FAQs with Babywearing Expert
Can I put a baby carrier on by myself without someone to help me?
Absolutely yes! In fact when I’m teaching someone how to use a carrier I discourage their partner/family from “helping” because it genuinely makes it harder (Like someone else dressing you, it’s just not the same) But of course have someone close within arm’s reach while you build your confident, especially with a newborn or when leaning to back carry.
Can I use a baby carrier if I have a “bad back”
Firstly please consult your healthcare provider if you have any specific health concerns, but as general advice if you’re concerned about back pain, especially with a bigger baby or carrying for long periods of time you want to look for a carrier with lumbar support, supportive waist band, padded shoulders and cross body support (ie a "chest clip" that goes between the shoulder straps).
Most important thing though for any baby carrier is making sure you’re adjusting and fitting it properly for your body. Also it's a good idea to try on a few different carriers with your baby (or a weighted demo doll) and listen to your body, if something feels more comfortable to you then go with that.
How long can I wear my baby in a carrier?
All day if you are comfortable, especially if you have a baby that needs to be held 24/7. Just remember to do regular safety checks and make adjustments to the carrier throughout the day if you’re feeling pressure anywhere.
What age range are baby carriers suitable for?
All baby carriers will have a minimum and maximum weight so it’s important to check the recommended weight and age for any baby carrier you choose. For example an all-in-one carrier like LILLEbaby Elevate can be worn from birth (from 3.2kgs) until 3-4 years (up to 20kgs)
Stretchy wraps, like a Moby classic wrap, are great for newborns up until around 6-9months.
Hybrid carrier, like a Moby Easy Wrap, offer a bit more support and have the ability to turn forward facing you might get a few months longer out of a hybrid carrier compared to a regular stretchy wrap
Otherwise how soon you start babywearing and how long you continue really comes down to what you feel comfortable it. Most parents don't start using a baby carrier in the first couple of weeks and typically stop using a carrier around 12 months.
How do I decide which carrier is best for my baby
Key things to look for are carriers that support M leg position and are appropriate for your baby’s age, weight and developmental stage. Otherwise most baby carriers are going to suit most babies – it’s really more about what feels comfortable to the parent/wearer and suits your needs, budget and how long you're planning to wear your baby.
How to put your baby in the carrier if they are being fussy
LOVE this question!!! Parents freeze up when baby starts to fuss and I remind them all the time this is your baby and just do all the things you would normally do to settle them. So you can stop mid-way through putting them in and just hold them. OR personally I would just keep going because my daughter would fuss about being put in the carrier but once she was in it she was asleep in 30seconds.
Best carry position for long walks?
The two best carry positions for long walks are inward/parent facing either on your front (for your newborn/baby) or back carry position (for your bigger baby/toddler)
Forward facing isn’t ideal for a long walks because it does put more pressure on your lower back and baby might get over stimulated. But you can start with forward facing at the beginning of the walk and turn baby in to face you when you need to.
Hip carry position also isn't ideal for long walks because the weight distribution isn't even across your body.
How do you stay cool in the baby carrier?
First thing I think is manage your expectations – if you and baby are sweating on each other with them in your arms then that’s what will happen in the carrier. It’s a bit gross but it’s totally fine.
Dress in the lightest layer appropriate. Like a short sleeve onesie and nappy for bub and a light t-shirt for yourself. You can always add on a layer over the top but you can’t remove layers easily once the carrier is on.
What about keeping warm in winter or cold days?
Dress in one or two light layers - like a long sleeve t-shirt and warm pants. Then get an oversized zippered jumper or coat to put over both you and baby. Too many layers or too much bulk inside the carrier can bunch and get uncomfortable. And you can open up the coat if you’re overheating or take it off when you go inside.
Are there any circumstances or places you shouldn’t wear a baby carrier?
You can wear your baby in a carrier pretty much anywhere or any time you would be able to hold or carry your baby – at home, at the shops, out to dinner, light exercise. I think the times you shouldn’t have baby in a carrier are common sense things – like don’t participate in contact sports. Don’t wear a carrier if you might fall asleep. Don’t have them on your front when cooking.
Why should I use a baby carrier?
I think the main reason parents choose to use a baby carrier is convenience of being able to hold their baby and have their hands free at the same time. Whether it’s at home so you can get stuff done or have something to eat, or going shopping – because you can’t push a trolley and a pram at the same time – or for myself it was being able to chase my toddler around the playground without having to leave my baby unsupervised.
The benefits for baby are exactly the same as just holding them in your arms and having close contact with them throughout the day. But using a supportive and correctly fitted baby carrier will put less strain on your body compared to carrying around a heavy baby in your arms.