Bringing together parents, caregivers and babies to learn and share knowledge about babywearing.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Raspberry Rouge Visit

Today, Patricia of Raspberry Rouge ( visited with her new stock of Storchenweige, Vatanai and Didymos wraps. Combined with some veteran babywearers who came to visit with suitcases of carriers in tow, it was as though pretty much every carrier style and brand was represented in the room. I found it rather intense and borderline overwhelming! We had a few newer babywearers and little tiny newborns in the room, so it was great to have such a compliment of expertise for everyone to chat, and teach one another some new tricks.

I realized something today on my way home. I was talking with some of the newer wearers and I realized that I identified three carriers as “the carrier” to get if you can only have one. “Three” is not exactly “one”!

So I thought I’d run through why I would suggest any of those three and maybe justify why I contradicted myself. I do feel that if you are wanting to wear, you should find that one good carrier to be your workhorse. The one you always reach for. One that if you’re going for a long walk or hike you can rely on. Then we always need that carrier for quick ins and outs.

I’d say, if you start babywearing at a very young age for your child, then a ring sling is the best investment you can start with. You can buy a good ring sling anywhere from $30+. Ringslings are great to wear your newborn in a cradle carry or a tummy-to-tummy position right from day one. You can use a good ringsling right up until your child is a toddler, or until you can handle the weight, for a hip carry. Or even a back carry.

The one drawback of having a ring sling as your only carrier is that it only facilitates one-shoulder carries. This (for me at least) can get a bit uncomfortable for long periods of time, especially with a heavy babe. I also find ring slings to be the most challenging carrier to learn to use to its full advantage and comfort, and surprisingly, the most challenging to teach.

Next off, my other suggestion is a soft structured carrier such as an Ergo, Beco, Tentoes Click or Angelpack. They are quick to learn, easy to use, partners are generally willing to wear them, and they fit many body types. They offer front and back carry options. Overall, it’s a good choice, especially if you are doing long haul carries with lots of walking involved.

I also suggest mei tais for the same reasons. Generally, soft structured carriers differ from mei tais simply in that they have padded waists and clip buckles as opposed to ties. They also adjust with clips and can be held in their “sizing” as opposed to a mei tai that you adjust on each wear.

And so that’s my Big Three, apparently. I also love my wraps. I think they are truly the most versatile, but recognize that there is a learning curve to master the variety of ties that make a wrap a good option for the “One and Only”. If someone is willing to learn HOW then I would suggest this, by far, as the best option.

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