Welcome to the third 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 =).
Part 3 of the series... which Mama & Roo's parent are you?
"I'm so excited to be welcoming another baby to our family! But my first child is still so young. He needs me so much! I loved wearing her, but can I wear my older child while pregnant? Is it safe? I'd love to continue wearing him to help him adjust and give him security as we prepare for the new baby. Besides, she's still a handful and I'd love to be able to contain her sometimes!"
Let's chat about being an "experienced parent" who is currently pregnant: someone who has one or more older children to care for while pregnant. See our recommendations for this stage below!
Part 3: The Experienced Parent (currently pregnant)
What an adventure! As your little one grows, you still need to tend to the needs of your older child. Preparing to add a new baby to your family doesn’t mean the end of babywearing. We recommend that you start/continue babywearing from the beginning of your pregnancy, as opposed to starting halfway through, so that your muscles are adequately strong for the task! But most healthy people can babywear throughout pregnancy as long as it is comfortable for you.
Babywearing continues to have the same advantages as babywearing with your first baby, with a few added benefits.
Advantages to wearing your baby while pregnant with your next baby:
- Prepare for birth: Wearing your little one is a workout! Exercising while pregnant has been proven to lead to healthier pregnancies and healthier babies. An excellent way to prepare for the workout of labor and birth!
- Bond with your older child: When a new baby is on the way, your older child can sometimes feel left out of the excitement. Include your older child and keep that special bonding feeling
- Try new things: Wearing while pregnant gives you a great excuse to try new carries that don’t put pressure on your growing belly.
- Belly wrapping: Use a ring sling or woven wrap to support your belly as your baby grows!
Pro tips for comfortable babywearing while pregnant:
- Choose carriers and carries that avoid pressure on your belly and/or breasts, depending on how you feel.
- With wraps and wrap-strap carriers, try twists down the sternum or spreading passes wide over your chest (this can be helpful when breastfeeding, too!).
- Avoid knots in your armpits or directly over your breasts if they are sensitive—sling rings are perfect for this.
- Try waist-less carriers and carries—my favorite tie-off for this is a Tied Tibetan knotless finish.
- Adding rings to your wraps & wrap strap carriers can reduce knots that can cause soreness.
- Finally, if you do use a carrier with a waistband, play with positioning. Some can place the carrier waistband above the bump comfortably, and some below the bump.
With so many choices, you’re bound to find the perfect way to support your older baby and your growing baby with babywearing =).
Here are our top recommendations of carriers to use while pregnant:
- Long woven wrap: These long pieces of fabric are the most traditional carrier type and the most flexible. Long woven wraps can be tied off with or without a waist and can be tied in a variety of ways on the chest to avoid discomfort. With the help of sling rings, you can even avoid pressure from knots! If needed, you can easily re-tie the carry to move where the pressure is, for optimum comfort. The long woven wrap may take a little longer to learn, but it’s definitely the ideal carrier for ultimate versatility. The best sizes for pregnancy are often a base size (allowing more passes and more comfort) and a base -2 (allowing faster waist-less and/or knot-less carries). A size 6 is the most common base size, typical for T-shirt sizes of M or L. A size 4 would be the base -2 size for those people. A size 7 is the second most common base size, typical for T-shirt sizes of XL or 2XL. A size 5 is the base -2 size for them. Tap here to shop long woven wraps.
- Ring sling: The ring sling is perfect for the quick ups and downs of toddler life! With no defined waistband, you can pop your child in on your hip and provide them the snuggles they need without worrying about too much pressure on your belly or breasts. This is a shorter piece of fabric with rings attached that can be used for one-shoulder front, hip, or back carries. Ring slings pack up small, so they are perfect for on-the-go babywearing! Tap here to shop our ring sling collection.
- Wrap-strap meh dai: A wrap strap meh dai with 4 wrap straps is a great way to step into wrapping if you aren’t quite ready for all the tying! These carriers have a pre-made seat in the form of a structured panel. Then you tie the waist and arm straps on your body as desired. This can be as simple or complicated as you like or need! This is a great carrier if you’re pregnant because you have a lot of the same flexibility as a long woven wrap, just made a little easier because the seat is already made. You can also do waist-less carries and can use sling rings instead of knots, and you can do a variety of tie-offs across the chest for comfort. These carriers are wonderful tools with plenty of flexibility! Tap here to shop our wrap strap meh dai collection.
- Onbuhimo: For some, this is the ultimate pregnancy carrier! The onbuhimo is a waist-less backpack carrier from Japan. Onbuhimos are small, lightweight, and easy to pack into a diaper bag for on-the-go babywearing. They can be used for front or back carries and put little to no pressure on the breasts and no pressure on the belly. Tap here for our onbuhimo collection.
Babywearing while pregnant can be a lot of fun for you and your older child! Which carrier will you try?
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 =).