As the season for graduations and weddings is upon us, I’ve been thinking about what baby carriers look best for special occasions. Sometimes baby carriers are about function, but, in this case, it’s almost all about appearance. When I go out on a special occasion, all dressed up and wearing my baby, I want the baby carrier to blend in with what I’m wearing. I know others will want to flaunt their gorgeous baby carrier along with their gorgeous baby, so consider what your main question is.
Which baby carrier looks nicest with a slip dress? Which sling blends in with graduation robes? Which carrier puts my baby high enough to feel comfortable in a crowd? Matching, blending, and function are the main questions I consider.
Match the baby carrier to the occasion
I’m never a big fan of pastel baby printed slings. My first sling was pale blue check with huge padded rails. I felt like I was a baby in a padded crib wrapped in that sling. There are so many more sophisticated, adult patterns and fabrics available now. If you have a special occasion coming up, you can definitely match your baby carrier to the mood of the event.
For a dressy event, I especially like the Upmama Baby Sling. This is a hybrid – curved like a pouch but adjustable like a ring sling. The main reason I like this sling for special occasions is the fabric. It looks like silk, but The UpMama signature fabric is lightweight cotton sateen. The platinum-colored Sand is my perfect dressy sling.
If you are going to wear a dress without sleeves, you will find the softness of this sling a relief. The cotton sateen has the tiniest bit of give (3% spandex) that molds to your shoulder. You won’t end up with red patches on your shoulder where rough fabric has rubbed against your bare skin.
Blend into a crowd with your baby
At times, you may want your baby and your sling to blend into the crowd and into your outfit. This was the case at my graduation. My baby was very tiny, and I didn’t want to call attention to him. I will probably tell you this story several more times because I find it so entertaining.
My graduation robes were black, so I chose a solid black Maya wrap ring sling. I hadn’t known whether I would be carrying the baby inside (still pregnant) or on the outside, so I ordered a giant robe. The sling and tail just blended right in with the mass of fabric.
During the speeches, I quietly nursed the baby. No one near me showed any sign of noticing him. During the procession, as I reached out my hand to shake that of the university President and accept my diploma, the university President DID notice the baby. He held my hand while he shook it and said, “You know, this diploma is just for you. The baby will have to get his own.” When I took him out after the ceremony, several people were completely surprised that I had been holding a baby. Mission accomplished!
Give your baby a view of the crowd
Once my babies were 4-9 months old, they wanted to look out. My oldest preferred to be on my front like a kangaroo. Her legs were folded in front of her, and she was sitting high on my chest seeing just what I was seeing. This hold gives the baby a good view, but it doesn’t allow her many options to hide if strange aunties reach out to touch. My second child also wanted to be up high, but he liked being on my back, looking over my shoulder. His view was even higher. The advantage of this hold in a crowd is that he can duck his face into the back of my neck or hair and hide if he doesn’t want to be so social.
Keep in mind your baby’s preferences for both baby carrier holds and being social crowds, and choose your special occasion baby carrier with these in mind.
Another consideration when you will be wearing your baby at a special occasion: family and friends. They think they know you. They mean well. They may ask about your baby carrier, “What is that thing?” Be prepared. Stun them with your gorgeous sling and your happy baby. They probably aren’t looking to be educated about the advantages of babywearing, but you could have a few facts ready just in case your gracious smile is not enough.
Good luck at your garden parties, weddings, and graduations.