How to Get Your Baby to Like the Baby Carrier

Photography:Kantha Bae

By Brooke Maree

There is definitely a small group of bubs that don’t take to being in a carrier straight away. Being in a carrier or sling is a new experience and for this group, they often need some patience and encouragement to come around to the idea.

In a babywearing consultation one time, I met a cheeky little 11-week-old boy who loved to be carried in his mum’s arms but fussed and grizzled when in the carrier. His positioning was perfect and we made sure he was sitting well in all three carriers – a buckle carrier, stretchy wrap, and a ringsling!

He still fussed even though there were no further adjustments I could make. I was super happy with his positioning and that there was lots of room around for him to see (super curious, alert bub he was!).

This mum was desperate as he loved to be carried but not in a carrier. 

Being in a carrier or sling is a new experience and for this group, they often need some patience and encouragement to come around to the idea.

These were my suggestions to her: 

1. Don’t give up! Be consistent and keep trying every day. The goal is to make this ‘new’ contraption familiar and to associate its use with feelings of calm and comfort. Stay calm as the parent and assure them it’s okay.

2. To do the above, I suggest changing the environment from the home and often going for walks outside, in nature, at the shops, etc., or changing caregivers to mix it up. Keep it to short spurts if you have to while it becomes familiar.

3. If you’re persistent, have tried to change up the environment, and have excluded every other possibility (hunger, overtired, tummy pain, a phase), then it’s a good idea to get the assessment of a paediatric physiotherapist or chiropractor to check if there are any underlying issues that we can’t see on the surface.

Some bubs like their personal space more than others, but if bub wants to be carried in-arms constantly (#normal), then we should be able to get them settled and content in a carrier.

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