Babywearing Basics


Below are a list of helpful links and resources for your Baby-Wearing questions. If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact us.




What to Look for in a Baby Carrier



What Should I Look for When Buying a Baby Carrier?

Very simple: make sure your baby is just as comfortable as in your arms. If you carry your baby in your arms, no one wonders whether your baby is comfortable. Make sure the baby carrier gives exactly the same comfort and support!


With Any Type of Baby Carrier, Ensure That It Offers the Right Support:

  • The fabric should be spread open all the way from knee to knee. This ensures your baby is sitting in the ergonomic M-position.
  • Baby’s back should be rounded rather than arched—this is the most natural position.
  • Baby should be high enough and close enough to kiss (“kissing distance”)
  • The baby carrier should be comfortable, not too loose or too tight

And When Selecting a Sling, Also Look For:

  • Easy adjustment, comfortable fit for all sizes.
  • Quick and easy to put on.
  • Option of carrying your baby in various positions.
  • Baby’s weight distributed evenly over the parent’s chest, back and hips.
  • Soft and preferably organic fabric.


Wraps vs. Structured Carriers



What is the Difference Between a Baby Wrap and a Structured Carrier?

A baby wrap is a baby carrier made of unique wrap fabric that is wrapped around you and your baby.

A structured carrier is a pre-formed baby carrier made of stiffer material in which you carry your child.

In the classic non-ergonomic baby carrier, a baby is carried with his legs through two leg openings in the "pocket" while sitting on a small support. Because the baby is not close to you but hangs on your body, he actually carries his own weight. In addition, the natural curvature of the spine in a structured carrier is lost because the baby is not supported in the right way. In contrast, in a baby wrap the baby is sitting comfortably against you. Baby is perfectly supported and the weight of your baby is distributed evenly over your own body.

In an ergonomic baby carrier, the baby is sitting on a wider support so the ergonomic M-position of the child is maintained. A disadvantage of both ergonomic and non-ergonomic structured carriers is that the straps need to be adjusted to the size of the wearer. For some, the baby carrier will be too small, while for others it’s impossible to get tight enough. A wrap however, always fits and is comfortable for everyone (regardless of your size). You can spread the fabric wide over your shoulders and back (depending on what you prefer) and there are no buckles, pre-formed straps or fasteners that may hurt. Babylonia wraps are very soft and made ​​from 100 % organic cotton. The special wrap fabric is knitted or woven to give the perfect support. A pre-shaped baby carrier doesn’t adjust as well to the shape of your body with its contoured shoulder straps , buckles and fasteners. Shoulder straps may slip down, pressing into your neck or be too loose and buckles or closures can cause pressure points.


Are All Baby Wraps the Same?

No, there are different types of baby wraps from different brands. The baby wraps can be roughly divided into wraps and pre-shaped wraps:


Wraps (to Tie) Include:

  • Jersey Wraps (often available in just 1 size)
  • Woven Wraps (availabe in several different lengths)

Pre-Shaped Wraps Include:

  • Ring Slings (padded or unpadded)
  • Bei Dai/Meh Dai (Chinese style baby carriers)
  • Pouches (single or double)


Learn More About Our Individual Carriers Here!



Padded vs. Unpadded Ring Slings



The BB-Sling is Available in Two Styles: Padded and Unpadded. Which Should I Choose?

Babylonia’s ring sling is available with either a padded or unpadded shoulder. Except for the shoulder, both slings are identical.

Choosing between padded or unpadded depends on your personal preference. The padded version is soft on your shoulder and the fabric is already spread wide open, so you don't need to spread the material across your shoulder and back yourself. The unpadded version allows you to choose how far to spread open the fabric. This is particularly nice for people with narrow shoulders who might be more comfortable with the fabric spread less widely.


Learn More About Our Individual Carriers Here!



Tricot-Slen vs. BB-Slen



What is the Difference Between a Tricot-Slen and a BB-Slen?

The Tricot-Slen and BB SLEN are both ‘wrap-style’ baby carriers made from 100% organic cotton in which you carry your baby in the M-ergonomic posture, but in what ways do they differ?

