Welcome to the first in a 4-part series about the most common caregiver types we see at Mama & Roo's! This series is designed to help you figure out where to start on your babywearing journey based on where you are in your life now. Use these guides as a jumping off point, and don't be afraid to send us questions via the chat! We're always happy to help =).
Does this sound familiar?
"I'm so excited to be a mom! I can't wait for my baby to get here. I wonder what they'll look like. I'm sure he'll have hair, with all the heartburn I'm having! But also... I'm a little nervous about having a baby. They're just so tiny and fragile. I don't know if I've ever held a newborn before... or changed a diaper! I can't wait to start new traditions with our little family. But once baby is here, will I know what to do with it?"
Being a first time parent is exciting! But it can also be overwhelming.
Today I want to talk about our recommendations for you (or a loved one) if you are a first time parent (or soon to be!).
Part 1: The First Parent
As a first-time parent, you’re starting a new routine in a new phase of your life. The best way to start your journey with your little one, in our opinion, is to keep them close—like you do when babywearing! There's no better start to parenthood <3.
But why babywear? Here are just a few reasons.
Advantages to wearing with your first baby:
- Acclimate to motherhood: Enjoy the process of becoming a parent. Reclaim your birth experience through the healing power of skin-to-skin touch with your baby. Revel in the rebellious act that is joy in parenting <3. Babywearing is part of kangaroo care and helps you build a joyful bond in this new season of life.
- Tummy time: Did you know that babywearing strengthens your little one’s muscles? The act of them pressing against your body as they wiggle and adjust in the carrier provides important development for body and mind. It’s very similar to tummy time—but unlike tummy time, babies love being held! Win-win.
- Breastfeed like a pro: Babywearing has been shown to increase milk supply and increase breastfeeding success rates. When your baby is on your body, your body more easily responds to their needs for milk. You’re also likely to feed them more frequently as it’s more convenient, which also increases your supply. For breastfeeding parents, babywearing is a great supportive tool. You can even nurse in a carrier! (You can bottle feed in a carrier, too =) )
- Less crying: No one wants to hear their precious little one cry. Babywearing has been shown to reduce crying in babies due to the comforting nature and attentive presence of the caregiver. Being attached to your body allows baby to hear your body sounds, curl up, and feel your warmth – just like the womb! There's no better comfort.
So, we know that babywearing is awesome for you as a first time parent--but which carrier should you choose? Depending on the age of your child, there are many great options.
Here are our top recommendations for first-time parents:
- Stretchy Wrap: A perfect first carrier--a long piece of soft knit stretchy fabric to tie around your newborn baby. Our stretchy wraps are nicely weighted, high quality knit with the perfect amount of stretch. Learn how to carry your newborn in this super soft carrier meant for the teeniest, squishiest little ones. Tap here to see the collection (my favorites right now are Jasper and Turquoise!)
- Half-buckle meh dai: A combination of a backpack and wrap, usable from birth to 2 years old. This amazing carrier style originated from China. It's wonderful to get started carrying and grows with your baby. Parents love the familiarity of the buckle waistband, the magnetic pocket, the cozy straps, and the removable hood! Tap here for the collection (you'll want the standard size for a new baby, not the preschool)
- Long woven wrap: The carrier that keeps on giving-- a long woven wrap is a long piece of woven fabric. It does not have stretch, making it safe to use with heavier children and for single layer carries--great if you "run hot"! We recommend starting with your base size. For most caregivers this is a size 6/M, with size 7/L being the second most popular. But don't worry--most caregivers can use most sizes, so pick something you love and have fun with it! This style can be used from birth until your little one no longer wants to be carried. Tap here for the collection.
- Ring Sling: A shorter piece of fabric with sewn-in rings, a ring sling is a simple carrier. Usable from birth through toddlerhood, ring slings are great for quick snuggles for little ones and quick "ups" for older kiddos. Every family should give a ring sling a try for its portability and ease of use. Tap here for the collection. Is your little one especially desperate for snuggles? Shower in peace with a mesh ring sling--made for water fun, including the shower, so you can comfort your baby and meet your needs--check it out here. (P.S. I designed these water slings for you!)
- Soft Structured Carrier (SSC): Last but not least, this is the best choice for those who are a little nervous about babywearing, but excited to give it a try. With a buckle waistband and backpack straps, you'll feel right at home. Parents love the magnetic waistband, ability to cross or ruck the straps, adjustable height & width to grow with your baby, and the removable hood. Tap here for our collection of SSCs made to use from 4 weeks old to 2.5 years old.
Which one's your favorite? We recommend having several styles on hand. We all develop preferences for different styles for different adventures (around the house, at the store, on a hike, etc.). So don't be afraid to choose one to start =).