The Hunt for a Baby Carrier
It can be overwhelming to find a baby carrier that works for you when you first start baby wearing. Here's how I went through 3 in a month!
After figuring out my daughter needed to be held all the time and close to me to sleep, I was unsure what to do. Should I sit around holding her all day?
Of course not, but that’s what happened in the beginning. We were learning and getting to know our new baby. There was a lot going on those first few weeks with frequent night waking, forgetting how to latch, comfort nursing, growth spurt induced cluster feeding, and transitioning to co-sleeping. It often felt like the days ran together and I mostly sat with the baby.
After my husband went back to work from paternity leave, I had to figure something out. I needed a way to hold her and get a few things done, which led me into the wonderful world of baby-wearing. I knew very little about it and began searching and reading websites and blogs as well as reaching out on social media for information. Very few local friends had experience with it. The most we knew was slings could be dangerous.
I was on my own.
I had figured out the solution but didn’t know how to actually wear my baby.
Slings, wraps, carriers-it was overwhelming. I wasn’t sure where to start so I headed to my favorite baby department store to look around. Surely someone could help me and maybe I could try some on.
When I found the baby wearing section, I was disappointed in the small selection. I asked an employee for assistance but they didn’t know anything more than I’d read on the boxes. My biggest dilemma at that moment was the minimum weight requirement. All but one or two said eight pounds and up, but my little peanut was still around seven pounds.
I finally decided on a wrap because the box said it was good for preemies. I practiced with that long piece of cloth that seemed to go on for miles while Brian held Rissa. I struggled with it, never feeling like it was tied tight enough. It took me so long to get her in and out of it that I questioned how it was supposed to be convenient. Then one day she spit up all over it as I tried to get it on.
Enough was enough. I hated that wrap but wanted to try another carrier. I was too scared of the slings, so we bought one of the most well known front carriers on the market. After an hour it killed my shoulders. Rissa cried a lot when I tried to put her in it. I vented on Facebook only to be informed that carrier was supposedly bad for my baby’s hip and spine development.
I cried. I broke down and cried. I cried out of frustration and being overwhelmed. I cried about the money we’d spent on carriers so far. I cried about possibly harming my baby.
I cried because I still needed a way to hold my baby close throughout the day without using my arms.
A friend posted a suggestion to take the last carrier back and invest in an ergonomically designed soft structured carrier. Thankfully I was able to return the others since I’d owned them for less than a week each. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a local store that I knew of with the baby carrier I was now looking at buying. I was nervous about ordering it online. What if it didn’t fit? What if my baby hated it?
It took some getting used to and practice in order to put it on and take it off by myself, but finally we found one that seemed to work for us. Looking back it is hard to believe all that occurred within a month’s time. Since then we’ve tried a couple other soft structured baby carriers and a sling, but I haven’t tried another wrap. The sling still makes me nervous, though I know many moms love theirs.
How did you decide what type of carrier to try? Do you have a favorite?
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