I’ve been asked if I have any data comparing the wraps I sell to the carriers that are widely available in stores like Babies R Us, Walmart, and Target. The ones everyone has heard of.
These are front packs like the Baby Bjorn and the Snuggli which are widely popular but within the babywearing community are considered inferior. This is not mere snobbishness. The fact is that if you wear your baby in one of those carriers, you will be experiencing many of the benefits of babywearing: you will stay closer to your baby, you will have your hands free, you can ditch the stroller, etc. Doing so is fantastic! You are babywearing.
But, you and your baby will be more comfortable in a carrier that is better designed with ergonomics in mind. The giant corporations are great at marketing. That’s why you’ve heard of the products. But the mama pioneers in the babywearing industry have a vested interest–themselves and their babies. They have poured over the studies, they have field tested the designs, they have consulted doctors, and they have studied the successful actions of babywearers throughout history and across the globe.
As a result, the carriers they have produced–including ring slings, pouches, mei tais, and wraps–are more comfortable for mother; are more ergonomically supportive, providing a better developmental position for baby that does not stress the base of his spine or other points on his body; and because these women continued to have a need to babywear as their babies grew into toddlers (and beyond) the carriers usually can be used comfortably even with a 35 lb 3 year old!
So if a friend recommends you check out one of these carriers, she is not being snobby. She’s hooking you up! You don’t have to get one to be a loving and attached parent. But you might be glad you did 🙂
Further Research for your own understanding:
This site offers a more comprehensive examination of the physiological needs of a baby and how a good carrier will support those needs while a stroller or carseat cannot. It will also explain how a wrap can hold baby in a better physiological position that will put less stress on an infants growing body than a front pack.