Babywearing 101: get the right fit
A letter to you from Pearline Foo, Principal Consultant at Baby Slings & Carriers.
Congratulations! You must be feeling all excited about baby’s impending entry into the world. I know there will be a lot of decisions that you will soon have to make.
Psst….. have you heard about babywearing? Allow me to let you in on a little secret – probably the best-kept secret of experienced parents who somehow make taking care of a newborn seem so effortless. Babies, having been part of you for nearly nine months, have grown very accustomed to your rhythms, and most babies tend to need some time to get used to life outside the womb – which is why babies tend to fall asleep faster (and stay asleep longer) and are less fussy if you keep them on you. Every baby is different, but some sort of carrying is expected, especially in their first year of life.
Babywearing is the art of having baby worn on your body using a babywearing device like a ring sling, wrap or carrier. It doesn’t just help both you and your partner free your arms and get around more effectively, especially in a busy place like Singapore, it also helps you bond with your baby and improves their sleep patterns - not to mention helping you get accustomed to your baby’s breastfeeding patterns faster.
Parents today are spoiled for choice with a large selection of babywearing devices. But are they really good for baby or you? Have you considered if your baby is going to be comfortable in the baby carrier, and will the device you have chosen respect baby’s physiological rest positions? What about you? Will you be able to maintain a good posture and avoid getting strains from the use of the carrier? Or is it causing more harm than good?
People usually get carried away and head off to the shops in excitement as soon as they know they are expecting a baby – especially if this is going to be the first baby. Well, I know that was exactly what I did! However, buying babywearing devices is unlike buying clothes, you can’t just rely on big brands you see online or in-store or even simply trust that those with lots of good reviews or have all the features under the sun are the ones that will work for you. Every baby’s body proportions, development and body curvature is different, so is your body proportion and physique. Put you both together and we have yet another dimension. Given so many variables, there is just no one-size-fits-all solution.
Trained Babywearing Fit Specialists can discuss with you your options and help sieve out those that will respect optimal body postures and ergonomics. These consultations are best done after your baby is born. So, look out for a store that has certified babywearing consultants, and if that ends up being us, I’m really looking forward to meeting you and your baby!
Pearline Foo | Baby Slings & Carriers
With the birth of her first child in 2004, Pearline was gifted a made-in-Singapore ring sling during a time when ‘crotch danglers’ (the non-ergonomic carriers where kids look like they’re suspended from an abseiling harness) were the only other baby carriers available in the market. Back then, babywearing was still a foreign concept and few people carried their babies in a babywearing device. Having had several hits and misses in babywearing, and then suffering from not being able to walk for two weeks due to injury caused by bad babywearing devices, Pearline started Baby Slings & Carriers in 2007 as an online store to spread the love and knowledge about ergonomic babywearing. From humble beginnings, Baby Slings & Carriers now runs a retail showroom with a specially curated range of babywearing devices that caters to different needs, body proportions and budgets. Being a pioneer in the industry, Baby Slings & Carriers also conducts babywearing workshops and runs babywearing specialist training courses for babywearing consultants in Asia.
Kai Hui Tan | Warabee
Deciding on ‘which’ baby carrier or sling to purchase and figuring out how to use it correctly can be a long process with multiple aspects to consider – is it safe? Ergonomic? Comfortable? As new parents in 2014, Jia Vui and Kai Hui spent several months researching, asking around and trying different carriers and slings. Over the next six years, they went on to become certified babywearing educators, shared what they learnt through offering public workshops and helped many families in private babywearing consultation sessions. Their aim is to empower parents to be confident in carrying their child safely and comfortably. Consultations are conducted in the comfort of your own home and advice is tailored to your individual family. Familiarising and utilising any existing carriers the family already own is their priority. If there are gaps to fill or the family does not own any carriers, parents can try the wide range of carriers available to have a more accurate feel of what can work. After the consultation, Warabee continue to be reachable for any questions that may emerge as the child grows along the babywearing journey.