Getting out and about with your growing family takes careful planning and preparation but finding the right travel solution can make it that bit easier. There are lightweight strollers that fit neatly in your car boot, fully equipped travel systems that allow you to switch from car seat to pushchair in seconds – and baby carriers that let you ‘wear’ your little one.
A centuries-old practice, babywearing has become increasingly popular given its wonderful benefits for both parents and babies. From keeping your hands free to allowing for skin-close bonding, it’s an option that you simply can’t overlook. And let’s not forget it looks a lot like a kangaroo carrying a joey (baby roo) in her cosy pouch – so cute!
what is babywearing?
Babywearing is a way of transporting your baby which can be done using different types of carriers, including slings, pouches, wraps and backpack carriers. The idea behind babywearing is to always keep your baby or toddler physically close as you get on with your day, whether you’re just relaxing at home or heading out.
Different baby carriers let you carry your baby roo in different positions, from front to back to hip, facing inwards or outwords. They can usually be used from day one as long as they’re inward facing, but it’s best to check each individual product’s specifications.
Some baby carriers last all the way through toddlerhood if both ‘carrier’ and ‘carried’ feel comfortable – and up until the weight limit of the carrier.
what are the benefits of babywearing?
The benefits associated with wearing a baby apply not just to parents (and baby), but also to any adult care giver, from grandparents to babysitters.
1) it helps with bonding
Bonding with your new arrival is often not instant, and this is normal. One of the best ways to strengthen the parent-baby connection is physical contact, which is how babywearing can help. Baby carriers keep little ones close, making them feel secure and understood, and give you the opportunity to really get to know each other.
2) it makes breastfeeding easier
If you’re a mum, wearing your new-born baby makes breastfeeding a lot easier when out and about. The carrier can not only offer you support, but also cover in case you prefer to feed your little one in privacy. What’s more, being in almost skin-to-skin proximity can prompt the production of oxytocin in your body, which in turn triggers milk release.
Babywearing can also help you with becoming quicker at detecting feeding cues, so you can learn the signs your baby roo gives when feeling hungry.
3) it helps to settle your baby
Baby carriers effectively let you wear your baby, allowing for body warmth, breath and your voice to be felt and heard, replicating the snugness of the womb and offering comfort.
Some studies have even showed that babywearing can reduce crying. These benefits can be especially important for premature babies or babies with special needs who may have more fragile nervous systems. What’s more, if little ones ever need reassurance, they can simply look up – the world can get quite overwhelming, after all.
4) it keeps your hands free
Using a baby carrier gives you the freedom to do things that you wouldn’t normally be able to if both your hands were busy pushing a stroller or carrying a little one.
Babies may be little, but they make your to-do list (even) bigger. With a baby carrier, you can keep your hands free to tick off more jobs and tasks, whether you’re at home doing the laundry or popping to the shops. This can be especially helpful if you have more than one little one or a pooch.
5) it lets you go where pushchairs can’t
Unlike pushchairs, strollers or travel systems, baby carriers take up almost no space. As a babywearing parent, you can stride out confidently, knowing you won’t be fazed by the stairs at the train station or the escalators in the shopping mall. It also means you don’t need to confine getting fresh air and exercise to tarmac paths, but you can instead comfortably head into the hills and fields for a change of scene.
6) it’s an inexpensive option
Nappies, bottles, blankets – preparing for the arrival of a new baby is exciting, but it can also get quite expensive. Baby carriers are a more affordable solution when compared to a pushchair or a pram.
7) it’s perfect for holidays
Trains and planes are just simpler to manage without a pram.
Baby carriers are packable, and easily fit into your suitcase, so you can take them with you whatever adventure comes next. This means there’ll be more space left for all that super-important holiday baby gear (like that adorable sun hat and those teeny-tiny sandals…).
which baby carrier should I buy?
If you’re looking to purchase a baby carrier and you’re not sure which one’s right for you and your baby roo, check out our comprehensive baby carrier buying guide.
From key safety considerations to insights into the different models available, we’ll help you make an informed decision.