Babywearing is a bit of an obsession of mine, so much so that I became a certified educator. I have tested out 30-40 (maybe more) carriers over the past 3 years and I have loved some, liked a lot and had only a few that where meh. These are a few of my favorites that I think would be perfect to gift this holiday season.
For the parents-to-be: The Solly Baby Wrap. I am incredibly picky when it comes to stretchy type wraps because they often aren’t incredibly user friendly, have too much stretch and are encouraged to be worn past the point of comfort for the wearer and proper positioning for the baby. The Solly Baby Wrap however is a really wonderful stretchy style wrap. The material is light, yet supportive. It has stretch without being too stretchy and it is super soft. I suggest this for parents to be simply because the ideal time to wear this is when the baby is newer because while you can wear it for quite awhile like any stretchy wrap 15lbs is when you start to notice a difference in the way it feels. That being said Alder is newly 16-months and 20lbs and I can still wear him comfortably for 15-20 minute time spans.
For the new babywearing fanatic: Baby-Doo USA. I knew my babywearing love had become an obsession when I found myself searching high and low for a great woven wrap. I don’t know what it is about woven wraps that make them intimidating but they can be especially with the wide range of options and price points. That being said I have found the perfect woven wrap for most any budget. The woven wraps from Baby-Doo USA are high-quality, beautiful wraps that are also affordable ranging from $70-90. I have been wearing both Edith and Alder in ours over the past few months and I love it. I wear them on the both front and back comfortable and wrap with ease. While this wrap is perfect for a babywearing fanatic it is also perfect for any parent from brand new to parents of toddlers; a woven wrap is perfect from newborn through toddlerhood.
For the new parents: Lily and Mama Market Ring Sling. When it comes to carriers my top recommendation is a ring sling. It is perfect for a newborn because it is secure and supportive, it is comfortable for the wearer and it’s great through toddlerhood because you can wear your tot on you hip and it’s easy to take on and off. I found Lily and Mama from Ruthy’s blog, Discovery Street over a year ago. I finally got the opportunity to try one of these beautiful ring slings out myself this Fall and I fell in love. The quality is excellent, the fabric is soft and the fit is great. There are a lot of great ring slings out there so it’s hard to pick just one but I am just so loving this one right now.
For the parents of toddlers: Eventually your toddler will out grow your standard sized soft structured carrier and your stretchy wrap. Ring slings are still great but often once babies hit toddlerhood back carries become the go to carry and ring slings are not as ideal for back carries. Woven wraps are still useful but toddlers are also all about the up and down which isn’t as easy in a woven wrap. That’s when a toddler size soft structured carrier comes into play and my favorite is the one by TULA. The fit is great, the comfort level for both the tot and wearer is excellent and there are so many great prints as well. While it is an investment I do think they are worth all the hype. We love to wear ours on strolls around town, nature walks, travel and hikes.
For the avid hikers: We love to get out and hike and we finally decided to get a hiking pack. I personally don’t love hiking packs because many don’t have a great seat in them and honestly I was anti-pack until it became more of a necessity. We were looking at bags that we could wear while we hiked and nothing seemed to work so we started to seriously look into pack type carriers with a backpack included as well as other storage compartments. After long debate we decided that Deuter had the best carriers for seat, storage and comfort for wearer. We used our REI member sale discount and invest in a pack and it has been a great decision. Edith is obsessed with the pack, it makes hikes so much easier and there is the added benefit that we will be able to use with the Alder one day as well.