Top Tips for Babywearing Adventures

When it comes to outdoor adventures, babywearing is a gamechanger. It allows you to get outside in the fresh air and explore places that are tricky to access with a pram. Especially in those early postpartum days, being able to get in some movement and a change of scenery can really help with recovery. All babies want to be kept close for comfort, bonding and feeding, so babywearing can help you to meet their needs, but still have your hands free for a drink and a snack!

I’m by no means an expert and have learnt a lot over the last 16 months, but here are my Top 5 Tips for Babywearing Adventures.

1. Find a baby carrier that’s right for you

This can take some time and involve a little bit of trial and error, depending on your baby (age, size etc) and your own proportions. We started out with a Babybjorn Mini when Arthur was little, as well as a Baby K’Tan wrap which was great around the house. Once he got to about six months, I wanted to upgrade to a more supportive carrier with a waist strap and padded shoulders to help with comfort over longer journeys. I found an Ergobaby 360 on Vinted, and more recently we’ve added a Lennylamb Preschool carrier (also from Vinted) and an Integrababy Solar Size 2. This last one is great for summer carrying and travelling as its a lightweight fabric and packs up really small. I’ve also got a Little Frog Ring Sling although I’ve yet to perfect the skills for this one, but it is supposed to be good for quick ups/downs for toddlers when they want to walk but get tired quickly.

Yes, I’ve got a little carried away with the number of carriers and you definitely don’t need that many! But there are lots of great options on the market that work for different stages of your babywearing journey. Think about the length of time you will be carrying baby for, the weather (mesh fabrics or linen/cotton are great for summer) and if you will be sharing the carrying with your partner or other family members as this may affect the size of carrier you need.

I highly recommend visiting a sling library if you’re not sure where to start – you can check if you have one local to you HERE. They will be able to offer you various different options to try on, and you can then hire a carrier to test until you’ve decided which you want to purchase yourself. We didn’t actually hire from a sling library, but they offered advice on fit for the carriers we had purchased. I also took part in a back-carrying workshop when Arthur was a little older to learn how to safely transfer him onto my back alone. There’s definitely a knack to it, but it gets easier the more you do it and is so much more comfortable now he’s heavier!

2. Dress your baby appropriately

When dressing your baby for outdoor adventures, consider the weather and the activities you’ll be taking part in. For warmer weather, dress your little one in lightweight, breathable clothing and go for layers so that you can remove items if they get hot. You can feel the back of their neck or chest to check their temperature, and don’t forget that the carrier itself counts as a layer too. Make sure you have a hat for your baby and try to avoid heading out during the hottest part of the day, especially if they’re under 6 months. I found that tucking a thin muslin around Arthur’s legs when he was in the carrier was a good way to protect him from the sun if he was wearing shorts, but baby safe suncream is also an essential.

In winter, it’s all about layers and hats again! We got some fab little elasticated waterproof booties from H&M which helped to keep Arthur’s toes warm. But important to note, that however cold it gets, snowsuits or padded pram suits are not advisable as they can restrict baby’s breathing and cause overheating. We had a fleecy sleepsuit instead which although warm was a thin fabric so still meant Arthur could sit properly in the carrier.

These infographics from Coorie in with Love (babywearing consultant) are a great reminder.

3. Make sure you have comfortable clothing and footwear

As well as thinking about what your baby is wearing, making sure your own clothing is comfortable is key. Carrying a little person is like wearing a hot water bottle so I always found myself getting warm, even if it was a cold day! A babywearing coat or hoody can be a great addition to your wardrobe – I have both from Seraphine – but you can also just use your normal coat and put an extra blanket or cover over baby. You can get things like the Bundlebean babywearing waterproof cover which are designed to keep your little one warm and dry whatever the weather. Again, I managed to get one secondhand on Vinted as it felt more tricky to keep Arthur out of the rain once I started backcarrying him.

Comfortable footwear that is warm, waterproof and has good grip are also essential. You don’t want to be worrying about slipping in the wet or mud while out walking, especially whilst carrying such precious cargo. I’m a big fan of the new Terrex Free Hiker*, which are inspired by adidas’ trail running shoes to offer a comfortable, durable footwear option for outdoor adventures. With a breathable waterproof GORE-TEX membrane, your feet will stay dry on waterlogged trails, whilst the low-cut, lightweight design doesn’t weigh you down. The Continental outsole gives grippy, reliable traction on wet or dry surfaces, whilst 15% more BOOST foam (than their predecessor) means extra support and cushioning for the most comfortable hiking experience yet. They were so comfy straight out of the box, and ideal for a short trail hike round some of the local footpaths and bridleways – I’d love to take them out on a more technical route to see how they perform.

4. Pack a bag of essentials

It can be more tricky to carry a bag when babywearing, but I’ve found that there are solutions – apart from getting your partner to carry everything! A crossbody bag or bumbag can work for fitting in a small amount of essentials such as the usual nappies, wipes, water bottle and snacks. Don’t forget to pack snacks for yourself as well as your baby – babywearing is hard work, especially once you get to the toddler years and your little one is not so little! I’ve not tried breastfeeding in a baby carrier, but it’s something you absolutely can do and can be a lovely way to feed without anyone noticing, and means you don’t need to worry about carrying bottles etc.

5. Enjoy the experience

Lastly, remember that babywearing adventures in the great outdoors are about creating beautiful memories and cherishing special moments with your little one. Especially when they’re little, every trip is a new sensory experience for them, so take time to pause, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the beauty of nature together. At the moment, we haven’t done any ‘big’ hikes with Arthur, they’re all been about local exploration and showing him places on our doorstep. Babywearing is also great for visiting farms/zoos/aquariums or other places where your little one might want a better view of what’s going on! We managed to take Arthur up some spiral stairs and along castle ramparts which is not something you can easily do with a pushchair. I love that babywearing has a certain magic to it as well – most little ones will nod off when being rocked and swayed as you walk along, enjoying the warmth of your body and the sound of your heartbeat close to them.

woman carrying sleeping baby on her back

Beki x

NB: *these shoes were purchased as part of my involvement with the adidas blogger community, but as always all opinions are my own.

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