  • The fabric: the TRICOT-SLEN is knitted (jersey wrap), the BB-SLEN woven.
  • The elasticity: the TRICOT-SLEN has a little stretch in width whereas the BB-SLEN barely stretches (only a minimum diagonal stretch for optimal comfort)
  • How you put on the wrap (goes together with the elasticity): the elasticity of the TRICOT-SLEN allows you to put on the wrap before putting baby in. This allows you to use both hands when putting baby in the wrap. The BB-SLEN is tied on together with your child. You can start easily with just one position. Most likely you'll notice that you've mastered it very quickly and the BB-SLEN is as easy as the TRICOT-SLEN.
  • The number of positions (goes together with the elasticity as well): the way of tying the TRICOT-SLEN is the same for all positions, you only need to remember one way of tying. The BB-SLEN allows all positions and the way of tying differs depending on the position in which you want to carry your child.
  • The support: the TRICOT-SLEN provides the perfect support for children from birth to 18 kg (33lbs), but because of the elasticity in width, you will notice that it’s better to carry older children in a woven wrap. Because the BB-SLEN has no stretch, this wrap provides the perfect support for both newborn babies as well as older children up to 20 kg (45lbs).
  • Carrying on your back: with the TRICOT-SLEN it is possible to carry on your back, but it’s not the best wrap for back carrying. With the BB-SLEN you can carry a child of any age on your back safely and comfortably.
  • The length: the TRICOT-SLEN is available in one length which suits everyone! Smaller people can wrap extra fabric around their waist or tuck it away under the waistband. The BB-SLEN is available in 4 sizes. The size you choose depends on your clothes size and the positions you want to use.
  • Usage right after birth: the lovely soft fabric of the TRICOT-SLEN makes this wrap cozy and ideal for newborn babies. The diagonal stretch in the BB-SLEN means that the fabric will not rub or feel uncomfortable, but it’s less cozy and snug.

Learn More About Our Individual Carriers Here!



For Newborns



Which Wrap is Most Suitable for Carrying Newborn Babies?

All Babylonia baby wraps are suitable for use from birth.

Which wrap is best for you depends on your preferences:

  • do you have experience in babywearing?
  • do you also want to carry an older brother or sister or just the newborn baby?
  • how long do you want to carry your child?
  • are you planning to buy another baby wrap or do you want a wrap that will work for all ages?
  • is your partner going to use the same baby wrap? Are you a different size than your partner?
  • are you going to use it in the summer or winter?

In general we recommend starting with a TRICOT-SLEN. It is a good beginner wrap because the TRICOT-SLEN is soft and it will always fit both you and your partner. You can tie on the wrap and then put your baby in it so you have both hands free to pick up your child. If you discover that both you and your baby love babywearing, you will probably find that you want to try more styles of wraps.



Materials



What is the Best Material for a Baby Wrap?

The best choice is a wrap made from natural materials such as organic cotton. The fabric should be nice and soft for both baby and wearer, provide enough support and be breathable. Note that there are no seams, buckles or pockets on the wrap that can be irritating.

All Babylonia wraps are made from organic cotton. The Tricot-Slen and Tri-Cotti also have the GOTS label which stands for Global Organic Textile Standard. The GOTS certification assures consumers that both the cotton of the Tricot-Slen and the Tri-Cotti as well as the thread and labels are completely 100% organic. The entire production cycle from cotton production to finished product is fully checked.



Washing



Can I Machine-Wash My Babylonia Wrap?

Yes, all Babylonia wraps can be washed at 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

Use a mild detergent and the gentle cycle. It is not recommended to put the wrap in the dryer. All washing instructions are detailed in the instruction manual.



Ease of Use



Which Babylonia Carrier is Easiest to Use?

If you have a small baby and have minimal experience with babywearing, you may want to start with a TRICOT-SLEN or TRI-COTTI. Both the TRI-COTTI and TRICOT-SLEN are slightly elastic in width so you can tie on the wrap first and then put your baby in the carrier using both hands. The TRI-COTTI is composed of two loops which you place over your shoulders. You can choose different positions depending on the size and age of your baby. The TRICOT-SLEN is very easy to use as well and can be used immediately after birth. Once you have learned how to tie the wrap, you can experiment with the different positions to carry your baby.

BB-SLING - simply place the ring sling over one shoulder, place your baby in it and pull on the fabric to make it snug around your baby. Carrying your baby on your hip allows you to use your hipbone for extra support. On your hip, your baby is able to see everything but can also fall asleep easily or lay their head against your chest and close their eyes if there is too much stimulation.

