These days, my favourite accessory is my baby.
I love wearing Lyddie.
Different people have different reasons for baby wearing. I wear my baby because she is content when I am wearing her and wearing her makes my life easier.
Baby wearing makes your baby happy.
There is an abundance of literature on why baby wearing is good for your baby. One study even found that there is in inverse relationship between the number of hours a baby spends crying and the number of hours a baby is held.
I think that, especially in those first three or so months when your baby is adjusting to life outside the womb, baby wearing simply helps them feel secure. You are their everything. You are their source of food and their source of comfort. They want you (and your boobs) to be constantly close to them and baby wearing is the best way to convince them that you (and your boobs) aren’t going anywhere!
As your baby grows, they start learning language and social cues from you. Baby wearing allows them to be a part of the action, to observe all that is happening around them while still feeling secure and able to nestle in if it all becomes too stimulating and they need a rest.
Baby wearing makes your life easier.
You have use of your hands!
With your hands freed up, you can play with your other children, do your grocery shopping, fold some laundry, live your life!
I often wear Lyddie in the house. I especially love to pop her in a carrier while I am preparing dinner…I will talk to her and it is as if I am hosting my very own cooking show!
I almost always wear her when we are leaving the house. If we are going on an adventure, we can easily hop on the bus to the city, in the carrier she is somewhat protected from the masses, from the sun or from the rain, and I don’t have to wrangle a pram on public transport. Wearing her makes errands easier too. I find popping her into a carrier more manageable than lugging an infant capsule around or trying to manoeuvre the pram in and out of shops. Even when I do head out with her in the pram, I also have a carrier in the basket just in case!
I think the more you wear your baby, the more addicting it is.
Their little bodies are made to snuggle against yours…there is nothing sweeter than your baby asleep on your chest and baby wearing allows for that to happen and for you to still get things done!
And, after you are addicted to baby wearing, you get addicted to baby carriers.
I have three.
And I use each for different situations.
I tend to wear my structured carrier, an Ergo 360, when I am out with both Charlie and Lyddie. The straps and buckles give a sense of security and I like feeling that, if I needed to, I could run after Charlie, climb a jungle gym, or traipse down to a creek bed and Lydia wouldn’t budge.
But if I am out with just Lyddie or if we are at home, I prefer a soft carrier like the Caboo*. Made of organic cotton, the wrap style of the Caboo means no thick straps or buckles. And I think that makes it more comfortable for Lyddie…the Caboo never leaves pressure marks on her legs and her face never gets smooshed into a thick seam or fastening. Also I have found that if I sit down while wearing the Ergo, she wakes whereas she seems able to more easily adjust herself and go back to sleep when I sit down while wearing the Caboo.
I also have a ring sling, a Sakura Bloom, that I found difficult to use when she was a newborn. Now that she has better head control I have been experimenting with it but I am still learning to trust it.
If you are thinking about baby wearing, here is some advice.
Try as many slings, soft carriers, and structured carriers as you can before committing to buying one. If you have friends who will let you borrow theirs for a few hours, practice using them with a doll or a teddy bear, see which you find easy to use and which you find sit well on your shoulders and across your back. Get your partner to try them too. I would highly recommend getting a carrier that your partner is comfortable using too…that way you don’t have to do all the carrying!
Like most things, when you are initially learning how to use them, baby carriers can seem overly difficult. This is especially true if you are desperate to settle your baby and you are trying your carrier for the first time with a cranky, crying baby! But stick with it, continue to practice with a doll, and try your carrier when your baby is happy. Most carriers come with written instructions and some come with a DVD or refer you to YouTube. If your partner is around, get them to help you by reading the instructions or playing and pausing the video for you. Practice in front of a mirror so you can see what you are doing right and what might be leading you astray. YouTube and baby wearing Facebook groups can be great resources. And if you are in Brisbane, it is worth paying a visit to Nest Nappies…they will watch you use your carrier and give you some pointers.
Take heart in the fact that everyone finds it challenging at first, but learning how to wear your baby will make your baby happy and your life easier!
Do you wear your baby?
What do you love most about it?
*The Caboo carrier was gifted to me by Close Parent and Nest Nappies.
I am thrilled to partner with them to bring you a few posts that feature their products and that hopefully provide you with helpful mothering advice.