“My mom says I’ll break my back if I get him accustomed to being held”
There are two things to address in this statement – one is about your back and yes, you have to be comfortable. Find wraps and carriers with the back support you need and keep in mind that eventually, your baby may get too heavy to be comfortable to wear. The second thing in this statement is about baby getting used to be held – newborn babies want to be held, that’s the truth of it. They aren’t forming habits for the first few months, they are mostly just adjusting to life on the outside. Babywearing will likely get them accustomed to being loved and protected (wait, that sounds like something you might want!)
“Is it possible for my baby to slip out of the carrier?”
Carriers are designed to hold your baby safely and snuggly when worn correctly. Not all carriers are suitable for newborn or preemie babies. It is important to follow the instructions on how to use your particular carrier. If you are able to attend an in-person class or workshop, you can have an experienced babywearer show you how to safely wear your baby. Youtube is full of helpful videos to teach you techniques and always try something new with extra hands to help support baby.
“Will my partner and I both use the same carrier for our baby?”
Maybe, maybe not. People hold strength in different parts of their bodies. The birthing person might not have as much abdominal muscle strength, a man might have lots of strength in their shoulders; these factors contribute to what kind of carrier an individual finds comfortable. It may be decided by the baby, but usually it’s about the comfort of the wearer based on where they hold more or less muscle strength.
“We didn’t know what kind of carrier to get, so we got 5 different kinds!”
That’s okay, you really don’t need 5 carriers but then it’s hard to know which carrier will end up being your most loved and used. And if you turn out to be a hard core baby wearing family, you will likely end up using all 5 carriers at the different ages, stages, developmental changes and circumstances. Sometimes, the carrier you choose on a given day will be based on something as simple as the weather – a hot day will call for an airier option, for instance.
“How early can I carry my newborn baby?”
There are many proven benefits to holding your newborn baby close. Particularly prematurely born babies, so the short answer is it’s never too early to wear your baby! For newborns, choose a sling or wrap and learn the technique for wearing a newborn. Some upright carriers are better suited for older babies, even with the insert (please refer to safety labels on your carriers). For preemie babies, there are also sleep belts, these provide a safe way to keep baby stay close and skin to skin for prolonged periods of time.
*We periodically host a workshop, an hour snapshot on how to wear your baby using various styles of carriers. Here are some of the questions and concerns we have heard from parents and our opinions about the answers. Keep in mind that babywearing has been practiced since the beginning of human babies, and all over the world so there are many ways that work, and we are always delighted to share the few we know.