Baby Wearing with a Disability – What works and What Doesn’t

Good news! It is possible for someone with mobility issues to carry their baby in a baby carrier. However, there are a few things you’ll need to consider before you decide whether it’s right for you, and to determine which baby carrier is the best fit for your personal needs. If you use a wheelchair you’ll find there are now some great wheelchair accessories to help you carry your baby, or you can adapt one of the popular baby carriers available on the market today.

The right carriers can make babywearing so much more natural, easy, and comfortable, and let you hold or carry your children while you take care of everyday work.

 

Benefits of babywearing

For wheelchair users, the most immediate benefit of babywearing is that it lets you carry your baby while your hands remain free. It also offers the additional advantage of creating a snug closeness that improves the parent and baby’s bonding.

Besides, with your baby in such proximity, you tend to communicate more with each other and can play an important part in your baby’s language development.

 

Selecting the right carrier

With so many different styles of baby carriers to choose from it can be hard to know where to start.

Here’s what works and doesn’t while using carriers in a wheelchair.

1. Keep your disability in mind.

You may be in a wheelchair for a variety of different reasons so it’s important that you select your baby carrier based on your disability or vulnerability.

For example, look for a baby carrier which evens out the weight across your back if you have a weak back, or avoids slings with band straps if your shoulders are painful or weak.

2. Ease of use

Select carriers that you can quickly put on and use. You don’t want something with complicated straps which is impossible to put on whilst sitting in a wheelchair.

3. Comfort

Comfort is critical because you will be carrying the weight of your baby for prolonged periods. It would be better to use a carrier which puts minimal pressure on your chest area if you suffer from neuromuscular disease.

4.  Breastfeeding

You never know when your newborn will get hungry and need feeding so having a breastfeeding-friendly carrier could be a big help if you are breastfeeding.

 

Pros and cons of different baby carriers for wheelchair parents

·  Lapbaby

The Lapbaby is a baby carrier designed especially for people who use a wheelchair.

Primo LapBaby, Gray
  • Eat, play and engage with your baby as they sit comfortably and safely on your lap
  • Perfect for air travel, restaurants, and at the dinner table - anywhere you want to sit and be close to your baby
  • Lightweight and portable, the Lap Baby folds up and stows away in a small cloth travel bag
  • Includes easy-clean drop cloth for spills, and tether for keeping toys and pacifiers on hand
  • Suitable for ages 3 months up (child must be able to support the weight of their own head). Maximum adult waist size 54in / 137cm. The LapBaby accommodates infants with up to a 17 inch waist comfortably

· Wraps

Wraps like the Moby Wrap are a long piece of fabric you tie around yourself to hold your baby. So while it is useful for some wheelchair users, others may find it confusing to try and secure the wrap. It basically depends on your body, your disability, and how flexible your spine is.

Sale
Moby Wrap
  • BABY WRAP THAT PROMOTES BONDING: Baby-wearing nurtures a powerful bond that can lead to calm, happy babies, while helping to reduce stress, colic, and even encourage breastfeeding. Less bulky material and padding allows you to keep baby uniquely close, warm, and secure.
  • COMFORTABLE BABY CARRIER WRAP: A parent-favorite for its comfort, style and adaptability, the MOBY Wrap Baby Carrier is made from soft, stretchable and durable fabric that evenly distributes the weight of carrying baby across the back, shoulders, and hips.
  • VERSATILE: Measuring 18ft, this wrap for baby grows with your little one, supporting preemie babies - 35lbs in several carrying styles: facing you or out, sideways, or on your back - all while you stay hands-free! Can also be used as a blanket or pillow when not in use.
  • BABYWEARING MADE SIMPLE: This baby carrying wrap is great for parents on the go-a hands free baby carrying experience.
  • EASY TO USE: This wrap baby carrier comes with an easy to follow instructional guide for all types of holds: Newborn Hug, Hug Hold, Hip Hold, Kangaroo Hold, Pregnancy Sling, & more. Even consult with a baby wearing expert with Moby’s “Let us Help You” program via their website

·  Mei-Tai

The Mei-Tai is better for carrying one-year-old babies than newborns in a wheelchair. It’s because it’s easier to carry babies in Mei-Tais once they can sit up independently.