With the BB-TAI you can carry your baby easily on both your front and back. It has a removable infant insert and wide wrap straps, so it is just as comfortable with a newborn as it is with a toddler.

Using the BB-SLEN might take a little more practice because you tie the wrap while holding your baby. However, once you've practiced a few times, it comes naturally and is very comfortable. All Babylonia wraps come with clear and detailed instructions.



Comfort



Which Babylonia Carrier Will Be Most Comfortable for Both Baby and Me?

Every body is different, so what is comfortable for one person isn't necessarily comfortable for someone else. Depending on what you and baby prefer and in what position you want to carry (on front, hip or back) different styles are recommended.



Sizing



The BB-Slen is Available in 5 Sizes. How Do I Know Which Size Fits Me?

The BB-SLEN comes in 5 sizes: 260cm (size 2), 420cm (size 5), 460cm (size 6), 490cm (size 6.5) and 560cm (size 8). The size you choose depends on your clothing size and the carrying positions you want to use.

The 260cm is a short wrap, meant for usage like a BB-SLING, being worn over only one shoulder.

420cm is a base -1 or -2 for many people, which allows some, but not all carries.

The BB-SLEN in 460, 490 and 560 cm allows all positions, depending on your base size. One way to figure out your base size is to try a front wrap cross carry (FWCC). Your base size is the smallest wrap you can use to do a FWCC. The size can also depend on your clothing size; shorter or thinner people often use the BB-SLEN 460 cm and taller people the 490 cm. 560 cm starts at clothes size 46 (Women’s 14) or can be used to wrap an extra time around your waist for added support.



Can Both Mom and Dad Use the Same Wrap?

The Tricot-Slen, BB-TAI and BB-SLING fit all sizes – for shorter people as well as taller people, both men and women.

The Tri-Cotti is available in 3 clothes sizes (S, M, and L), so if mom and dad have a different clothing size, they cannot use the same Tri-Cotti.

The length of the BB-SLEN depends on the size of the wearer as well. Smaller people will use the 460cm BB-SLEN whereas taller or heavier people need the 490 cm or 560 cm BB-SLEN (starting at clothes size 46 (Women’s 14)).

The BB SLEN also comes in 260 cm but this length has a different way of carrying and another user manual. The 260 cm is designed to be used similar to a ring sling and is worn over only one shoulder.



Putting On a Baby Wrap



Is it Hard to Remember the Different Ways of Tying?

It depends on the type of baby wrap:

  • Tri-Cotti – our easiest wrap with no tying. All you have to do is put both loops over your shoulders!
  • Tricot-Slen – after having practiced a couple of times you’ll discover that isn’t difficult to put on the Tricot-Slen. You only have to remember one tie for all the positions.
  • BB-SLING – easy, once you have threaded the fabric through the rings you only have to place the BB-SLING over your shoulder and tighten it.
  • BB-TAI – with a little bit of practice, it’s not hard. You only have to tie the waist band and two shoulder straps.
  • BB-SLEN – because this wrap allows all positions it takes some practice. The basics are not hard at all and after practicing a couple of times you’ll discover how easy it is.

Learning to carry your baby comfortably is like learning to dance. It takes a little practice before the movements become second nature and you glide through them with your eyes closed. It is often helpful to practice tying the wrap with a doll or in front of a mirror several times before placing your baby inside. It can also help to talk to your baby and explain what you are doing while placing baby in the carrier. Your baby will sense if you are uncomfortable. Tell your baby that you are a bit insecure yourself but that you will learn how to do this together.

You will find that once you have learned to carry your baby, you will wonder how you ever lived without it. Not only does it make life easier for you, it provides sensory and motor development and much more for baby.



Positioning



How do I know if My Baby is in the Correct Position?

In the upright position:
It is very important that your child is in the recommended M-position. At all ages the baby carrier should support your child from knee to knee and the knees should be higher than the hips.

In the cradle position:
If you wear your newborn baby in the cradle position make sure the baby carrier supports your baby well, just like carrying your baby in your arms. Also ensure that their chin is not resting on their chest and no fabric covers the face.

