Tips on babywearing & choosing the right carrier

Carrying children and holding them close to you is a natural way to care for the little ones. While carrying it is useful to pay attention to ergonomics from both your and your child’s point of view. Carrying a child close to you in a sling or a carrier is referred to as babywearing – or toddler wearing, preschool(er) wearing or big kid wearing. This means carrying the child does not have to be limited to those first baby months!

An ergonomic carrier respects the natural posture of your child (often referred to as ’wrappee’) and is supportive and comfortable to use also for you (’babywearer’). A woven wrap is an ergonomic means of carrying the child and many consider it as the best aid for holding the child close. This is because woven wraps may be used already with a newborn for as long as your child likes to be carried. Woven wraps are produced in a range of lengths (referred to as sizes) and they are woven in different materials in a variety of weave patterns. Respecting the development stage of your child, woven wraps make it possible for you to carry them in front of you, on your hip or on your back.

This article offers you up-to-date information on babywearing and its benefits. It gives you an overview of woven wraps, how to choose one for yourself and how to use them. We also interview two experienced babywearers and you will receive tips on how to get started in ergonomic carrying of your child. Welcome to the fascinating world of babywearing!

Babywearing has plenty of benefits

Baby carriers help holding the baby
Baby carriers help holding the child close while freeing your hands to other activities for example playing with the older siblings. At the picture: Vanamo Solki Graniitti woven wrap which is also suitable for smaller babies. Photo: Birgitte Poulsen
Besides eating and sleeping, the need for touch and closeness is a basic need for a human being. Being held offers the child experiences of love and safety. Carrying recreates the kind of environment familiar to the baby from the womb where the heartbeat and motions of the babywearer soothe the child. While being carried, your child can safely observe and explore the surrounding environment. Carrying activates a baby‘s hearing, sight and sense of touch and also reduces stress. Ergonomic babywearing offers your child versatile sensations of balance and movement and thus enhances the development of their muscles and nervous system especially in the young age. Babywearing further supports the early interaction and attachment: your child is able to familiarise themselves with your face and voice while you are able to more easily recognise the early signals of your child and respond to them faster.

Ergonomic carriers facilitate holding the child close while freeing your hands, if necessary, for simultaneous activities. While babywearing, you may do anything that you would do while carrying the child in your arms – for instance, many outdoor activities, grocery shopping or travelling may just go lighter with your child in a carrier. It is easy for a small child to become overwhelmed and, when facing inward (tummy against the babywearer) in a carrier, they may lean on to the babywearer to shelter from the environment in case of overstimulation or tiredness.