What is better for a newborn – a wrap or a carrier?

There is no doubt today that after birth, babies thrive best when being in close physical contact with their mother and subsequently with their father or other close person. Lots of parents now no longer question whether to babywear or not – they want to know what kind of a babywearing aid to choose.

The market offers a plenty of babywearing aids and it might get tricky to choose the right one for you and your baby. In general, we can divide them into two basic categories – wraps and soft structure carriers.

A woven wrap is the legend and the most recommended babywearing aid when carrying newborn babies. Some people might get scared by the first impression of complexity, however they soon find out there is no science about using it. The wrap is unbeatable when it comes to its flexibility to adapt to the body of the babywearer and the baby. In every single developmental stage the wrap gives enough support from knee to knee and for the whole height of the back of a child, thus securing the right ergonomic position. A wrap is stretchy and tight at the same time, also being soft enough to give the baby safety and support while not limiting them when wrapped properly.

To many parents-to-be a soft structured carrier might seem like the easier and more practical solution. When you choose a type of a carrier suitable for a newborn baby, it either contains some kind of an infant insert or can be adjusted enough to fit such a small baby.
What sometimes happens with newborn babies when you put them into a carrier is that they suddenly start to be grumpy and dissatisfied, pushing away from you and crying. There are many reasons of what might be the case – from the simple need to be breastfed, to feeling too much heat or need to pee; however sometimes the very problem lies in the carrier itself. Parents then tend to think that the baby dislikes the very act of babywearing itself, while the true reason might be totally different – the carrier might put too much pressure, or stretch the baby’s legs too much, cut under the knees, stretch their back or padding of the carrier prevents it from adapting to the little body as it should. To put it simply, the baby is not prepared for the carrier yet.

A newborn baby might be 2,5kg or even 4kg heavy, have a different ability to stretch their legs and different spine curvature or muscle tone. All these specific features should be respected; we should never force the baby to adapt to the babywearing aid, but choose such one that adapts to the little body perfectly, respecting its natural development while providing the baby with perfect and gentle support.

Soft structured carriers are undoubtedly very practical babywearing aids. If you choose the right one, the babywearing in them is also very comfortable and lots of parents prefer soft structure carriers for bigger children rather than wraps. They are practical, airy, quick to manipulate with and even in bad weather, rain or snow you do not fear they get dirty, seeing that tying a wrap on a wet pavement might get complicated. However, we should not rush to use them too early. A newborn baby belongs into a wrap where it can thrive the best during first weeks and months of its life. You will learn with time what your parenting preferences are and what suits you and your child the best, and according to these preferences you can go and try the carriers to choose the right one for you.