Getting the Right Fit with Baby Slings & Carriers

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our first Manduca.

We bought our first soft structured carrier (SSC) back in 2011, before the arrival of our first kid. The carrier came highly recommended by a work colleague. I was eyeing the baby bjorn then. But when I read up about SSCs, there was no turning back.

Back then, babywearing didn’t get that much attention. It was just another alternative to taking your baby out. My parents never used one, much less hear about different types of carriers. I had seen people using sarongs to babywear, but never really took notice of it any further. But heck, look at how much babywearing had come. This basic Manduca has seen me through 4 kids, and has reached a faded brown hahaha. But we use it more often than the black one we got in 2014. It is so soft now that it has been worn in.

When we received our first Manduca, we fumbled with the infant insert. We panicked when Ollie cried so hard in the insert. We weren’t sure if we were wearing him the correct way. Looking back, I could almost tell what we were doing wrong, hyper-extended legs without the insert, not wearing close and high enough, footed pjs..

Of course there is Youtube. When in doubt, nothing like a video to ‘walk’ you through the process. But Youtube can’t tell you a fair bit of stuff. Let me tell you why.

After 6 years of babywearing in a SSC and trying out a wrap, I thought I had it all figured out. Until I went for a fitting session at Baby Slings and Carriers. Case in point, me with Alex in the JPMBB stretchy wrap before the fitting session, and a next day after a fitting session. I had started wrapping Sarah in 2016 after watching a Youtube video and hoping for the best that she doesn’t slide out of it.

left, my crappy wrapping skills; right, after having proper lessons on wrapping!

What I learn at a fitting session was having Pearline, a babywearing consultant and owner of Baby Slings & Carriers, telling me how tight I can wrap Alex without hurting her and providing both her and myself better support. Seriously, it felt SO much better. I had been constantly lifting her to re-tighten the wrap prior to the fitting session. As the JPMBB wrap was stretchy, there was actually alot more leeway and I could have wrapped her tighter and higher. Poor kiddo was always ‘drowning’ in my slack wrapping skills. Hahahaha. I was told that I could wrap up to a 2yo..very tempted to wrap Sarah one of these days just to give it a shot!

they have a wide range of wraps for you to try!

Not only are the team at BSC all about just getting you the right fit, I had a chat with them about support for the babywearing momma as well. In 2017, I found out that I had mild cervical spondylosis. I had been experiencing some neck problems and after an xray, we found some degenerative discs in my neck. Bummer. I also had been seeing a chiropractor for my back problems. After 6 years of babywearing and realising that A LOT of information was about having the right spinal & hip support for the baby, but nothing much was said for the wearer. I was really glad to be able to speak with Pearline about such issues and how babywearing should support BOTH the wearer and baby. I was realised to hear some of their advise does tie in with what my chiropractor says, about wearing baby closer to spread out the weight across the body, as opposed to baby hanging off me.

chatting with Pearline about wearer support

Obviously BSC have their own range of baby carriers that they retail (helloooo Manduca!), but they are not biased about their own products. There is no one fit cos well, we are all of different size, and one might just feel better using another carrier based on the support it offers. But heck, I am biased towards the Manduca so obviously I’m gonna be raving A LOT about the XT that we are using!

crash course on the XT

No fiddling with an infant insert any longer. Best idea evah, and it is f****** cushy! The shoulder straps too! I could easily want to rest my head against it to rest on it. This photo was when Alex was 2 weeks old. Back in Ollie days, we would have panicked if he as much shrieked his head of in the infant insert. Under the watchful guidance of Pearline & Michelle, and A LOT of shushing to soothe Alex, we got her nicely snuggled in the carrier and left her as that! It was the first time I actually had the shoulder straps crossed behind my back so as to make the carrier more snug for Alex, curving the panel around her. Steep learning curve siah. Back carry and side carry I can handle, but crossing the straps was another level altogether.


Now that Alex is 4 months old, we upgraded the XT with the ellipse ZipIn. Without the ZipIn, the zipped up panel was too short for her (her head was bobbing backwards); extending the panel fully meant she would drown in the carrier. Having the ZipIn meant the panel would still be able to provide her with the necessary neck support whilst being in the carrier. Major upgrade for us compared to the previous versions of Manducas! I had the opportunity to borrow a Size It and ellipse ZipIn to try old Manduca and they still worked like a breeze. You can always get this accessories if you managed to get your hand on Basic or Blackline Manduca.

look ma, no insert!

how the size it looks

How the fitting session felt:

You don’t feel pressured to buy anything. There is a charge for the consultation, $20, which I feel is worth it because you are paying for their time to guide you into making an educated decision about the carrier that will suit you.

Ask them ANYTHING. Okay, maybe not questions like recipes for their best bak kut teh recipe or something. Ask them anything in relation to babywearing. Tell them your concerns. When in doubt, ask! Else how to get the right fit?

Definitely bring baby along. They are really patient and will want baby to be comfortable before fitting you. No one breaks out in a sweat. Just a nice calm carrier fitting.

meet the team

They’ll be the ones to walk you through your fitting! Have an awesome and calm fitting!

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