In general:
Make sure you always carry your baby high enough. You should be able to give your baby a kiss on their head without bending over too much (kissing distance).

It is also important that the baby carrier feels comfortable and fits nicely, that you can spread open the shoulder straps over both shoulders and your entire back, and that the baby carrier feels tight enough.

Most important, trust your baby! If your baby is uncomfortable, too hot or the wrap is too tight,they will let you know. If baby is sleeping or quietly looking into the world, everything is fine. With your baby close against you, you will learn to understand their body language and anticipate before they start to cry or alert you that something is wrong.



Breastfeeding



Can I Breastfeed My Baby in the Wrap?

Breastfeeding in a wrap is discreet and easy. Do take your time for feeding, sit down and loosen the wrap so your baby can latch to your breast. Make sure your child is in the right position to be able to drink (not too high and not with his chin on his chest). Also make sure that your baby can breathe freely and that the carrier does not cover the face. Once you are done feeding your baby, make sure to position him or her back into an upright position and re-tighten your carrier.

If breastfeeding is proving difficult or milk flow is slow, wearing your baby can help. The close proximity of your baby stimulates the release of prolactin, the hormone that regulates milk production. With your baby so close, you are also able to pick up on early hunger cues, such as rooting, sucking and tongue movement, before baby becomes upset, making feeding easier for both you of you.



Ergonomics - The Best Ergonomics for Both of You



Is This Type of Carrier Safe for the Development of My Baby's Spine?

The basis of good posture begins with the pelvis. If this is well supported, the baby’s spine and neck will fall into a natural curve and the pelvis will support the weight. To ensure the correct position, baby’s knees should be higher than their bum, in a fetal position, with hips and legs properly supported. The baby’s back should be rounded with head resting on your body. This is the ideal position for the development of healthy hip joints. The baby does not hang or rest his weight on his coccyx, but comfortably rests against the wearer.

If the baby is in an upright position, it is recommended that the legs do not dangle or hang in mid-air. This puts strain on the baby’s spine and the baby will tend to arch backwards creating a bad position for his neck too.

The fetal tuck is the most natural position for a young baby. Not only is this position good for correct spinal and hip development, it allows baby to rest and use energy to develop other strengths.


Does My Baby's Head Need to be Supported?

If your baby’s pelvis is supported correctly as explained above, then their neck will follow a natural curve and their head will rest on your chest. Baby is free to lift their head when curious to look around and the neck muscles will strengthen quickly. There is no need for a head support, unless you are bending over or baby is sleeping.


How Long Can I Safely Carry My Baby Each Day?

There are no limits. A baby well positioned in a wrap can be carried as long as he and the wearer desire. Remember that babies around the world are carried throughout the entire day as the wearer continues about his or her daily tasks and activities.


Is This Good for My Own Back?

If you have back problems, you should always consult with your doctor before using any baby carrier. However, using a sling or wrap is probably one of the best ways to prevent back strain because the fabric carries the weight and not your arms and back as when you are simply holding your baby in your arms. Carry your baby each day and progressively extend the carrying time to allow your back muscles a chance to strengthen along with the baby’s weight gain.

For the most optimal weight distribution, tie on the wrap as evenly as possible. Make sure the straps aren’t twisted, spread open the fabric wide over your shoulders, make sure the fabric is not resting on your neck and that the fabric crosses in the middle of your back.



What to Wear When Babywearing



How Should I Dress My Child When Using a Wrap?

Please note that the wrap is also a garment and you pick up each other's body heat. So dress yourself and your baby with one less layer than normal.

Generally we recommend:

  • < 25 degrees: normal clothes + jacket, scarf and hat + carry your baby for the most part under your coat
  • 25-50 degrees: normal clothes + jacket, scarf and hat
  • 50-60 degrees: normal clothes + thin jacket or cardigan
  • 60-70 degrees: normal clothes
  • 70-80 degrees: airy clothes
  • 80-85 degrees: just a onesie
  • > 85 degrees: better to not use a baby wrap

The number of layers also depends on the type of sling (BB-SLING only has one layer and is much more ‘open’ than a BB-Slen Wrap which can be 3 layers of fabric around your child) and the carrying position (BB-Slen Wrap can use different positions). Keep an eye on the temperature of your child at all times (see also ‘Will my baby be too hot or too cold in a sling?’).


