Buying a baby carrier doesn't have to be daunting! Like researching any new-to-you product, a little advice/research will get you set up for success in no time!
What KIND of baby carrier? All babywearing is good babywearing, but for your first carrier or for a gift, you can't go wrong with a ring sling!
Often folks are deciding between a stretchy knit wrap and a ring sling. Ring slings are cooler and more simple. There's only one layer of fabric over you and baby, as opposed to three layers over baby required to secure them in a stretchy wrap. And slings are not long and unweildy. They are about half as much fabric as a stretchy, and a sling doesn't even hit the floor when you're putting it on! For that reason alone, they are perfect for trips out in the world where you don't want you carrier to get dirty (like the grocery store parking lot) or collect germs (hellooooo doctor's office!).
Sometimes the decision is between a ring sling and a carrier with buckles (called a soft structured carrier, or SSC). Ring slings adjust automatically to caregivers by simply tightening the fabric through the rings, whereas buckle carriers are set and need to be let out when transferred to a larger caregiver, which can be tough on-the-go. Ring slings again have one breathable layer of soft, thin fabric around baby that snuggles your baby close almost like a swaddle or a hug. If you are looking to do skin-to-skin in a carrier, a ring sling is certainly a more comfortable choice for baby (and you!) than a SSC.
What should I look for in a ring sling? What do you value in a carrier? Here are some questions you might consider:
- Thin for hot climates, folks who run hot, and/or vacations?
- Softens quickly for sweet newborn snuggles?
- Easy to tighten through the rings?
- Packs down small?
- Good for years of use?
- Safety tested to the highest standards?
Giving the gift of babywearing. Giving a gift to expecting parents can be tricky! You want to give something they will USE -- that will be a tool that helps them in their parenting journey for a long time to come. However, often you don't know which direction that journey will go when it comes to sleeping arrangements or feeding methods or even diapers. Pumping? Co-sleeping? Breastfeeding? Cloth diapers? Crib sheets? Ahhh! You need a different category of gift.
A baby carrier will help caregivers hold their baby yet go about the business of life. They will have content babies on-the-go at the store or on a walk. They can do skin-to-skin with the new arrival while still fixing snacks for their other children.
The benefits are truly myriad! That's why Bijou wanted to offer a carriers online. Your friends may be far away, or baby may have come before you had time to go shopping or make something. The convenience of having an amazingly useful gift show up at their door is priceless! Leave them a note and let them know that, though you won't always be able to lend a helping hand with chores or hold the baby when they are overwhelmed with a fussy little one but need to get things done, you know that babywearing will help them day in and day out.
It's truly like sending a hug. The best present ever!