I wore my son in a carrier for the first time when he was 7 days old. My husband had his first RCIA meeting, and I was his sponsor. When we got to the meeting room of the church, I carefully gathered the tails of my long woven wrap. I'd only tried it on once before, with help, for just a few minutes. But, I had this, right?
I tied him on. He felt secure! And, of course, I was *constantly* listening to make sure he was breathing. Up, down, up, down his little chest went. Eyes closed, mouth open. A perfect sleepy little being.
It wasn't until I went to the bathroom later on that I saw it...
My little bundle of joy was completely squished flat against me. He was at a diagonal, with his little head at my armpit and little bottom at my waist on the opposite side.
Despite my less-than-perfect attempt the first time, we got better and better with each try. My son lived in carriers for those first months, and he still goes up in them as a preschooler today.
There's something magical about holding your newborn close to you--and it's good for you both, too!
If you're looking for a carrier for your newborn, here are some things to keep in mind.
And, of course, if you have questions about anything, just reach out via the chat on this page! One of the Mama & Roo's moms will be with you soon.
Use a carrier that fits now - An improperly sized carrier is hard to use safely. Carriers with extra pieces to put inside the panel are notoriously more difficult to use safely and correctly with a newborn. When you're tired and just need to pop baby in, you want something easy to use safely. That's why our baby backpack for newborns has extra adjustment for head support. We recommend the optional newborn adapter for the smallest babies. This is a simple strap that makes the panel height shorter, for easier sizing. Trying to put a newborn in a carrier that's too large makes it harder for you both, and a carrier that's hard to use is one you won't use
All babywearing is hot, but that can be managed - Two bodies in one space is warm! This is why many customers like carriers that can have single layers, like a ring sling or long woven wrap. But regardless of carrier style, there are lots of things you can do to stay cool and comfortable. Check out our blog about babywearing in the heat here for more tips.
Babywearing helps with new skills - Sometimes we hear caregivers say, "My baby hates the carrier, they want to face out!" Almost every time this happens, it's not because baby is ready or even wants to face forward. It's actually due to a very important growth spurt! Around 2-3 months old, this growth spurt increases your baby's desire to practice arching their backs. They are learning important skills to develop the strength to sit up. How exciting! Arching or pushing in the carrier does *not* mean your baby is ready to forward face, and it does *not* mean your baby dislikes being carried. All it means is that baby is learning and developing normally! And, in fact, pushing against you in the carrier resembles tummy time and has similar benefits.
Babywearing is natural and normal with a long history - Evidence of carrying cloths and "backpacks" have been found since the earliest human records, all over the world. A long legacy of wearing babies precedes you!
You won't get it perfect the first time - I didn't, either! It's normal to take some practice. Don't give up on years of hands-free cuddles and comforting because of a short learning curve <3. If you need help, reach out! We're here for you every step of the way, in our chat support, email support, and in our welcoming Facebook community here.
Proper adjustment makes a huge difference - We've helped thousands of caregivers, and we can usually diagnose and fix a fit problem in less than 5 minutes =). It sounds silly, but even minor adjustments can completely change the comfort of you and baby in your carrier.
Here are few tips & tricks if you're struggling to fit your newborn in your carrier:
-Use a mirror to help. Check that waistband is level, that baby is out in the panel (not on the waistband), that the wrap straps are spread and nothing is twisted, etc.
-Don't be afraid to adjust as you walk. As you move baby will settle in, and sometimes this is the best way to tell where something isn't quite right.
-Get moving! Babies need a minute to settle in. We recommend putting baby in and going for a walk as you get both get used to it
-Use the hood (if you have one) to provide extra support/comfort
-Roll a washcloth in the top rail of a woven wrap or ring sling for extra neck support (as seen in our Ring Slings for Newborns tutorial here)
-Clip binkies and toys to the provided straps on your suck pads (suck pads available here). This gives you easy access to additional comforts baby is used to while they settle in
-Use a Lexi twist under baby's bottom in a wrap (as seen in our Front Wrap Cross Carry tutorial here)
-Try using fewer or more layers of fabric over baby (if you have a carrier that safely allows it)
-Adjust waistband position, panel size, and PFAs (if applicable), as seen in our Lenny Upgrade sizing article here
- Be aware of safety like anything else with your baby, but don't overthink it - Our carriers are tested and certified safe in Europe and the US. They've been safely used to carry tens of thousands of children all over the world for years. These are ethically made, high quality carriers specifically chosen to be easy to use safely for you and baby. And if you get stuck? We're just a chat message or email away. We're babywearing educators (& moms!) who care deeply about you and your baby, and we're here for you every step of the way. For more information about babywearing safety, see our ABCs of babywearing blog post here.
We *love* newborns in baby carriers!
Babywearing from the start provides so many benefits.
Your baby wants to hear your heartbeat and feel your warmth.
Babies who are carried more, cry less!
Using a carrier to hold your baby can improve your milk supply and make breastfeeding easier. Your body can tell baby is near! Over time, you can even learn to breastfeed or bottle feed while baby is being worn
Being held actually stimulates brain development!
When you hold baby, you help them regulate their body temperature
Baby feels safest with you, so why not give them what they need, hands-free! If you want to be 😉
If you're ready to give babywearing a try with your newborn, check out our newborn collection below.