This post is in no way sponsored by Happy Wrap. I purchased my wrap with my own money and all opinions expressed are solely my own. There are affiliate links present in this post. Those links charge you no extra but help support A Beautiful Exchange.
With my first baby, I didn’t know much about babywearing and really only wore him once or twice in an SSC (soft structure carrier) by Baby Bjorn. Because he was all I really had to worry about, I was able to build my day around his schedule and needs, but knew that that would be a little more difficult with the second baby. Handling a toddler is hard enough and I knew adding a newborn to the mix definitely wasn’t going to be easy. So, early on I started researching different kinds of carriers to get a good feel for the market and what might fit my needs, both immediately after my daughter was born as well as the coming months as she grew.
In the end, I decided to get a Happy Wrap for using at home and when I am out and about. I wanted something that would be really simple to use, carry in my diaper bag, and was comfortable (especially for the warmer temperatures) and the Happy Wrap fit the bill! I also have this Mei Tai carrier by Infantino that I will have the option of using once my daughter has really stable head control (and because it can hold up to 35lbs and Eli is small for his age, I can back-carry him as well)! Since I was pretty new to babywearing, I did a good bit of research on safety checks and ways to know that I am carrying my baby safely at all times and was able to learn a lot that has allowed me to confidently wear my daughter! It can be a little overwhelming when you are looking at all the different type of carriers while also memorizing all of the safety measures, so I thought I would share a few of the highlights for those of you that are new to baby wearing and aren’t sure where to start! These are extremely important and while I am no “expert” on baby wearing, these are simple, yet critical to wearing your baby in a way that is healthy and safe for both of you!
DO YOUR RESEARCH
I have found recently that baby wearing can become sort of a “fad” in some circles, especially when people get swept up in certain brands etc.! I constantly see pictures on Instagram and Pinterest of moms wearing their babies in a popular wrap or carrier, but not in a safe way. Again, I’m no expert on baby wearing, but did a lot of research prior to wearing my baby for the first time and I feel that that was so important. I was able to get multiple opinions, read stories, and read plenty of reminders of the most important safety precautions to take with each type of carrier. In the same way that a first-time parent would read how to correctly put together a crib or install a car seat, it’s important to read up on the safest way to carry for both the parent and the baby’s sake!
The baby should be high
Since learning about how to wear, this is the one that I see most moms forget, but is probably one of the most important ones. When your baby is in your wrap, they should not be sitting low. The common phrase is “close enough to kiss” and that seems to be a really easy way to “test” that they are high enough up on your chest! If your baby sits too low in the wrap it can be really easy for their breathing to get blocked and is also really terrible for your back! If you have your baby wrapped and a person standing in front of you can’t see the baby’s head, that is also a pretty good indication that you have wrapped too low. For times that you feel that baby might be sagging or sitting a bit low, just simply untie your tail and tighten the pieces wrapped over your shoulders. If everything else was done correctly, that should raise baby up to the best height!
The baby’s chin should never be on their chest
This is especially important to watch for when carrying a newborn that doesn’t have head control yet. If they do have their chin on their chest it means that their airway is smaller than it should be, so make sure that baby is lifted and resting their head comfortably. I have found that if baby is “close enough to kiss” then they are not slouched down with their chin on their chest, but are laying comfortably on my chest. This is another reason why it’s so important to make sure that your baby is high up on your chest!
Spread out the straps across your shoulders to help distribute weight
When you’re wearing your baby, you want to make sure that you are doing so in a way that is healthy for them, but also for you! If you makes sure that your shoulder panels are spread out, that will distribute some of the weight of your baby completely across both shoulders and your back rather than just in two concentrated strands on your shoulders. Think of carrying textbooks in a drawstring bag versus a backpack with padding in the straps. The drawstring bag would be much more uncomfortable because all of the weight would be concentrated in those tiny straps! Again, keeping your baby high will also help with comfort and should keep your back from getting sore!
Be sure that baby’s legs make an “M” shape
While I have found that there are pretty mixed opinions when it comes to carrying a newborn (particularly in a wrap), this tip especially applies as baby starts to grow. For us, I decided to skip the “newborn carry” and move straight to the “classic carry.” The newborn carry is basically when you bend your newborn’s knees before placing them in the wrap and their legs stay in the wrap so that they look like a little frog. Recently, though, I have read a lot that carrying like this is not the most healthy way for baby and can actually contribute to hip dysplasia. I will also mention, that the classic carry seems much easier to get used to, especially because once you learn how to do it quickly and efficiently, you don’t have to learn again–baby will always be carried this way!
I have now been using my Happy Wrap at least a few times a week and absolutely love it! I would definitely recommend it for moms that are new to baby wearing since the Moby Wrap can be a bit overwhelming with the fabric, as well as learning how to tie it. For now, I use a basic carry for my daughter, which will work for a while! I love having her so close and once she has head control she will be able to comfortably look around while I’m wearing her, which will be great!
Do you enjoy baby wearing? What kind of wrap/carrier to you use?
Here are a few other suggestions for popular wraps and carriers:
Tula Baby Carrier (they also have Toddler carriers)