Originally posted on ergobaby.com
Laura is the Educator + Community Outreach at Ergobaby. With almost a decade of experience teaching, Laura’s warmth, passion and knowledge on baby carriers and their use is unrivaled. Her genuine, down to Earth nature will put any parent at ease, and leave them with the tools they need to keep baby close and comforted. In addition to being a Certified Babywearing Educator, she is also a Full Spectrum Doula, Lactation Educator and Car Seat Tech (CPST). Her varied experience and unique background building and creating communities, as well as mentoring educators and professionals, enables her to speak confidently on a variety of babywearing and postpartum related subjects at the consumer and professional level.
1. If you can, try on some carriers or visit a workshop or sling library before you buy to get an idea of what baby carrier styles or features may be important to you. Making an informed choice goes a long way to starting you off on the right foot.
2. Get familiar with your carrier ahead of time. Before baby comes, or before you put baby in, take the carrier out of the box and become familiar with the features. How to buckle the waist, and put the carrier on confidently.
3. Start when baby is fed and has a clean diaper instead of when baby is upset or hungry.
4. Stay calm. Okay, I know this can be hard when you’re nervous and just getting started. Babies are super smart and quickly pick up on our nervousness.
5. Move, move move. Babies need movement to calm their bodies. It’s what they’re used to in the womb, and then when they’re born we stand and make small movements or pat instead of the larger movements they’re used to. Don’t be afraid to start walking briskly.
6. Talk to baby, reassure them with your voice. Narrate what you’re doing. Your voice is calming to them, and let’s them know everything is okay. It’s also really beneficial for their brain growth, expressive and receptive language.
7. Get outside, change the scenery. This can be a great way to vary what baby is seeing and the fresh air is beneficial to you both. It doesn’t have to be a big outing, a walk around the block will generally suffice.
8. Practice. It’s a new skill, that may be unfamiliar to you both. Using the carrier for you and baby is muscle memory. If you’re not successful, go back to it when you’re in a better space.
9. Know that throughout different ages/stages, the babywearing relationship changes. Just like sleep and feeding. Your positions in the carrier, or even carrier styles may change depending on your or the baby’s needs.
10. Get help if need be. There are babywearing educators, as well as babywearing groups and communities located all over the country who are happy to help you troubleshoot your carrier, and give you tips and support along the way for wearing your baby.