Natasha from Natural Urban Mama – Babywearing Sling Fling Week!

I’m SO excited to welcome Natasha from Natural Urban Mama as my final guest for Sling Fling! Natasha owns a super cute online baby boutique, so who better to dispense some advice on how to choose a carrier? AND, if you have any questions, you can find her on Twitter @naturalurbanmom.

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It’s a fact mamas: babies who are held and carried cry less, are more calm and content, sleep more peacefully, nurse and gain weight better, they enjoy better digestion and physically and mentally develop better.(1, 2, 3) With all of these incredible benefits, babywearing seems like a no-brainer for new parents.

But choosing and then using a baby carrier can be daunting for some. There are so many to choose from? And how do you know which is best for you, your baby and your budget?

Different carriers have different features and benefits and some are more appropriate for different ages and stages of your child. It is important to seek advice and instruction (whether in person or online) about different carriers and if you can, try out a few before you make your decision (your mama friends, natural parenting stores and your local La Leche League meetings are good places to start).

Also consider who else will be wearing the baby. Daddy, grandparents, older siblings and other caregivers can all be taught to wear your little bundle as well and this may be part of the deciding factor when choosing a carrier.

I personally feel that everyone needs to have at least three main kinds of carriers in their ‘stash’: a wrap carrier (I prefer a non-stretchy one), a ring sling, and a soft-structured carrier. And just for the sake of full disclosure–I happen to have about 25 different carriers in my personal stash (yes, I may have a slight addiction!)

Here is my run down of the main kinds of baby carriers that I recommend, what I think are the pros and cons of each, the costs and a few recommended brands.

Stretchy Wraps

Sleepy Wrap


  • Great for newborns and infants
  • Long (usually 5 metres) piece of fabric that ties around both baby and wearer
  • Leaves the wearer hands free to do other things and keeps baby snuggled in close
  • LOTS of different brands/colors/designs to choose from

  • Stretchy jersey/cotton materials can get HOT
  • Back Carrying should NEVER be done in a stretchy wrap
  • Have an upper weight limit of about 20 lbs (and then they almost become TOO stretchy!)

Who makes these: Moby Wrap, Sleepy Wrap, Cosy Baby, Happy Mommy
Cost: $50-80.00

Chimparoo Woven Wrap in ‘Juliet’
Woven or Non-Stretchy Wraps

  • Similar to stretchy wrap, long piece of fabric that ties around both baby and wearer
  • Fabric does not have any stretch to it and therefore can be used from newborn to toddler hood.
  • Excellent for all kinds of tummy-to-tummy, hip and back carrying.
  • Some incredibly beautiful designs and brands to choose from


  • Higher learning curve than stretchy wraps and takes practice to master.
  • Cost

Who makes these: Didymos, Ellevill, Chimparoo

Costs: $98-180.00

Ring Slings

Babyette Batik Ring Sling


  • Adjustable, one shouldered carrier, are one-size fits most
  • Can be used from newborn to toddlerhood
  • Great for shorter babywearing periods, great for running errands
  • Easy to nurse in
  • Can be a nice way to babywear for a special occasion (think silk ring slings!)
  • Because it is a one shouldered carrier, weight of baby is not totally evenly distributed and may cause some discomfort after longer periods of wearing.

Who makes these: Babyette, Sakura Bloom
Cost: $70-180.00

Soft-Structured Carriers
(including Buckle Carriers and Mei Tais)

Pipa Pack Buckle Carrier


  • Two-shouldered carriers that evenly distribute weight of baby across the wearers back & on their hips.
  • Most are good to use from about 3 months (babies with good head control) to toddlerhood
  • Buckle carriers are often preferred by babywearing dads
  • Mei Tais can fold up nice and small and fit in your diaper bag
  • Great for traveling, hiking or anytime you need to wear baby for extended periods of time.
  • Easier learning curve for getting on and off
  • Chimparoo Mei Tai
  • Can be used for both Front (tummy-to-tummy), Hip & Back carrying


  • Most buckle carriers are not recommended for newborns.
  • Cost-some of the organic versions can get pricey

Who makes these:
Buckle Carriers – Ergobaby, Pipa Pack, Boba
Mei Tai Carriers – BabyHawk, Chimparoo, Mei Tai Baby

Cost: $80-160.00

Babywearing is a wonderful practice and one that I truly believe can make your brave new journey into parenthood that much easier. It can be done from day one with your newborn all the way up to toddlerhood and sometimes beyond! (I happen to know a few 4 year olds who still enjoy a ‘piggy back’ on Mama). So don’t give up if the first one you try doesn’t feel right. Keep trying different carriers until you find the one (or two or three) that works for you and your baby.

Happy Babywearing Everyone!


Natasha Chiam is a Certified Babywearing Educator and the Chief Executive Mama at Natural Urban Mamas.

She is mama to a four year old boy and a two year old girl, both of whom she still ‘wears’ on a regular basis.

You can also find her on Twitter @naturalurbanmom and read her blog HERE.


1.Hunziker, U. A. and Barr, R, G. (1986). Increased carrying reduces infant crying: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics, 77, 641-8
2.Anisfeld, E., Casper, V., Nozyce, M. and Cunningham, N. (1990). Does infant carrying promote attachment? An experimental study of the effects of increased physical contact on the development of attachment. Child Development, 61, 1617-1627.
3.Ludington-Hoe SM, Swinth JY. (1996). Developmental aspects of kangaroo care. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 25, 691-703.
4. Natasha’s Babywearing Photo Courtesy of Timeless Edge Photography

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Thanks so much to Natasha for all of that information! This is the first ever post on my blog with footnotes and that? kind of rocks. Don’t forget to visit Natasha on her blog and on Twitter. And thank you again to all of my fabulous guest posters for Sling Fling week – we’ve had so many great stories!

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  1. What a great informative article!! This is sure to be a great resource for anyone starting out babywearing!

    Sounds like she has a bigger babywearing addiction than you, Sarah! :o)

  2. Thank you very much for this post. It was very informative and something I'll be sure to bookmark to look at when we have another child.

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