4:41 min| 869,582 views
Watch and learn how to keep your baby close and your hands free. We'll show you how to use and choose wraps, slings, and structured carriers.
Featured expert Ariel Gold is based in San Francisco. She has certification as an Eco-Maternity Consultant from the International Maternity and Parenting Institute and has been working with parents at DayOne Baby since 2011.
Video by Paige Bierma Productions
Hi. I’m Ariel Gold, and I’m a baby product expert in San Francisco. I’m here to talk to you about what to consider when choosing your baby carrier. The most important aspect of finding a carrier is that it’s safe and secure for you and your baby.
There are structured carriers, wraps, and slings. The structured carrier tends to have two straps: a strap for around your body and a pocket for the baby to sit inside of. You first secure the carrier to your body. The bottom strap, known as the hip belt, will go around the waist. It allows for additional pressure to be placed on the hip bones as opposed to on the torso. You unclick the top and bring baby over to the carrier. Safely guide the baby’s body down into the pocket, allowing them to sit comfortably, and attach the top straps for additional neck support.
Next is going to be the wrap. Though it is a long piece of fabric and might look a little daunting, it’s actually quite easy to put on. Start with unwrapping it so you can see its length. Most straps will have the logo right in the middle. That gives you its center point and makes easy for you to put it on safely. Start by wrapping it around your torso, making an X to go over your shoulders and an additional X to go through the loop. Once again, I wrapped it around my body. I made an X in the back and an X in the front, and that’s basically the carrier. After that, you just wrap it around to secure it tightly. Now you may wonder where baby goes. Because this is a stretchy wrap, you pull from behind in order to make the pocket in the front.
At this point, you can start opening up the fabric to put baby inside. Bring baby to you. Again, because this is a stretchy wrap, it allows you to manipulate the fabric rather than manipulating the baby. Bring it around baby’s leg. It goes over the shoulder and under the bottom. Same thing on the other side: over the shoulder and under the bottom. This last piece comes up and around, holding all the fabric in place. I typically like to show parents that the baby is sitting on top of this X. So they’re in a very safe position. This last piece of fabric can go over the legs, allowing the baby to be a little bit warmer and to kick against it, or it can be left out if it’s a warmer day. Once the baby is in this position, they’ll tend to lay their head in one direction or the other. Whatever direction they lay, make sure that there’s an open area and you can always place the other piece of fabric over the head for additional support. This is great for infants, allowing you to be hands-free without having to hold their head the entire time.
The next option is a sling. A sling is great for those who don’t have a ton of extra room either in their diaper bag or in their stroller, and is the smallest of all the carriers, and it allows baby to fit right up against your body like so. You lift baby in, cradling their head and opening up this top area. You start by sliding them in. Then with the other arm, wrap around and place the rest of their body inside, always making sure that this bottom part of the sling is tucked under your body. A good rule of thumb is to use your arms as the guide. If the baby’s positioned too high it’s going to feel uncomfortable to your arms. And so, move baby down low so it’ll be in a natural position. A sling is basically acting as your other arm when your arms are tired. This is great for if you’re at home and you just need to get some things done and your arms are feeling tired. This is also a nice position if you are still nursing. Baby is right there and so you’re able to nurse conveniently.
Whichever carrier you choose you’re in for a treat. Baby wearing is calming, it promotes bonding, and it allows your hands to be free for whatever else life throws your way.