How to Choose and Use a Baby Carrier in New York City

babywearing.gifAurea emailed me with a question about where to find help with baby wearing lessons. There is no way to underestimate the importance of finding the right carrier for you and your baby. You are going to be holding your infant (and toddler) a lot more than you might have ever guessed pre-pregnancy. The wrong carrier can be anything from annoying to down-right painful—and you want to enjoy have baby close to you, not find it a pain.

Choosing the right carrier for mom and dad (who may need his own if he is not the same size) is really important and worth investing a little time, thought and consideration into. You will need to consider the style of carrier (wrap, sling, bjorn, pack) that you are comfortable using and wearing as well as sizing, comfort and perhaps fashion.

There are a couple different routes to go when looking for help choosing and learning how to use your baby carrier. I've rounded up some good choices here:

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Group Baby Wearing Workshops
Many stores that sell carriers will help you choose and instruct you on using your carrier, but if you want a formal workshop to take you through all the different kinds and help you fit and try them on, check out Metro Minis, which specializes in natural products for families. Metro Minis sells baby carriers, slings, hip carriers and backcarrier.

Once a retail store, Metro Minis now works with other local spots to host workshops. (Check their online calendarfor upcoming dates). Learn the basics on different styles of baby carriers, advantages/disadvantages of each and discover which is best for you and your baby's individual needs. 5% discount on carriers for workshop participants.

Private Baby Wearing Lessons
If you prefer to have one on one help, Karen from A Child Grows in Brooklyn recommends Brooklyn Doula, Megan Davidson. Megan will come to your home with over 30 carriers in a variety of styles and brands for you to test, discuss the pros/cons of each carrier, and help you get comfortable and confident using the carrier you choose. Private sessions are available in Brooklyn for $50 or you can have her come to your group for $75. Contact her about rates for travel to other areas. Brooklyn-Doula.com 

Support Group
Slings in the City is a group of parents who get together freguently in different areas around New York City and the Metropolitan Area to discuss and help each other with baby wearing issues. Check out their site to find out when they are meeting or ask questions on their forum.

Online Help
thebabywearer.com has information about picking the right sling, detailed instructions on wearing all different types of carriers, plus forums, and more.

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