Baby hates the carrier? Here’s how to turn it around

babywearing Sep 02, 2023

If you're reading this, chances are you're at your wits' end trying to figure out why your little one turns into a tiny wailing siren every time they're in a baby carrier. I get it; I've been there. And trust me, there's hope!


Before You Pull Your Hair Out, Read This!


First things first, not all babies immediately fall in love with the idea of babywearing. Some are drama queens and kings right from the get-go, protesting the moment you attempt to snuggle them into a carrier. And hey, crying is their way of chatting with us, right? Especially for those sensitive souls, it's like saying, "Hey, this is different, and I’m not sure about it!" 


But before you can dive into these troubleshooting tactics, double-check that your carrier is fitted correctly. If your baby is truly uncomfortable, then fixing that has to be the first step. The last thing you want is a pressure point making your munchkin uncomfortable. Not sure how to tell if you’ve got it on right? Reach out to me with pictures or video and I can provide a free fit check.


Understand Why Babies Might Cry in Carriers


Just like adults, babies need some time to adjust to new experiences. Your little one might just be saying, "Whoa, what's this? I need a minute." Remember, proper fitting is key, so make sure that's not adding to the wailing concert.

Babies can cry in carriers for many different reasons. They might be overwhelmed by the new sensation of being bound, or they might be reacting to the change in position from the floor/crib to your chest level. It could also be a sensory response—some babies are more sensitive to fabric texture or tightness. Remember, correct fitting is essential to eliminate potential discomforts.



Tips for Troubleshooting: The Heart of the Matter


Give It Time


When you hear your baby start to cry, your immediate instinct is to remove them from the carrier. Hold on for just a moment. Try soothing them while they are still in the carrier, as immediate removal might reinforce the idea that the carrier isn’t a good place.


Change the Scenery


If you’ve been in the living room for what feels like an eternity, consider moving to a different room or stepping outside for fresh air. Even putting on some soft music or dancing around might just pique your little one's interest enough to distract them from their protest.


Short Practice Sessions


Don't go on a three-hour hike the first time you try the carrier. Work your way up in small doses—20 minutes here, another 20 there. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and comfort with a baby carrier often requires a bit of getting used to.


Timing Matters


Look, no one is at their best when they're cranky or starving, babies included. Try the carrier when both of you are feeling good. You want to associate the carrier with positive vibes, after all.


Your Emotions Affect Your Baby


Babies are perceptive. If you’re anxious, those feelings can transfer to your child. Maintain a calm demeanor, speak softly, and move deliberately. Your emotional state can have a significant influence on how your baby feels.


Try a Different Carrier


Sometimes, a different style of carrier can work wonders. Maybe your baby prefers being able to look around more, or maybe they want to be snuggled closer to you. Often, it's about what you, as a parent, find comfortable. Babies are like little emotional sponges, absorbing our feelings. If you're uncomfortable or tense, they'll pick up on it. Most babies, in most situations, can learn to be happy in the carrier you already have. But there are some babies out there who have definite carrier preferences, so if you don’t know what else to try, renting or borrowing a different style might be a good option to see if it helps.


Consider Physical Issues


If crying persists, especially if it's intense, consult healthcare providers for issues like reflux, tongue and lip ties, or torticollis. These conditions can cause tension in babies body and may make it more of a challenge for them to relax. In cases like these, reach out to me for personalized support.


You've Got This!


You are a rockstar parent. Even if things aren't going perfectly, remember that every hiccup is a learning experience for both you and your baby. Being consistent and emotionally responsive is key to getting your baby to love their carrier as much as you do.


One Step at a Time


If there's one thing I want you to take away from this, it's that you’re not alone, and you're not failing. A crying baby doesn't mean a bad parent. Babies cry; it’s what they do best, sometimes!


Want to dig deeper into fitting and positioning or have a particular issue you're wrestling with? You can always book a consultation with me to get more personalized guidance.


So keep those spirits up! Strap on that carrier with confidence, and sooner than you think, your little one might just fall in love with this whole babywearing thing.



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