Can I Use the Babywrap in the Wintertime?

Cold weather is a great time to use the wrap – your baby will be much cozier and warmer than in a stroller. Make sure your baby is wearing a hat and protect their feet and hands especially if they are exposed.


Is it Too Hot to Carry My Baby in the Summer?

On a very hot summer day, a baby wrap may be too hot. Dress your baby on hot days with less clothes. Older children can be worn with their arms out of the sling.
For very hot days, choose a carrier with less layers of fabric such as the BB-SLING or BB-TAI.


Do I Need to Put My Jacket Over or Under My Baby Wrap?

If you go outside you can carry your baby over or under your jacket, depending on the temperature. This also depends on the choice of clothing your baby is wearing. A hat and gloves in cold weather might be needed anyway.


Can I Carry My Baby While He/She Is Wearing Shorts or Has Bare Legs?

If it is warm outdoors or indoors, it can be nice to carry your baby with bare legs. The fabric of the Babylonia baby wraps is soft and will not irritate baby’s skin.



General Use Questions



At What Age Can I Start Carrying My Baby?

The benefits of carrying premature babies – or kangaroo care – is well documented. A baby (full term or premature) can be placed in any Babylonia baby carrier just after birth, creating a ‘womb with a view’.

There are no problems starting later as well. Your back will strengthen as you carry your baby and their weight gain will go mostly unnoticed.


Until What Age Can I Carry My Child?

A baby can be carried as long as he or she wants. Even an older child will find a safe refuge in a baby carrier when tired with the stimulations of the outside world.

You'll find out yourself that you may change your carrier as your child gets older. For example, the TRI-COTTI and TRICOT-SLEN are ideal to carry newborn babies on your front. With the BB-SLEN you can carry your baby from birth until toddler and even beyond. Once your child can walk the BB-SLING is really useful. There is no more comfortable and easy baby carrier for the hip position and it’s easy to take your toddler in and out without having to re-tie. With the BB-TAI you can also carry older kids on your back.


Will My Baby Like Being in a Carrier?

Babies crave close human contact. Once they are used to being carried, you will instinctively reach for your carrier whenever your baby is restless, can’t fall asleep, or just needs a reassuring presence.

Some babies need a little time to warm up to a new position in the carrier, especially on your back.

Sometimes babies are unhappy in a carrier because they feel insecure. This is often the result of not adjusting the carrier tightly enough. Follow the instructions carefully to make sure you wear your baby high and tight.

We recommend trying a new position when your baby is relaxed, just after eating or ready to fall asleep. Walk around after placing your baby in the carrier for the first time or when trying a new position. This will distract him while he gets used to a new way of being carried.

Most importantly, TRUST YOUR BABY. If your baby is uncomfortable, too tight, too hot, etc, he/she will let you know. If baby is asleep or happily observing the world, he is just fine. Carrying your baby close means you can often instinctively read her body language well before she starts to cry or tells you something is wrong.


Will My Baby Be Able to Breathe Tucked into a Carrier?

Tucked snuggly into the carrier, your baby is still able to move. If baby is uncomfortable in any way, he can turn his head or wiggle his body in protest. Either he will shift and rectify the situation, or you can help adjust him to a more comfortable position. Held close to you, your baby will synchronize their breathing to your heartbeat and the rise and fall of your chest, which stabilizes their respiration.

Always make sure that baby’s chin is not tucked into his chest and that fabric is not covering baby’s face and that baby's face is not pushed into the wearer's body.


Will My Baby Be Too Hot or Too Cold in a Carrier?

Newborn babies are not capable of regulating their body temperature. The adult’s body will stabilize the baby’s body temperature when holding them close. Dress yourself and your baby accordingly and pay attention to the temperature of your baby (you may be warm whereas your baby may be cold). Remember that your body heat will be considered one layer and the sling itself is a second. In cold weather, your coat covering both of you is a third layer. Make sure that your baby (head, hands, feet) is well protected from the sun and/or the cold.


Can I Carry My Baby Facing Forward?

