Baby Wearing: The best thing (ever!)

I am not an active person. I do not run marathons or lift weights, I do not do any pointed working out.

However, I am a let’s go do something person.

I walk around town, dig ditches, put in gardens and things. That is just who I am, who I always have been.

So, when I was blessed with a tiny bundle of joy that is not capable of feeding herself, much less carry a T-post what is a ‘I got shit to do’ momma to do?

t post.jpg  t Post diggin

Strap that baby on and get to it.

Spindle-1

What about when baby can walk, when baby is not a tiny bundle of joy but a big sack of ‘taters? You put that toddler in a carrier so she can’t run off.

Sandra and Z wearing

People keep telling me that leashes are just generally frowned upon. Just kidding, but seriously toddlers are everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.  I have to keep track of her some how.

Daddy Wearing

Safety First! When wearing your baby in the front always be sure you can kiss there cute little punkin’ heads. Wearing your baby on your back should only be done after s/he can support their own head. Always ensure proper alignment and support of joints and back.

Here are two great references for child wearing safety both from Baby Wearing International:

Kissable

 

Safety check list

My second piece of advice is to find the right carrier. This matters a lot.

Again, we borrowed this from Baby Wearing International:

Wraps

wrap

 

Wraps are the most traditional and simple of all carriers. They come in a variety of lengths and fabrics such as knit jersey (ideal for newborns), gauze (good for warm weather), cotton, linen, wool, and other fabrics. Wraps can be used to carry an infant, toddler, or child in a variety of positions including front, hip, and (if made of woven fabric rather than knit jersey) back carries. Wraps are infinitely adjustable to meet the specific needs of the individual wearer. Learning to wrap may seem intimidating at first but can be mastered with practice. The beautiful fabrics used in many wraps make them an aesthetically pleasing style of baby carrier. Their lack of hardware makes them ideal for snuggling newborns but wraps are wonderful for babies and toddlers of any age.

Ring Slings

Ring

A ring sling is a modern adaptation of traditional one shoulder carries found in Mexico, Indonesia, and other cultures. A pair of metal or nylon rings are securely attached to the end of a roughly two-meter-long piece of fabric. The tail end of the sling is threaded through the rings to adjust to the wearers body. The weight of the child in the carrier secures the rings against slipping. Ring slings are available in a variety of fabrics from basic cotton to luxurious silk. The long tail of the sling can be used for many things including a sun shade, nursing cover, light blanket, or hand hold for older children when your hands are full. Ring slings are excellent for newborns and for toddlers who want quick up and down carries.

Pouch Slings

Pouch

A pouch sling is a simple tube of fabric worn over one shoulder like a sash and used much like a ring sling but without the ability to adjust the size of the sling each time it is used. Pouch slings are sleek, easy to use, inexpensive, and convenient to stash in a diaper bag or glove compartment. However, because pouches are sized they are hard to share between caregivers and must be correctly fitted for safety and comfort.

 Mei Tai

Mei Tai

The Chinese mei tai (pronounced “may tie” not “my tie”) is the most popular of a group of modernized traditional Asian-style baby carriers. It has a panel of fabric with two shorter straps that go around the waist and two longer straps to wrap over the shoulder. Modern mei tai straps are often padded or made very wide (known as “wrap straps”) to provide extra comfort for the wearer and they are often made of attractive fabrics. Because they lack buckles and are tied to create a custom fit each time, mei tais are easily shared between multiple caregivers. They are easy to learn how to wear and can be used for front, back, and hip carries. Mei Tais are ideal for older babies and toddlers but can also be safely used with newborns.

 Buckle Carriers

Buckle

Soft structured carriers (SSCs) offer a mix of comfort, convenience and accessibility that is appealing to many caregivers. Most feature a thickly padded waistband and shoulder straps for a comfortable, ergonomic fit and can be used for front, back, and sometimes hip carries. The straps typically are adjustable for a custom fit and often these carriers have additional features such as sleep hoods, front pockets, adjustable seats, etc. SSCs have a low learning curve because they go on and off like a backpack but offer the same skin-to-skin benefits of wraps, slings, and mei tais. Some soft structured carriers may require the use of a special infant insert below a certain weight and size but most quality, ergonomic carriers can be used well into toddlerhood. There is a soft structured carrier for every taste, budget, and body type making them the most popular style of baby carrier on the market today.

There are awesome groups where you can rent a carrier for a month to insure it is the right one for you and baby. I participated in one of these groups in Austin,Texas but they can be found all over the US.  Here is a piture of one that I rented:

International carriers

I highly recommend this because baby carriers can be very expensive.  They even have small groups at their meetings to ensure you know how to properly use the carrier you rent!

Now then the fun part:

Why baby wearing is the best thing {like ever}:

1)    The lactating breast regulates temperature to keep baby from overheating. ( but please still pay attention to signs of over hearing; flush cheeks, clammy skin, extreme sweating, ect.)

2)   No more holding baby and pushing the stroller {Who want to keep up with all that?}

3)   Your kiddo can see everything you do, helping them learn.

4)   Helps baby bond to you and feel safe

5.)  Daddy can wear too; promoting bonding and shared experiences.

6.)  Being worn makes baby happy.

7.)  And puts them to sleep?!? Yeah it does.

The list goes on and on.

For even more information Dr. Sears has a lot of very good thing to say on the subject in his book, The Baby Book.  {Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Dr. Sears?}

Now go have fun. And wear them babies/Toddlers! {and eat your BAM bars, they are great for energy!}

daddy2

_________________________________________________________________

Some images borrowed from: http://babywearinginternational.org/

 

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One thought on “Baby Wearing: The best thing (ever!)

  1. This has been a really fun blog for me to write. Looking back over the past 2 years made me laugh and miss my tiny squish. I hope I can help moms realize we don’t have to give up who we were, we just change a little to make room for an amazing partner in crime.

    Like

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