Benefits of Water Carriers
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that most babies love water! A water carrier can be a great option for cooling off with baby on a hot summer day. Water carriers help to keep baby close and safe in the water, if used propertly. Water carriers are especially helpful if you need your hands free to help older kiddos at the pool.
Water carriers can also be used in the shower. This can be great way for a caregiver to seize an opportunity to take a warm shower (while soothing a fussy baby at the same time!). I’ve also found that water carriers are a great tool for a baby that is afraid of water. My little guy was terrified of the water for a few months and wouldn’t take a bath. A quick shower in our water carrier was the only thing that kept him clean – and it also put him to sleep! 😉
Read on for more tips on using water carriers.
Water Carrier Safety
As always, safety is the main concern when carrying baby. All of the normal babywearing safety rules apply in a water carrier (support baby’s back at all times, make sure baby’s face is visible and close enough to kiss at all times, keep baby’s chin off of his/her chest, and ensure baby’s airways remain open) in addition to some extra rules specific to carrying in the water.
-Water carriers are slippery and meant to be used in the water. They are not meant for extensive use outside of the water. DO NOT use a water carrier for general everyday use.
-Front or hip carries only. DO NOT use a back carry in water. It is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to monitor baby’s face (to ensure it stays out of the water) when carrying on the back.
-DO NOT cover baby’s face with the carrier (especially if wet).
-If necessary, ensure baby’s face is above the caregiver’s chest, where water may pool.
-Water carriers should never be used in deep water or in waves where baby’s face could be submerged.
-DO NOT expose baby to cold water.
-Some carriers have SPF protection. However, always remember to keep weather conditions in mind and apply sunscreen to baby if needed (or use a sunhat).
Water Carrier Options
Water carriers come in almost as many different types as normal carriers. Most of the BWI of Central Iowa lending libraries have a water carrier available to try on and/or check out. We recommend that you start your search here and try out a few different water carriers before buying one yourself. If you will only be using a water carrier for a short time (vacation, summer, etc.), it is super convenient (and budget-friendly) to have a BWI of Central Iowa membership. With a membership you can check out a carrier for the month you will be on vacation and return when finished!
Another budget friendly option is to make a DIY water carrier. Athletic mesh can be found at most fabric stores. You can use this mesh to make a water ring sling or wrap.
Mesh water ring slings and wraps can also be purchased through several retailers. One well-known retailer of mesh water ring slings and wraps is Beachfront Baby. There are also non-mesh water ring slings available. Zanytoes makes a great ring sling out of water-resistant fabric.
Water carriers can also come in the form of a meh dai or soft structured carrier. Kokadi makes a beautiful water meh dai. Connecta Solar and BityBean are two different brands of soft structured carriers suitable for water use.
However you choose to wear your baby in the water – be sure to make it fun for baby! You can twirl, swing, and bounce to add a fun element to water carrying. Encourage baby to splash in the water. Gentle water aerobics are okay while wearing baby in the water, as well as helping older kiddos. Chances are your baby will be soothed by the water and easily fall asleep after lots of fun water play!
Anne. (2013 May 31). A Beginner’s Guide to Woven Wraps – Everything You Need to Know and More. Retrieved from http://www.naturalmamas.co.uk/articles/a-beginners-guide-to-woven-wraps-everything-you-need-to-know-and-more/.
Babywearing International of Central Iowa. (2014). Safety. Retrieved from https://babywearinginternational.org/what-is-babywearing/safety/.
Beachfront Baby LLC. (2016). Beachfront Baby Wraps. Retrieved from http://beachfrontbabywraps.com/.
Bitybean. (2017). Bitybean – Cleverly Compact. Retrieved from https://bitybean.com/.
Connecta Baby. (2017). Connecta Solar. Retrieved from http://connectababycarrier.com/product-category/connecta/solar-connecta/.
Hayes-Devlin, K. (2005 March 23). Showering, Swimming, and Babywearing: The Complete Guide. Retrieved from https://wrapsodybaby.com/showering-swimming-babywearing/.
Mother’s Milk Boutique (2015). Kokadi Water Carrier. Retrieved from https://www.momsmilkboutique.com/products/kokadi-water-tai-tai-wonderland?variant=18484556865.
Zanytoes Boutique. (2017). Zanytoes Splash! Retrieved from http://zanytoes.net/category_29/Zanytoes-Splash.htm.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own and do not reflect the views or positions of Babywearing International of Central Iowa or Babywearing International, Inc. Please consult your carrier’s manual for full instructions for use in and out of the water. If you have additional questions on carrier usage please consult with a professional. This post is informational and we do not assume any liability for carrier usage.