· Ring sling

Many parents recommend a ring sling as a good option for carrying babies in a wheelchair. They are easy to get on and off and perfect for babies of all ages.

Besides, the extra support of your lap makes breastfeeding easy in this position.

Such as the  Tula ring sling↓

Buy Tula Ring Sling

2 best selling ring sling on Amazon↓

Bestseller No. 1
Nalakai Ring Sling Baby Carrier - Luxury Bamboo and Linen Baby Sling - Baby Wrap
  • Creates a nourishing heartfelt bond: carrying your baby close to your chest will feel like being wrapped in a loving embrace, which helps your little love gain a sense of trust & belonging. It is the most natural, womb-like position & creates an intimate bond between you both. Even a colicky baby will be soothed quickly to sleep as you carry them in their soft baby sling.
  • Eco-friendly, super soft bamboo & linen that's kind to baby's skin: warm sand beige is our most popular color. The fabric is a gorgeous, neutral beige with very soft pink undertones. It is more beige than pink. We think it pairs perfectly with our signature copper-colored, unwelded rings. Our custom blend of bamboo and linen fabric provides an ultra-strong, lush woven fabric that is lightweight & silky smooth to gently shelter your baby as he or she drifts to sleep.
  • Safest carry position for correct hip development: many baby wrap carriers interfere with healthy hip positioning as the baby is held incorrectly or facing outward & this can increase the risk of hip dysplasia. Nalakai ring slings harness your baby naturally in the m position so that hips can develop properly while keeping you and your baby comfortable. The front carry position massages your baby’s belly, improving digestion & preventing reflux & colic
  • Regulates temperature better than a wrap: not all young babies can control their temperature well & can easily overheat in a wrap. Our ring sling baby carrier will keep you & your precious baby comfortable yet cool & won’t wrinkle your clothes as much either! The tail fabric can double as a nursing cover, so you can breastfeed your baby privately while on the go.
  • 5% of profits to families in need: you can help! With each purchase, we donate on your behalf to Cepia, a charity supporting low-income families in Costa Rica. Designed by a mom of 2, our mission is to help families around the world. All ring slings are backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Bestseller No. 2
Hip Baby Wrap Ring Sling Baby Carrier for Infants and Toddlers (Summer Rainbow)
  • Eco-Friendly - Made with beautiful 100% cotton, hand-loomed, breathable fabric and with top quality aluminum SlingRings. For babies 8 – 35 lbs.
  • Fair trade and individually handwoven with eco-friendly non- toxic dyes in India so each wrap is beautiful and unique.
  • Our lightweight fabric makes the Hip Baby Wrap cooler for baby and easy to manipulate. Superior ergonomic design helps distribute baby's weight evenly and comfortably across caregiver's body, relieving the shoulders and neck from unnecessary strain. Great for nursing on-the-go and as a nursing cover. Enhances parent-child bonding and child development.
  • Machine wash and dry.
  • Easily adjustable to be used for front tummy to tummy and hip carries for infants through toddlers.
· Soft-structured carriers

A secure soft-structured baby carrier such as the Tula baby carrier is an ideal choice depending on your mobility issues.

It provides a good balance of support, whilst still keeping your baby close. Look for something without uncomfortable buckles or large knots on the back which may be uncomfortable if you are in a wheelchair.

2 best selling ring sling on Amazon↓

Bestseller No. 2
DIDYMOS DidyKlick Soft Structured Baby Carrier Chili (Organic Cotton), Red/Natural White, One Size
  • Half Buckle Carriers are a quick and simple alternative to people who wish the feel of a wrap but the structure of a buckle carrier with a padded waist. Can be worn on the FRONT, HIP and BACK.
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE for a perfect fit each time regardless of person's shape or size; ONE SIZE FITS ALL ages and baby stages, from newborn to pre-school age.
  • PERFECTLY SUPPORTS baby in an optimal secure position, and provides COMFORTABLE BABYWEARING, even as baby grows.
  • Allows for integrating baby care into everyday life, providing a safe and secure place for baby, all while keeping TWO HANDS FREE.
  • Beautifully woven of ORGANIC COTTON, using only safe, non-toxic dyes.

Buy on Tula.com


Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to babywearing with a disability. The right carrier can make life so much easier, and improve the bonding between you and your baby!

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