You may have seen mothers out on their own, managing one or more kid(s) with another child strapped snugly to her body. The Mother looks calm and in control. She manages, single-handed-ly, with all her kids in tow, to complete grocery shopping and loading everything, including the kids into the car.
What if I told you, you could teach and care for your baby at the same time?
credit : Hazimah Yusof
Need to carry both your kids? No problem!
credit: Grace Marie
What is Babywearing?
Babywearing is the practice of keeping your baby or toddler close and connected to you as you engage in daily activities through the use of one of a variety of types of baby carriers. Babywearing promotes bonding, supports breastfeeding, can help combat postpartum depression, makes caregiving easier, and can be a lifesaver for parents of high-needs children. Carried babies sleep, feed, and grow better – babywearinginternational.org
Selecting the Most Suitable Baby Carrier for You and Your Baby
But not all carriers are one size fits all. The diagram below best summarizes the different types of carriers suitable for newborns and all the way to preschoolers.
credit : Malaysian Babywearers
Choosing a carrier is a very personal choice and you never really know what’s best for you until you try them for yourself. Some carriers may seem comfortable and practical to others, but that may not ring true for you. If you are new to babywearing and wish to try out different carriers before committing, there are several babywearing groups on Facebook that you can join. The Malaysian Babywearers (MBW) is a non government organization in support of babywearing. They are currently the biggest and most accessible babywearing group, with an active lending library and carriers for rent. There are other smaller groups and ladies only groups (Babywearers’ Haven) as well, just ask around and join the ones you feel most at home in.
By choice I am a Woven Wrap mother and my second preferred type of carrier would be the Soft Structured Carrier. Why Woven Wrap? Because I am vain and because it is so much more comfortable and versatile. You have no idea how much babywearing has a boost my confidence level, especially when I can look this fancy-schmancy while wearing my baby!
Here are the thoughts of other parents about babywearing and their preferred carriers:
“I love ring slings. They are super easy to pop baby in and out. Snug, cuddly and comfy.” – Nicole Chye, soon to be mother of 2
“It’s the most comfortable and easiest way to bond with a baby. One of the best ways to give mom a break. My arms get tired if I hold him for too long” explains Fadi Mus’ husband.
“I love stretchies for their ease of use. Pre-tie, pop baby in and go. Babywearing saved my sanity during confinement! Wearing Xayne enabled me to eat and do household chores while still keeping him close. Win-win.” – Melisa Goh with her newborn
“Babywearing is my milk booster. Whenever my milk yield is down, I just have to hold my baby skin to skin. Babywearing really aids my breastfeeding journey.” – Hazimah Yusof
“3 kids, 1 woven! Wovens are my first love, always and forever. This picture proves that they give you the most mileage too lol. My eldest is 7 and weighs 22kg now. I love wovens for their versatility. Just pop one in my handbag and depending on which kid is lazy to walk or tired, up they go!” – Melisa Goh, mother of 3
“I love Mei Tai because of its similarity with woven wrap. I can adjust the waist and shoulder strap according to my body perfectly with the combination of body panel of an SSC. I can’t imagine my life handling two kids without babywearing. It helps a lot when Mr Daddy is not around and we need to do groceries with only 3 of us. Especially in a crowded place.” – Sabrina Wahid
Soft Structured Carrier
“SSC has always been hubby’s choice. I supposed it’s bag-liked features make it easier for him to handle. He’s never keen on trying ring sling or wraps. But SSC? He’ll take it anytime. This picture was taken last year when we were out shopping. With 3 kids under 6, carrying one made it easier to keep all 3 children close by. A good workout too.” – shares Siti Khadhijah Ibrahim
“Both husband and I babywear, but we have different preferences in our choice of carriers. Personally, I’m comfortable with using a wrap as it keeps my toddler close while making me feel good about myself since I treat it as an accessory. Husband prefers quick and easy carriers like an ssc, and I quote him ‘I’m not good with fancy tie-offs, so give me buckles any day.’ “- explains Nur Atifi on different carrier preferences when it comes to babywearing.
Think about the carrier as a helping tool. Only you will know the type of carrier that can suit your daily routine. For example, is your baby impatient? Perhaps ring slings and soft structured carrier(SSC) would be more suitable as they are quick. Both are also very useful to a breastfeeding mom. An SSC comes with a hood and a Ring Sling has the extra length to provide some privacy should you choose to nurse in either carriers.
My advice is still to try the different carriers with your baby before you buy. Pop by Malaysian Babywearers and ask about their carriers for rent. Both you and your baby will be able to gauge the comfort levels and find out if the carrier is the one for you.