Carrying yourbaby facing forward is possible with carriers and is done by many parents, but it is not an ergonomically sound posture. It is tiring and stressful for your child because your child is not in the recommended M-position. Moreover, when your baby is facing forward, she cannot turn away and fall asleep when she is tired or overstimulated. For you as a parent, this inverted position is heavier. If you think ‘my child is curious and wants to see everything’ then wear baby on your hip. From your hip, baby can see everything but can also close her eyes and turn towards you when tired or overstimulated. When carried on the hip, your baby can see and feel you, which comforts her if she is startled. Babylonia's BB-SLING enables you to carry your baby on your hip in a very simple and ergonomic manner and your hipbone gives extra support. With Babylonia's BB-TAI, back carrying is very simple and you can also use it to carry baby on your front or hip.


Does a Baby Wrap Help Reflux?

Carrying your baby in the upright position eases digestion, improves circulation and aids in relaxation, thereby reducing reflux and colic muscles. You will notice that reflux that might be ‘stress related’ is greatly reduced if you regularly wear your baby.


Are Baby Carriers Expensive? Aren't They Just a Piece of Fabric?

In order to carry your baby safely and comfortably, the fabric should offer proper support. Fabrics used specifically for baby wearing are knitted or woven in a special way in order to always give the best support.

In our opinion, if you think a knitted Tricot-Slen or a woven BB-SLEN is too expensive, you can use a standard piece of fabric. But in normal woven fabrics you will notice the absence of the special diagonal stretch as the fabric uncomfortably "rubs" baby's legs and your shoulders. It will also be difficult to tie the fabric beautifully and pull it tight properly. Therefore it provides less support and makes your baby feel heavier.

If you buy a piece of jersey knit fabric you should be even more careful. Ensure that the fabric does not stretch too much. The special knitting technique of the Tricot-Slen ​​has been continuously optimized over the years and is very different from loose-knit fabric that is commercially available.

If you also consider the amount of fabric needed to make a wrap, generally 5 yards, the price difference will probably not be that much.



Why Choose Babylonia Carriers



In a Babylonia Baby Wrap Your Baby is Just as Comfortable as in Your Arms!

  • The special fabric supports your baby perfectly, in both cradle and upright positions.
  • Your baby is always in the ergonomic M-position, which stimulates healthy development of the hips and ensures baby is always in the ideal position, completely relaxed against you.
  • Your baby can choose whether to be completely wrapped up, or to have some freedom of movement.
  • A cozy place for baby that you can use immediately after birth.

The Wrap Should Also Be Ideal For You As a Parent

  • No buckles, straps or clasps that might hurt.
  • Always fits, without complex adjustments. Easy to put on.
  • No closures on your back so you can sit comfortably with your back against a chair or couch.
  • Baby’s weight is evenly spread over the caregiver's shoulders and hips
  • Lovely, soft, 100% organic cotton, dyed with non-toxic dyes. Available in many colors and patterns to fit your style.
  • Small and lightweight, perfect when you’re on the go!
  • Eco-friendly. The Tricot-Slen Cool is made from Newlife, a fabric made out of recycled plastic bottles. All our other baby wraps are made from 100% organic cotton.

Babylonia slings are the highest quality. The special knitting and weaving techniques provide optimal support. All carriers come with detailed and clear instruction manuals. Learning to use a carrier is not difficult: more and more people find that after two or three tries, a baby wrap is quick and easy to put on!


Fabric Quality, Colors and Production Methods

Although wraps are available in different colors and patterns, there is a clear difference in the quality of different brands. For example, the type of fabric or thread, the knitting or weaving technique, the country of production and the use of organic cotton all determine the quality of the sling.

All Babylonia wraps are high quality and available in many different colors. Each wrap comes with a clear instruction manual with pictures and tips. For the Tricot-Slens there is even an instructional DVD.

The two knitted wraps are produced in the Netherlands made of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and use a unique knitting technique to ensure optimum support. The woven wraps of Babylonia are made with a special weaving technique from 100% organic cotton and are produced in fair trade projects in India. All our wraps are colored with non-toxic dyes and free of chemicals and softening agents.


Detailed and Clear Instructions

Every Babylonia wrap is supplied with detailed and clear instructions. The useful tips and clear color photographs support the written instructions. The Tricot-Slen also includes a demonstration DVD. If you still have questions after reading and viewing the manual, we encourage you to go to someone who can help, such as local babywearing consultant, a midwife or a lactation consultant near you. There are also workshops on babywearing and babywearing groups you can visit.