You’ve spent ages researching the perfect baby carrier for you and watching YouTube videos of how to use it. You’ve seen hundreds of beautiful snaps of babies snuggled safe and close and you can’t wait to try your new piece of kit out. But wait, your baby grumbles going in which escalates to full screaming every time! WHY?! First things first… don’t worry! This doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong or that your baby hates their carrier, chances are a few simple tips and tweaks are the difference between your crying baby and the blissful sleepy cuddles you see on Instagram!
Meet Their Needs
The first thing to check is a simple one – check your baby’s needs, both physical and emotional, have been met so they are as happy as possible going into the carrier.
- Make sure baby is clean and dry, nobody would like to sit in a dirty nappy!
- Make sure they’re fed and winded, especially if they’re breast/chestfed, snuggling up close to a chest full of milk is sure to make them grouchy if they’re hungry. For very little babies you may need to stop and feed them more frequently as tiny tummies fill and empty very fast.
- Check that they’re not too hot (if you’re babywearing in warm weather click here for tips, if you’re babywearing in the winter click here for tips) as it can be easy for baby to overheat with both your body and the carrier providing extra warmth.
- Then do a final run through of anything else you can think of that could be bothering them e.g. loose clothing fabric bunched up and causing discomfort, a nappy that’s not on right and rubbing them etc. to make sure they’re as happy and relaxed as possible going into the carrier.
Check Your Carrier
Next up, make sure everything is as it should be with the carrier itself. Firstly, check your carrier is set up correctly for your baby then check baby’s positioning in the carrier. If you practice this before baby arrives with a doll or teddy it can really help build your confidence which makes all the difference when baby is here. If you need any extra help with your carrier we’re always available via email at [email protected] or on Facebook or Instagram.
If you’ve ticked off all the above – get moving! Often movement in the carrier is all a baby needs to settle, especially if they’re already tired, they may well grumble at the movement and disturbance of going into the carrier but chances are they’ll soon fall asleep snuggled close and warm against your chest. And we know, when your little one is screaming at the top of their lungs it’s hard to stay calm, especially when they’re attached to you, but babies react to our emotions and need our help to regulate theirs so if you keep calm and keep moving then baby is more likely to settle. It may take a few goes in the carrier for them to get used to it, try using it little and often to start with so that you can both find your rhythm together.
Bonus Tips For Older Babies
Then some bonus tips for older babies… a toy or a song or some other distraction may help keep them occupied as they go in/as you get going. For an older child you can also try different carry positions if your carrier allows it. If they are older than 5 months, have full head and neck control and are tall enough to clear the carrier panel you can try facing them outwards (check out our top tips for outwards facing here) and if they’re older than six months and can sit unaided you can also try a hip carry or back carry. Our NEW Omni carriers offer all four carry positions and are suitable from birth through toddlerhood so are a great all-rounder no matter what your babywearing needs.