5. Soft-structured carriers, or SSC for short, are two shouldered upright carriers with buckle closures. There are many types, so you are sure to find one that works for your body type.
How to determine which carrier is right for you?
1. What is your body type? Are you petite, fluffy or very tall? Do you have an injury or a bad back? The best thing is to try on carriers in person. This could be in a store, local baby wearing group or at a baby wearing class. A lot of cities have special retailers or baby wearing educators that come to your home.
2. Are you planning to use the carrier only occasionally ? Do you want to bring your baby on hikes? Do you live in urban or suburban area? Do you want to breastfeed in the carrier? Do you own a car or do you take mostly public transportation?
3. Will you have a winter or summer baby? What climate do you live? Some carriers are just too hot in summer climates.
4, Do you want to share the carrier with another caretaker? If yes, you want to make sure the carrier fits both of your body types. You might want to avoid carriers that are sized or require a lot of adjustments.
Criteria for safe baby wearing
Your babies back and neck should be properly supported. Babies are born with C shaped spines, and carriers should support this natural position.
Your babies hips should be supported correctly. Are the babies knees higher than hips? Your baby should be in a spread squat position in any carrier or sling.
Is the fabric of the carrier spread securely? Baby wearing is safe but like with any other baby device there are few safety guidelines. Your baby should be in an upright position on your chest and worn high and tight. You should be able to kiss your babies head without straining your neck. If you need to bend to kiss your baby's head the carrier is either too loose, too big or worn incorrectly. Please avoid positions where your baby's chin collapses to the chest. Positional asphyxiation can be the result. Always keep your babies airway clear. Don’t cover up your babies head with blankets. Your baby should also be visible to you.
Buy carriers and slings from a reputable retailer or manufacturer. There are a lot of fake or knock off carriers on the market that are not safety tested. Reposition your baby after breastfeeding.
Remember there are tons of baby carriers and baby slings on the market. For maximum baby wearing success don’t just blindly add a carrier onto your registry without research. If you have the opportunity to try on carriers in person make that part of your to do list before your baby arrives. Find a local baby wearing educator, retail store or baby wearing group to guide you with carriers that might be appropriate for you.
Tips for successful baby wearing
- Practice with a weighted doll or bag of rice until your are confident.
- Make sure baby is well rested, fed, changed and content before putting him/her in a carrier for the first time.
- Talk to your baby while settling him/her in the carrier.
- Be sure that baby is snug to your body to ensure a comfortable and a safe carry.
- Don't be nervous. Babies can sense a lack of confidence. Parents around the world wear their babies, and so can you.
- Take the extra minute to be sure your carrier is properly adjusted. Spread the fabric flat to the ensure a comfortable and secure carry.
- Remember baby wearing takes practice. Be patient with yourself and your baby while you learn this new skill together.
- Babies love to feel movement. If you put your baby in a carrier and he/she is fussy get moving. Walk with purpose, maybe even go outside and walk up and down the block.
- Find experienced baby wearers or educators who can help you to troubleshoot that carrier.
- Don’t rush putting on the baby carrier or baby sling. If you don’t get it right the first time just start again. Be patient. I always compare it to learning how to tie your shoes. First it is difficult and then it clicks and you can do it in your sleep.