Monthly Archives: February 2013

When I first began searching for a comfortable and easy-to-use baby carrier, I was desperate to find that perfect one which would allow me to be hands free. I tried everything you could imagine- mainly by purchasing on impulse and then soon after when it didn’t work out, returning it to the store.  I wanted a carrier that I could put on in seconds and wear comfortably for hours. There were so many options and I felt overwhelmed. After a long process of trial and error, I finally found wrapping with a long woven wrap my carrier of choice. But I do throw in an occasional Mei Tai, SSC (soft structured carrier), and Ring Sling for quick trips into a store or when long term comfort is not a top priority. Wraps are not the easiest carrier to choose from but I heard a great analogy about wrapping your baby the other day: it’s just like learning to tie your shoe.  It looks so complicated in the beginning, you would rather wear velcro. But fear not!  Wrapping takes just a little practice and once you have it you can’t believe how easy it actually is. It is a skill that will be with you for a very long time!

Baby wearing is helpful  by integrating your baby into your daily life; I really don’t know what I would do with out it. There are so many benefits of baby carrying that are listed repeatedly all over so I won’t presume to station myself as a scientific expert everything. I’m just a mom who fell in love with this bond-strengthening practice and want to share it. One of my favorites is the constant interaction for both mom and baby. The thing that a baby needs most after milk and safety, is human touch. Constant contact with mom, dad, or another loving caregiver helps to make a baby secure and comfortable, for both long and short term. Parents and babies are constantly shaping each other’s behavior and when your baby is in your arms, your speech, reactions, touch, and comfort is molding their future and personality. Something no bouncer, rocker, or swing can replace.

For parents, baby wearing is magical by freeing your hands to take care of everyday tasks, all while still interacting with your baby rather than leaving them to stare at a dangling toy or the ceiling. Simple activities become learning experiences because you can talk to your baby the entire time about taking out the trash, washing dishes, folding laundry, a neighborhood walk, grocery shopping…. all the things that you do are utterly fascinating for this new human being. Since their brains are still developing, they are taking it all in second by second each precious moment that you wear them, talk to them, let them watch you react and converse socially with other people.

Lastly, one of my favorite benefits of baby wearing is being able to nurse on the go in a carrier- and for me, especially in a wrap. It is so easy to do this discreetly and I finally felt like I wasn’t a prisoner of the glider chair anymore! I could see when my son was getting hungry immediately and nurse him before he ever expressed the late stage hunger sign of crying. Another amazing benefit of this is that I was nursing with my baby in an upright position rather than cradled, which meant significantly less reflux and upsetting stomach bubbles. Any parent knows how important this can be to the happiness of baby and also everyone around them!

Today, my son is two years old. He is healthy, happy, independent, smart, well mannered, amazing, and well, I could go on but you get the idea! What can I say? I’m his mom so of course I think he is a shining star of intelligence and I don’t apologize for being completely in love with every new development in his life. I won’t try to say that I am positive which part was nature and what was nurture in his development, but I will say that my mommy instinct tells me all the baby wearing we have done has been a big contributor to his sense of independence, confidence, intelligence, and development. Our rich daily interactions together in this manner have made me a believer in baby wearing and I hope you will find the same closeness and connection with your little one.  🙂

The benefits of babywearing are endless; here are a few tips to get you going.

If you are reading this article, you are already curious about how to make your life a bit easier by having your hands free while snuggling and bonding with your baby. There are so many articles out there on the benefits of babywearing so I will give you a few of my personal favorites that made me fall in love with carrying my baby.

My favorite benefit of babywearing.

Bonding time. Many of us moms have to work in some capacity whether full or part time, or there are just certain days when we have to be out. When I get home I am so ready to cuddle and reconnect with my son, but it seems like there are so many tasks to get in the way of that quality time. Rather than coming home to put baby in the stroller, I would put my son in a sling or wrap right away and go for a walk around the block. Just strolling slowly and talking about everything we saw together. When I put him in a stroller I felt like this was wasted time…he might as well have been in another room! But in a carrier our relationship blossomed and grew and I returned home feeling close and connected to my little boy. My heart swells with love for him on these cuddle walks!

The art of wearing your baby.

The first time I felt the amazing comfort of a ring sling worn properly, I was attending a babywearing meeting for the first time. These groups are excellent for learning from other moms, finding a community of sweet families, and many of them also have “libraries” of carriers that you can check out and try before making a purchase. I learned a lot from these mamas but I also learned from online tutorials- mostly YouTube! Wovenwraps.com has a special channel for tutorial videos here.  There are hundreds more to learn from also! Here is me personally sharing one of the most basic carries with a wrap, I use this one all the time still. I think the most important thing about learning is just to keep trying- it doesn’t take very long to become a pro as long as you give it a shot- more than one time! And it is so worth it. I figure, if I have 2 children, that is at least 4 years of babywearing! So it is definitely worth it to practice a few times to get it down.

Learning what works best for you.

Try several types of carriers. Different types serve different purposes and you might find that you like a combination of a few! Soft structured backpack carriers like the Boba are popular because they are so easy to use and clip on in seconds. I use one of these for hikes and also keep one in the car for quick trips in and out of the store when I want my baby on my back. Ring slings are also very quick to get baby in and out of and are also very nice to nurse in-  baby can nurse in an upright position so it cuts down on reflux and gas. My personal favorite is a wrap- I find it to be the most comfortable with weight the most evenly distributed across my back and shoulders. It is also the one that takes a bit more practice, but really not that much if you keep doing it for just a week or so. I also find them to be the most beautiful and stylish…. since I am not shopping for purses so much any more, my wrap has become my new accessory of choice!

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