossed to start with at least (I know a lot of people end up switching carriers after they start using them more often).
The Baby K’tan is a soft wrap-style carrier that can be used from birth to 35lbs (although a lot of people I talked to said that they really found the K’tan most useful/comfortable from about birth to 15-20 lbs). I feel like I will likely be the primary user of this wrap (vs. G) for a few reasons … first, they are sized. So you have to buy the K’tan that is appropriate for the size of the wearer. While we’d probably wear similar sizes, they may not be exactly the same. Also, I think this one will be most frequently used at home for the first few months (we’ll be in winter here in Chicago-land so probably keep her bundled in the infant carseat frequently), or when we’re going to a location where it would be difficult to maneuver with a stroller/carseat. Because I have a longer maternity leave than G has paternity leave, I’ll be spending more time at home with Baby Sparkles for the first few months.
I chose the Baby K’tan because it seems easier to use than some of the slings and other wraps (not as much wrapping since it comes with pre-structured loops of fabric!). I wanted something super soft and light but that didn’t require too much skill or coordination to put on (coordination is not my strong suite!).
On the other hand, the Lillebaby Embossed is a soft-structured carrier (SSC) – so it has a more structure to it than the wrap/sling and can be used from 7-45 lbs. Because of the structure and increased support offered by this carrier, it can be used to a higher weight limit and I’ve also heard from other moms that it’s more comfortable with heavier babies than the sling/wrap style carriers. This is one that I can see us using a lot in the outdoors. As a family we (particularly G!) like to go on a lot of hikes and do a lot of outdoor activities (mini-golf, frisbee golf, geocaching, etc.). I think this carrier will be perfect for many of those things! We could also use a stroller for some of them – but, for example, on hikes, a stroller may not be practical. This is one that I think both G and I will use a lot – he’s the stronger hiker and has better balance so I think he’ll take Baby Sparkles on a lot of those outdoor activities! And once the weather’s nicer, I think I’ll use this one (or the Baby K’tan) for walks, farmer’s markets, etc.
I specifically chose the Lillebaby Embossed from the plethora of SSC options because I wanted something with good airflow (for use in the summer months!) but I also wanted something soft on baby’s skin. I almost chose the Lillebaby Airflow which has mesh to allow for air circulation – but a good friend mentioned that it can chafe baby’s legs a bit if they’re not covered. From a TON of reviews, it seemed to me like the Embossed offered almost as good of airlfow but with a softer fabric for baby’s skin.
Again, these thoughts are my own and come from research, talking to people and trying them on – but never having actually carried a baby in them! I wanted to share some initial thoughts/reasons and then after Baby Sparkles is born and I have a chance to use these carriers – I’ll revisit and share some post-use perspective! 🙂
In close, I just want to reiterate that I don’t think “babywearing” is essential to being a good parent and I know that each person has their own perspective on it (and also their own perspectives on different carriers, styles, etc.). If you have any suggestions for other carriers to try, perspectives on these or other carriers, or just general (polite!) thoughts – I’d welcome you to share them below! I’m looking forward to experiencing this with Baby Sparkles but I also know that after having her, my outlook may shift a bit!