Hello caregivers! Newborns are so soft and squishy and cute and cuddly and their little heads smell so good. Do you know where you can smell them best? When they’re worn on your chest!

Three image collage of a bespectacled white woman wearing a newborn on her chest. Left image has newborn in a front wrap cross carry in a jewel-toned woven wrap carrier. Top right image has infant in a front carry using a brown woven wrap carrier. Bottom right has infant in a minty green ring sling carrier. Text on the image is "The Snuggle Is Real."

Several years ago we published a blog post on newborn babywearing (check that out for an overview!). If you’re looking for information on newborn inserts, we have a blog post for that too! This particular blog post seeks to build on what those two posts cover and include video tutorials (neither of the previous posts have videos). It is divided into sections by carrier type. There are tips and tricks to make it work best for you. Our lending library carries all these types of carriers. If you’re local (or visiting!), we would love to help you find your best fit at one of our many free public meetings (they’re casual, come and go as you need, and lots of fun!).

First things first! Safety! Regardless of the type of carrier the same safety basics apply. Note that different cultures may wear differently than how babywearing is taught in the Western practice. Cultural wearing is different from Western wearing in that cultural wearing practices are skills that have been passed down through generations which many outside of the culture don’t have that knowledge. Below are safety guidelines and tips related to babywearing from a Western practice.

Babywearing Safety Flyer
A-Airway
Ensure baby's airway is open by keeping the chin off their chest. If worn on the front, baby's face should be in view, preferably close enough to kiss.
B-Body Positioning
The carrier should support baby's body in a way that is appropriate for their level of neck and trunk control. Keep baby upright unless actively feeding, and avoid slumping at all times. Weight should be on their bottom.
C-Comfort
If you do not feel comfortable putting baby in the carrier, practice over a soft surface. Ideally the carrier is comfortable for both you and the baby. Volunteers at our free meetings each month would be happy to help you find your best fit.
https:/babywaeringtwincities.org

This blog post is sectioned off by carrier type in alphabetical order. Check them all out or just go to the one you’re interested in and wear on!

Bei Dais/Meh Dais

Bei dais/meh dais are versatile carriers that can be used for newborns and toddlers as they grow without changing carrier size in between. If you’re looking for a “one and done” carrier that fits multiple body types, can be used for front (facing in or facing out) and hip and back carrying, this might be the one for you.

Pouch Slings

Three image collage featuring the fit check for a pouch sling baby carrier. Left image "top view. chin on chest. top fabric hem is loose." Middle image "front view, low positioning, shoulder bunched on neck." Right image baby is high on wearer's check, both legs bend freely, carrier fabric spread over baby's back, fabric cups shoulder of wearer; text "adjusted --> much better!"

Onbuhimos

Wait a minute. Onbuhimos in newborn babywearing?! Onbuhimos are traditionally for toddler back carrying. However, if you have an onbuhimo and a newborn, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it! Some onbuhimos may have adjustable seats to narrow the body panel in for a newborn. You would wear the newborn on the front, not the back.

Ring Slings

Three image collage showcasing fit check for a ring sling baby carrier. Left image "side view, one leg in...one leg out..." with demonstration doll lopsided and low. Image two "front view: Really low. lopsided. loose fabric. shoulder is bunched at neck." Third image has doll up to caregiver's neck, both legs bending freely out the sides, fabric spread over the shoulder and rings in corsage position; text "adjusted --> much better!"

Soft-Structured Carriers

Soft-structured carriers can come with an infant insert attached to the inside of the carrier, a separate infant insert to put into the carrier, or have adjustment settings on the carrier to narrow the base and shorten the body panel. These adjustments are necessary for a newborn to be safely worn in the carrier.

Three image collage for a soft-structured carrier fit check. Left image demonstration doll isn't visible except for some feet sticking straight out the side of the carrier. Text "Side view: can't see baby's face to monitor breathing." Middle image is from the front view "baby's legs stick straight out instead of bending freely." Right image has an infant worn with head visible up to caregiver's neck, legs bend freely out sides of carrier. Text "Adjusted --> Much better!"

Stretchy Carriers

Stretchy carriers like a long piece of stretchy fabric or one that’s in loops like a K’Tan are so soft and snugly for newborns. They tend to not be as comfortable for the caregiver when the baby reaches approximately 15 pounds though the carrier is safety tested for a higher weight limit than that. The baby should have three passes going over the body and the fabric should be snug and snap back.

Three image collage featuring the fit check for a stretchy wrap. A caregiver wears an upset newborn in the left image with text "side view. fabric is loose. caregiver is supporting baby's bum from falling." Middle image text "side view. low position. fabric isn't spread fully over baby's back." Third image "adjusted --> much better!" In the third image all three fabric passes are spread over baby, face is visible and up to caregiver's neck, close enough to kiss.
Image of dark-haired, bespectacled black woman wearing newborn twins in a gray stretchy wrap. Babies are facing each other as one tries to suck the other’s nose. A pink bed and bee ride-on you can be see in background.
On the count of three….1, 2, 3….AWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!
White woman demonstrating a fit with a newborn in a k'tan baby carrier. Image one has baby with one layer over the body up to the face, in cradle position not hands-free. Text on that image "Baby isn't supported by three passes for wearer to be hands-free." Middle image has two passes over baby's bum and baby's being supported with wearer's hands. Text on image "Passes aren't spread to support baby's body." Third image has three passes over baby and smiling babywearer and text "Adjusted --> much better!"

Woven Wraps

Additional Resources

“Wearing in Pajamas” by Brittany Brown Marsh: https://brittbrownmarsh.com/2017/03/14/wearing-in-pajamas/

Front Wrap Carries: https://babywearingtwincities.org/blog/front-wrap-carries/

Images of “Traditional Babywearing”: https://tinyurl.com/s5kbku4

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If you have any questions about babywearing, we encourage you to contact us and/or come learn in person at one of our meetings! Check out our Instagram @Babywearing.Twin.Cities and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BabywearingTwinCities/).

Images have image descriptions in the alternative text accessible to those who use screen readers.

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