New parents have more options than ever before. There are tons of buzz words heard in the baby world including baby borjn, infant slings, Maya wraps and mei tais’. But for the amateur baby wearer this may be intimidating. Here is a guide through the land of infant carriers and slings.
A few of the more common infant carrier designs are a wrap, ring sling, pouch and soft carrier. All are a variation of a common theme that utilizes cloth strips to essentially strap an infant to its caregiver.
Although each have very similar designs they are very much different in terms of how the distribute weight and how they secure the infant.
A wrap style of infant carrier refers to a long square or rectangle piece of cloth which is wrapped around both baby and caregiver and secured with knots. The fabric resembles a long scarf and can be used for a variety of other things well past the infant baby wearing days are over.
This form of baby carrying has been in use by many cultures. Warps are fairly easy to find in a variety of colors and patterns that distinguish this carrier from others on the market.
A ring sling is almost the same thing as a wrap except that a ring sling incorporates rings instead of knots to secure the scarf like piece of fabric and the ring sling, like a pouch, is draped from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Ring slings often have padded edges that act as rails to ensure that the infant stays secure in the sling. The edges also act as a cushion for infants.
A pouch is a tube of fabric that is draped across the body of the wearer. The tube part offers a space for infants to sit. Many pouches can be custom fitted for the wearer and are a womb like environment for infants and newborns.
The last type of infant carriers is the most basic. A soft pack baby carrier is a square or rectangular piece of fabric that has four long straps that can be used to secure the infant.
This carrier is the basis for many commercial brands of carriers on the market today. However, the mei tai is the traditional Asian inspired rendition of a soft pack infant carrier. This simple design is great for carrying older babies and toddlers.
It is also very easy to get accustomed to unlike other carriers which may require some practice and persistence. And although the soft pack carrier is a great addition to any baby wearing routine it is not as conducive for breastfeeding as others such as the sling or wrap.
All four types of carriers offer parents and other caregivers the option to secure their infant into a comfortable position while keeping hands free for doing other practical things like fixing dinner, socializing or doing chores.
Using a sling or carrier for baby wearing is being proven to be beneficial for both parent and child as it helps to facilitate bonds between the two.
An infant carrier is easier to store and transport than other infant transporting devices such as strollers and car seats, which are often bulky and carried for extended periods of time which can be heavy.
Art Gib writes for many baby and parent online publications including HugaMonkey. With a lot of experience, Art is a great new family’s resource for topics including infant sling carriers. Visit http://www.hugamonkey.com/infant-slings-carriers for $25 infant sling carriers.