BABIES: In Praise of Babywearing

***This was originally posted on 1/9/15***

*Note: I mention specific brands of baby carriers in this post. This does not mean I’m endorsing them above other brands. (No one is paying me to write this blog so I really have no motivation to do that. If you know some brands who would like me to try them however….) Anyway, these are simply the carriers we have used and have worked for us. There is no universal perfect carrier.*

Those of you who follow me on Facebook have probably seen me post pictures of my son in his baby carrier. When he was a newborn we used the Moby Wrap

Well… I used it. Dan was totally thrown by how long it was and was just not that into it…

This potential side effect of baby wearing is known as sleepy dust

Around three months, we started using the Ergo, and I am not exaggerating when I say it has been a SANITY SAVER. When my little guy is having a bad teething day, I put him in the front carrying position and he can snuggle up close while I continue to get some work done, or get a workout by going for a walk or doing a few squats and lunges since he loves the up and down movement.

When he’s  having a good day I can back carry or hip carry. I have recently preferred the back carry because it’s like a little baby backpack of magical productivity. It’s the easiest carry to cook or bake in since I don’t have to navigate around little hands trying to reach out and grab the dough to eat or to work around having him in front of me and trying not to bump him on the counter.  I can even get directing prep done as long as I keep a little movement going while I work on prepping my script!

 

This is how I completed Christmas cards, crafts, gift wrapping, etc…. also, Auntie Molly is demonstrating how easy it is to babywear during a trip to the zoo!

*That’s not to say that I am always carrying my baby. We do our fair share of long walks with the stroller and plenty of time playing on his own (he started crawling at 6.5 months… he’s got plenty of motor skill practice)*

When I was pregnant, I talked to many friends who already had babies when registering and almost all of them recommended a baby carrier of one kind or another. I had no idea just how diverse my options were, however, until I joined Baby Wearing International. OK, I only technically joined the Phoenix chapter last month, but I have been following them on Facebook since this summer, thanks to another babywearing mama who alerted me to the group. They have been so helpful with getting positions right and helping parents (because dads want to carry their babies too!) with questions, problems, etc. The awesome thing about joining a local chapter is that I get to try out baby carriers from the chapter’s library at monthly meetings and can borrow a carrier for a month until the next meeting! Check out this month’s carrier- my first woven wrap:

You may recognize it from my recent profile picture change:

As you can see, he is loving it. I have him in a hip carry in that picture and while the hip carry has been one of his favorite positions for a while (since it lets him look around and easily try to reach out and grab whatever is nearby) I never wanted to have him in that position for too long in the Ergo because I could never quite get the straps right so they weren’t cutting across my neck. It’s SO MUCH EASIER to position those supports in a wrap…. Although I’ll admit I’m still trying to get the hang of getting everything tight enough on the first try!

Next month I’m hoping to try something with sunset colors (probably a wrap or a ring sling) so I can look a little fancier and fit in with the color scheme while baby carrying at the wedding we are attending!

The thing I love most about baby carrying is perhaps the most obvious statement you could make about it: it keeps your baby close to you. It basically keeps them “in your arms” while giving you free hands. It lets them snuggle up with you and I feel like I’m sending this wonderful message to my son- I want to hold you close whether you are having a good day or a bad day. Are you ready to go on an adventure? Come on up. Are you crying from teething pain? Come on up. Do you want to try and eat the plug to your monitor? Why don’t you come up in this carrier and try to eat my hair instead. I love you. Let’s figure out all these new things together.

Babywearing has been so helpful for us! If you want to know more, please reach out. I’m happy to talk more about my experience with it, but there are also lots of great online resources such as BabywearingInternational  (or my local chapter’s blog!)

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