Baby carrier or baby sling or woven baby wraps we can help you choose a natural approach to baby transport!
A baby carrier keeps your little one close. Soothes and calms them and promotes better sleep as they can hear the beat of your heart and smell your skin. They spend 9 months in the womb so the motion of your movements is familiar and safe. At Danu World, we know your baby is the most precious possession you can hold, so we have ensured our staff are highly trained in babywearing and baby sling safety.
Why choose to use a baby carrier, baby sling or woven baby wrap?
- A carrier will take up less room than a pram and is much lighter than carrying a heavy infant car seat. I was once chastised by my GP at a baby check up for carrying my newborn in his car seat, she warned that carrying a car seat would cause back pain.
- Natural or carbon neutral materials can be used. Look for cotton, linen, wool and modal (carbon-neutral). Leave a smaller carbon footprint and reduce waste. Fabric can be reused or recycled after youâ€™ve finished carrying. Our Irish woven baby wraps have been repurposed in our home as cushions!
- Good for baby. Your baby will love being close to you, it is where they feel familiar and safe. Babies develop by reading the faces of those they have attachments to, they also have a very short field of vision, being closer to your face means they can see you and pick up your facial expressions easily. If baby does have a hip condition The International Hip Dysplasia Institute recommends carrying them in a deep seated â€˜Mâ€™ shape which promotes a natural open hip position, optimum for development and preventing the rubbing that can occur in the hip joint with legs straight.
- Good for mum, being able to see your baby and read their cues help to tend to them before they, and you, get stressed. Carrying in a good quality baby carrier spreads babyâ€™s weight through your core and means you arenâ€™t straining one part of your body. It takes six times less energy to carry in a baby sling than it does to carry in your arms. Plus you have two hands free to get on with whatever you need to, especially useful if you have an older child to tend to.
- Good for dad. Being close to the baby can help daddy to bond with your new baby. Fathers who get skin-to-skin contact with their newborn in the first 24 hours report better bonding with their babies. A baby sling can make this process easy and comfortable for both!
- Access all areas. There are some places prams just canâ€™t go. If youâ€™ve tried to push a pram while walking a dog youâ€™ll know it isnâ€™t easy. Using a baby sling allows you to keep your hands free to take your fur baby for a walk. Bumpy cobbled streets and narrow aisles and stairs in shops, even doing the groceries can be an arduous or even impossible task with a pram. With a carrier, you can go anywhere!
There are lots of different styles of carrier. Some are more suitable for newborns, some are better for older children, most can be used in a variety of carrying positions.
- A stretchy wrap is suitable from birth. These are made of around five metres of material and can be pre-tied ready to pop baby in when youâ€™re ready. If youâ€™ve tied it well it can be used all day with minimal adjustment, taking the baby in and out as required for feeds and nappy changes.
- A ring sling is a quick and simple baby carrier to use. Newborn babies can be carried on parentsâ€™ chests and can move to hip carries as they grow. Once you have adjusted your sling to fit you and baby you only need to make tiny adjustments each time you use it.
- A buckled carrier can be used from birth depending on type. Some have inserts, some can be adjusted to fit a newborn. Typically they have a padded waist belt and shoulder straps and are fastened with buckles that just clip together. Look for an ergonomic carrier that can support your child in a deep-seated â€˜Mâ€™ shape with the carrier extending from knee-to-knee for optimal comfort for you both.
- Woven baby wraps are the most eco-friendly and open-ended option to carry your baby. Essentially long pieces of woven material, usually 100% cotton, but can be made from or blended with linen, wool, hemp, bamboo, silk and countless other materials! These woven baby wraps are moldable to both you and baby and depending on how you tie them you can carry your baby on your chest, hip or back. The diagonal weave provides stretch which cushions your baby and supports their spine and hips.You can buy woven wraps in many different lengths, colour options and patterns with jacquard weaves making beautiful designs, there really is something for everyone.
How do I choose a woven baby wrap?
- Material. 100% cotton is a good place to start. Versatile and easy to care for it makes a great baby wrap. Blends can offer some additional qualities though which may be worth considering. Linen and hemp are longer fibres, they are best for supporting an older, heavier baby or toddler. Still great for a newborn but can take a little bit more work to soften up. A good wash and steam iron will help. Wool, thermo-regulating and lovely for a newborn. Most wool wraps can be machine washed on a wool-wash, some require handwashing. Hemp, linen and wool are all eco-friendly natural materials. Bamboo is very cool and soft. The processes required to make the material used from the plant are very intensive so the end product is not natural and should be labelled Rayon or Viscose. Bamboo is very sustainable though so worth keeping in consideration. Silk is another super soft material for a woven wrap, it is quite high maintenance but lovely for a newborn
- Length. What size wrap do you need? The â€œbaseâ€ size you will need allows you to tie a simple, basic front carry. It can be used for dozens of other carries, but as standard, a regular front carry determines the size you need. A base size for a size 12-14 woman would be a size 6 wrap. A size 4 is 4.6 metres long. Baby wraps are sized in 50 cm increments so a size 7 is 5.2 metres and a size 5 is 4.2 metres. If you just wanted to do a single layer basic back carry rather than the longer front carry you can use a wrap two sizes below your base size. So a size 12-14 woman could use a 4.6-metre wrap (a size 4).
How do I wash my sling or carrier?
A question I am regularly asked is how to care for and clean a baby carrier. Babies are messy things so your baby carrier will need to be able to be cleaned and dried easily. How you clean depends on the type.
- Buckled carrier. You ideally want to fasten all the buckles on your carrier and pop it inside a pillowcase.This will protect the buckles inside the machine. Wash according to the instructions on your carrier but by a rule of thumb use a very small amount of detergent, most advise no optical brighteners (colour detergents donâ€™t usually contain these) and wash at 30Â°C. Hang on a hanger to dry.
- Stretchy wrap. Just pop it in the machine and wash as above.
- Woven wraps and ring slings. If washing a ring sling I tie a pair of socks around the rings to protect them. Wash according to instructions but by a rule of thumb: Cotton wraps can be washed at 30Â°C, you can usually tumble dry but they may shrink slightly, steam iron on cotton setting. Linen pretty much follows cotton, tumble on low (some dryer balls will help to soften it) and donâ€™t allow to fully dry before steam ironing. Hemp is more durable so can be washed warm, but if you do tumble dry it may shrink. Steam ironing will soften the fibres. Wool should be hand washed with wool wash and lukewarm water unless you want to be brave and use the wool setting on your washing machine. Dry flat and iron on wool setting. Bamboo should be washed cool and gentle. Again lie flat to dry. Silk blends again use silk or wool wash and hand wash in lukewarm water. Rolling in towels will speed the drying process. Silk can be ironed on the silk setting.
Above all enjoy carrying your baby close. A baby carrier makes a wonderful gift for a new mum and baby.