Excerpts of Live Chat with Rashmee Gajra Bhatia: All questions on Babywearing answered – Part 2
Q: When should I start using toddler carrier for my baby?
A: Some toddler carriers are a function of height and some of them are a function of weight. So typically, you can start when the baby is at least 18 months old and about 33-34" height. The weight of the baby would be about 11-12 kg. And often, parents who have been babywearers in ergonomic baby carriers find the need to wear their babies in toddler carriers because of the instant weightlessness it offers them.
Q: I have been wearing my baby for some time now and recently been introduced to woven wraps. I wanted to ask how can one identify a good quality wrap? There are so many options available and in various fabrics, it is quite confusing.
A: There are several ways to look for a woven wrap depending on the following criteria: your baby's age and weight, the fibres that you are looking for, and the ability of the woven wrap to be cushy enough to wear your baby in and supportive to hold up the baby without slipping (it needs to be grippy). In a country like India, you would want to go for a natural fibre like cotton or linen for your woven wrap, look for a gsm of about 250 so that it sustains a good 2-4 years (right from the time your baby is born to about 4 years of age).
Q: On what basis does someone new to babywearing decide which kind of carrier to start with? Considering there are wraps, mei tais, soft structured carriers etc.?
A: Maybe a good place to start would be a babywearing meetup so that you can get a feel of what these different ergonomic carriers feel like when you actually use them. A great place to start if you have a new born baby is a stretchy hybrid wrap, because they can really help with a tiny baby's size and are very easy to use. And you can wear it for hours together because it allows for a 2 shouldered carry. Similar is the case with a woven wrap, but preferably get some help (video tutorials easily available online) beforehand to be able to use the oh-so-versatile woven wraps effectively depending on the age of your baby and your size. A ring sling is great for quick ups and downs and a soft structured carrier is great for ease of use and apparently high convenience.
Q: Is it okay to use a piece of fabric from fabric store for babywearing?
A: I recommend buying a proper branded wraparound sling and not just use a piece of fabric from a fabric store. Wrap fabric is woven in a special way (usually broken twill or some other symmetrical twill weave) which has the right amount of stretch and firmness to support your baby well. Also normal fabrics can be quite thin and slippery which leads to you suffering from pressure points and having to re-tighten it all the time.
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