I love that babywearing has grown in popularity over the last few years! I see so many parents absolutely loving snuggling their little ones while getting stuff done... and it's fabulous. But one of the downsides of this growing popularity is baby carriers are now on almost all must have lists of things to buy before the baby arrives. And here is a the catch: carriers (particularly buckle carriers) fit a bit like jeans - different brands and different styles fit different bodies. In fact it's worse than jeans because as well as needing to fit the parent it must also fit the baby, and fit how you want to use it, fit your lifestyle and fit the personal preferences of your little one! All of which is almost impossible to tell before baby is born because it's very difficult to try a carrier on when you have a bump in the way and how can you know how you are going to use it or what your baby's preference is going to be before they've even entered the world?
You just can't. Fun fact - more than 60% of my clients are people who purchased a carrier before their baby was born and then were really dismayed to find that it didn't work they way they thought it would. Maybe it was a carrier that advertised from birth but in reality doesn't work well until more like 8 weeks, maybe that it turned out not to fit them well, or holds baby only in x position but baby prefers y position or maybe its a case of the carrier is absolutely fine but the instructions and YouTube videos were so bad they couldn't figure out how to get it comfortable but a few tweaks and a different method for putting it on has made all the difference.
The key here is to learn from this - babywearing is AWESOME but it needs to work for you. The best way to see if a carrier works for you and avoid wasting your money is to try it with your baby and for that your baby needs to be here.
But "I want to wear my baby right from day 1" I hear you cry! Yes! Yes I do want you to be able to do this too... So here is my advice. Don't buy a buckle carrier yet, but do invest in a newborn specialist sling! Or better still rent one. Something like a Stretchy Wrap or a Caboo. Or if you don't like the idea of one of these a Ring Sling, a Woven wrap or a really specialist tiny buckle carrier like the Izmi Baby. These are fab options that work right from day 1 and fit a huge range of people. They can be tried on and learnt in advance as they offer a much more flexible fit. And they don't cost the earth to purchase, and in fact you needn't buy one of these at all as Sheen Slings and many other Sling Libraries offer long term loans on Stretchies, Caboos and other newborn specialist slings which can save you from needing to buy something that you'll only use for a few months. So you can save your money for the big investment sling once your baby is a couple of months old and is here to try on with.