Adventures in Babywearing

OK, here's a first stab at a "parenting" blog post. I don't think I have very much new to say, but I'm happy to share what works for us on some topics in case anyone else finds it useful.

Babywearing is a pretty ancient idea that's experiencing a bit of a resurgence. Although that doesn't stop some people from snickering at the term (understandably, I think, but I don't know of a better way to describe it!). It also doesn't stop people from saying "I wish they'd had that when my kids were babies"--yup, there were no long pieces of fabric in the world 10-20 years ago. (I understand this comment more when I'm using a structured carrier, which I'll get to in a minute--but when I've got Evan in a wrap, we're pretty much doing what mothers have been doing from the beginning of time, I think. Strollers are a relatively new invention in human history!)

So a quick overview of what we've tried & liked in babywearing so far. One of the most common ways to start with a newborn is some form of stretchy wrap--a long piece of stretchy knit cotton fabric. We got a Moby wrap and thoroughly enjoyed it in the newborn stage. Both S & I used it quite a lot when Evan was tiny. The carry we're doing there is what the Moby people call the "newborn hug hold". I think the babywearing world calls it a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry. Or something like that. Anyway, when the baby is tiny and just wants to snuggle against you all the time, this is perfect. I got to eat a hot meal pretty much every night for the first several weeks after Evan was born by putting him in the wrap like that. We also took walks, did basic household chores, etc.

Then a few months in my tiny baby had become a big, strong guy and was squirming and pushing and flailing around in there. The stretchy fabric no longer felt so secure, so we knew we needed to try something else. Our wonderful friend Catt came to our rescue by loaning us some of her collection of babywearing options so we could try them out before deciding what we wanted to invest in (another nice thing about the stretchy wraps is the lack of serious investment--I got our Moby on sale for about $25, I think. Paid for itself in peace of mind & happy baby vibes almost instantly! Other babywearing devices are pricier, although most can be located gently used and can also be used for a much longer period of time!).

She loaned us a Mei Tai style carrier (a ToddlerHawk, which apparently I didn't take any very good pictures of) and a woven wrap. The woven wrap is similar to the stretchy one, but the fabric isn't as stretchy so it's a bit more secure with a wiggly or large baby, and it's also not as hot to wear in the summer! I initially used the woven much like the Moby (look! spinning with a baby!), but ventured into other carries soon, including the Secure High Back Carry when I wanted to get stuff done. Overall we found we liked the woven wrap a lot, so we bought our own gently used one.

Since getting my own wrap, I've used it a lot for different back carries. We've settled on "DRS2S" (Double Rebozo Shoulder to Shoulder) as our favourite for now. I also use it for the Front Cross Carry, which is a great "poppable" carry--you can take the baby in & out of the wrap without having to re-tie everything (and which I apparently don't have any pictures of).

The other carrier we have purchased and really enjoy is the Ergo. This has become our go-to carrier for dog walks and errands. It's easy to get on & off compared to the wrap, and very comfortable. It's not quite as cosy as the wrap, so we don't use it as much around the house--but it's so simple to use when we're out. It can also be used for back carries, but it's recommended to not do that until the baby is 6 months so we haven't tried that yet.

So that's a bit of what's worked for us in the world of babywearing. Oh, and if you want to learn more about any of the carries I mentioned, there are lots of videos on YouTube that show how to do them! That's how we learned pretty much everything. And if you want to look for tutorials on how to get the baby onto your back, the method I use is called the "Superman Toss" (it's not as scary as it sounds). There are other options, but this works for us--Evan thinks it's great fun, and I feel safe doing it!

Comments

Catt said…
I'm glad you got use out of my carriers...they certainly came to the rescue when Sydney was little. I love that picture of you spinning with Evan in the Nandu Kendo! (Nandu Wrap)