Sometimes, the world of babywearing can seem kinda intimidating. I felt like there was SO MUCH I didn’t know and that at any given moment I would say the wrong thing within a Babywearing group and have a ton of people tell me off.
I couldn’t have been more wrong about the response. Generally, I have found the online babywearing community to be really supportive and eager to share knowledge because so many who wear their babies are so passionate about why they do it- not just about their pretty carriers and wraps!
I highly suggest you have a look at the links at the bottom of this post for a Baby Wearing Group near you- even if you never get to a sling meet, there is still a wealth of knowledge and experience to be gained from other wearers.
Now, on to some simplicity, savings and hacks.
Many people start out with a narrow based structured carrier like the Baby Bjorn or similar more generic carriers from chain stores. For some of us, these are like a “gateway drug” into the world of carriers. There are many, though, who find these so uncomfortable that they abandon them and never go back. They often have the ability to forward face your baby, which is not considered optimal. It puts their back into an uncomfy position, the narrow base can put pressure on their tailbone and it’s not great for the wearer’s back, either. This article is a great summary on forward facing. Basically, while it’s not going to kill you, there are way more comfy ways to wear. But what if money is tight and you don’t have the cash for another carrier? No worries! Enter the Scarf Hack:
A simple scarf, tied correctly, can provide a much wider, more ergonomic, knee-to-knee seat for your bub when carried facing mum or dad- which allows them to look around comfortably or to snuggle in when the world gets a bit too much. Click the image to read a how-to.
While I love pretty carriers and wraps and I can rattle off a list of affordable brands, sometimes even the most affordable wraps and carriers are out of reach. That doesn’t mean you can’t baby wear and baby wear safely.
This video teaches you how to wrap with a bed sheet, for example. It’s not recommended for constant use but will certainly be fine in a pinch!
Here is an example of torso-carrying, which suits older babies and toddlers, using a beach towel.
This video by Chelsea from Keep Calm and Carry Them, which is another great resource., shows you how to make a baby carrier from tee shirts- no sewing required!
Another thing to remember is that you can sew your own carriers with a bit of know-how. I can’t. Because I can’t sew to save myself, but my cousin can. She fabulous at it. She makes her living upcycling old clothing and stuff into fabulous bags- you should check her stuff out because she’s truly amazing! Anyway, she made one of my ring slings from a beautiful linen I found. We researched which thread and fabric to use and bought proper, weight tested sling rings.
Baby wearing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. My cheapest carrier is my selendang, which I still use even thought Miss B is 2. It’s still great for a quick rebozo carry.
This carrier cost me around $15 on eBay. Here’s how to tie a rebozo.
It’s also good to know that many local groups have sling libraries to allow you to borrow a carrier to try. You can also hire carriers, often in test packs, to see what works for your family before you invest. Frangipani Baby offers very affordable trial packs- check them out here. Going to sling meets and joining babywearing groups is also a great way of trying out carriers. In my experience, baby wearers love nothing more than spreading the fluffy love around and you may be able to borrow a carrier to test out while making like-minded friends.
Happy Baby Wearing!