Babywearing, and how it has improved our lives

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Kid Stuff | 0 comments

Babywearing pretty much means that I really “wear” my baby. This is essentially having your baby somehow attached onto your body.  I’m pretty sure women have been doing this forever. I have to wear Sirenita because she demands it. I am so thankful that I found some babywearing tools that are comfortable all day. A lot of people have heard of Bjorn and Moby, and maybe even Ergo, but there is a whole GIANT world of babywearing options out there that goes way beyond these. My early babywearing experiences were not great. I learned a lot and wore PrincessSpitfire and Sirenita, and it has been so wonderful.

My favorite are “German Style Woven Wraps.”  There are many different brands – Didymos, Storchenwiege, Vatanai, Natibaby, Neobulle, Bebina, Heartiness, Uppymama, Oscha, BBSlen, Wrapsody (used to be Gypsy Mama and is also commonly called Bali Breeze or GMBB)…it goes on and on.

There are also ring sling brands, such as Maya Wrap, Comfy Joey, Psling, Sakura Bloom, and lots of wrap sling conversions made from the woven wrap makers. Sleeping Baby Productions does those in different styles and everyone has their personal preference for the shoulder style and tail length.

Anyway, a stretchy wrap like a Moby (or a Sleepywrap or “Boba Wrap”) is pretty nice when you have a newborn and the weather is cool. They’re longer than most non-stretchy woven wraps, usually wider, and almost always hotter, so that turns some people off to wrapping. Woven wraps are really different and (I think) are much nicer. A woven wrap can support a heavy toddler, can be much cooler and shorter, and allows you to carry your baby on your back or hip safely. There are so many different carries. I learned most of mine on Youtube.

I started out with a Moby and did what’s called “Front Wrap Cross Carry.” Then I quickly moved on to woven wraps. The “Front Cross Carry” was easiest for me because you can put the wrap on, then take the baby in and out without having to re-tie.

EARLY BABYWEARING EXPERIENCES

My early experiences with babywearing were pretty terrible. With TheBarbarian I had a Bjorn. When TheBarbarian hit 10 pounds, which I think was at like three weeks old, the Bjorn became SO UNCOMFORTABLE. Take two sacks of flour and dangle them from your shoulders by two narrow straps. Yeah, it felt like that. I had a horrible bag sling which got recalled, too. And a hip hammock. All of it was so uncomfortable that I gave up. I’d heard of Ergo but they seemed soooo expensive and I thought it wouldn’t be better than the Bjorn (wrong).

After I had PrincessSpitfire, I decided to try babywearing again. We are busy people, and our babies are the type who like to be entertained. I was too cheap to buy a woven wrap at first, and there are no stores near me that carry them. I tried with a bedsheet, which was ridiculous and made me decide that wrapping was not going to be for me. I found a Bjorn-like contraption in a second-hand store and tried it. It was fine until the baby hit 10 pounds, and then was horrible. Then, at Target, I chanced upon a clearance pouch sling and tried it out. It was great! Who would ever have believed that a simple o-shaped piece of cloth could be so comfortable? I carried that crabby little PrincessSpitfire around with me everywhere! She wasn’t crabby! She smiled at everyone in her little Buddha-baby froggy-legged position! We made our first family-of-four-overnight-trip when we went to the ComicCon in Chicago. We brought our sit n stand, but we realized within five seconds that there was no way that ANY stroller would fit through the crowd. I carried 4-month-old PrincessSpitfire around all day in the pouch. I got a lot of stares, and PrincessSpitfire stared right back. I hadn’t been sure how long I could carry her like that, but it turned out to be ok and I made it through the day.

It was around this age that she learned to tell people, “Hi!” Which is pretty shocking coming from a 4 month old. People said “Hi” to her all the time as she rode around like that, so she was hearing that word pretty often at the time.

When PrincessSpitfire was 11 months old we took a trip to Disney World, and I knew the pouch sling wouldn’t be enough for a week at Disney World. You can’t bring a stroller in line, and PrincessSpitfire was not walking at all. I bought an Ergo Performance and figured it was just part of the cost of the trip. It was fantastic! I wore her all the time and it saved our arms and backs in line. Ergo-type carriers are called “Soft Structured Carriers,” and there are many brands from which to make your informed choice. I continued to use the Ergo at home, even after PrincessSpitfire was walking.

I got some woven wraps when PrincessSpitfire was a year and a half, and I started using them then. The woven wraps have been a lifesaver for me, trying to work and watch a baby at the same time. Wearing Sirenita to work all day at my office was such a peaceful way for us to spend her first year of life.

Babywearing - A DIY Mei Tai Pattern with Padded to Wrap Straps
Bringing Baby To Work

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