As with anything new, sometimes it takes a little bit more time or some extra tips to help get your baby to settle in a baby carrier. It is completely NORMAL for a baby to dislike getting into a carrier and to be a little unsettled in the beginning. Often this unsettled period doesn’t last and your baby will be happy to go into the carrier as they know the comfort that it will bring. To make that time come quicker, I’ve written my favourite babywearing tips and believe me, our journey took a little while before little miss got into the magical, sleepy, happy babywearing stage. At the beginning of our babywearing journey, our girl would protest getting into the carrier but would settle within a couple of minutes once we started moving. She would often then be fast asleep within 10 minutes!
Tips to get your baby used to babywearing:
– START SMALL
If your baby is already unhappy, don’t expect them to love to spend hours on end in the carrier. Start small (10-15 minute increments) and build up to longer sessions. This gives your baby a chance to gradually learn to love it!
– PICK THOSE ‘PREMIUM TIMES’
By premium times, I mean when your baby is happy, fed, clean nappy, not overly tired and generally more agreeable. Once they begin to get used to babywearing, then you can get them in the baby carrier at those other times knowing that they will settle quickly. The ring sling meant sleep time for my girl and of course once she figured that out, there would be some initial tears however she would be fast asleep by the time I had finished tightening!
This is why Kangatraining is so successful, once your carrier is on and secure then start moving! Either walking, squatting or low impact dancing will help settle your baby quickly. This is probably my BEST tip and one that I used continually even once Emily loved babywearing.
Talking or singing to your baby, giving them toys, standing in front of a mirror or having another person talk or sing to them can help distract them from getting the carrier on.
– GET OUTSIDE
Just like us, babies find outside so interesting and soothing. Going for a walk and talking to your baby about what you see can help find the magic plus you get all those feel good endorphins from going for a walk!
– HAVE SOMEONE ELSE TRY
Some days if Emily was unsettled with me, she would be an angel with her dad and he could get her settled and asleep within minutes! Not only did his confidence in his parenting skills grow and he got some lovely sleepy cuddles, I could have a break knowing that they both were happy.
Some days it just won’t work (for either of you) and that’s ok. When we were first learning to use a woven wrap, Emily would get impatient while I was trying to wrap and I would get frustrated if it wasn’t happening how it should be. During those days, I would simply stop and either go to an old classic carrier or try again later.
– HANG OUT WITH OTHER BABYWEARING MAMAS
Being a first time mum plus those early sleep deprivation months as well as trying something new for the both of you can affect your confidence and lead you to question babywearing. Having out with other mamas that babywear is so helpful as you get to see the magic and they can share their experience. One the best parts of Kangatraining is watching other mums talk to a new mum and her unsettled baby about what was normal in the early days of wearing and how they got to the good part!
Occasionally some baby’s require more time and support to discover the love and for these baby’s that don’t settle using these tips, check out our article Help – My Baby Hates Babywearing
If you have any questions or tips you would like to share please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Certified Babywearing Consultant