Babywearing Saved My Life

Blog written last year, edited today.

Ok not really, but it feels like it!  Instead of having a constantly upset baby screaming by herself on the play mat during the moments I inevitable can’t hold her, I had a peaceful baby warming my perpetually chilly person this time last year.  This year, I still wear Penny on occasion as she needs – usually whenever she’s teething and certainly many times when I’m running errands.

These are just about all the pictures I have of babywearing with Maisy and Penny.  Penny is at the top and then it’s Maisy.  I love that even our families embraced the babywearing.

Babywearing 101

What is babywearing?

The term babywearing is used to describe the age old method of carrying babies around on your person using cloth carriers.  The art is making a comeback in the west right now though the rest of the world has used this method of baby carrying for centuries.

Why do I like babywearing?

Babywearing is abundantly beneficial to both parent and child. Studies show that a child who is worn is generally calmer because all their primal and survival needs are met.   My doctor says that a baby’s survival needs cause them to pursue being held as often as possible (in a position to see, hear, smell, and touch their caregiver at all times), babywearing makes that more possible than ever. This kind of quality skin-to-skin contact fosters a strong bond between parent and infant.

The constant motion through babywearing soothes baby while also allowing caregivers to get work – a “hands-free” approach to caregiving.  Sometimes you may even be able to get baby to fall asleep in a carrier or sling and then lay them down to sleep.  I can even nurse my baby while wearing her and getting things done like making dinner – talk about multitasking!

By babywearing when out on errands for example you may also save yourself trips to the chiropractor as it is much kinder to the body than lugging around an infant car seat.

How should I wear my baby?

There are correct and incorrect ways to wear your baby.  The safest way to wear is the front carry with baby’s legs straddling your waist.  This position is ideal for hip joint development in your babe.

Your baby may also be worn on the side or back.  I’ve personally never tried a side carry but the back carry is awesome because it’s even easier to get things done!

Some tips for babywearing safely…

  • Your baby should be high enough up for you to kiss
  • The carrier or sling should be snug at all times
  • Keep baby’s chin off her chest to maintain a clear airway
  • Baby should be in view at all times
  • Support baby’s back and keep her tummy and chest against yours
  • You should not cook or work with sharp objects while babywearing

I am blessed to be a part of a local babywearing FB group that also meets face to face in homes around town once a month.  Perhaps you can find a resource like that too because there’s nothing like learning from an expert how to use carriers and position your baby in the healthiest way possible.  If not, there’s always YouTube.

FAQ about babywearing

Q:  My baby doesn’t like being worn, how do I change this?
A:  Start as young as you can, take some time to sort out which carrier your baby likes best by trying several, and make sure your baby is positioned correctly.  Even factoring in all those pieces you may have to stick it out through some fussing before baby realizes what an awesome thing you’ve introduced him too, both my babies grumbled in a carrier for a week or so and now it’s their favorite place to be!  If he’s fussing on his own it’s better for them to be fussing on you anyways.

Q:  What’s your favorite carrier or sling?
A:  I have a woven wrap, homemade Moby Wrap, a ring sling, an Ergo, a Lilliebaby all seasons carrier, and a BabyBjorn.  The Lilliebaby is my favorite because it offers great back support when front carrying and is my most versatile buckle carrier.  The Moby Wrap is amazing for getting your baby used to babywearing and for the coliky baby.  And I love the ring sling for quick trips and nursing.  So, in short, I pretty much love them all for different reasons!


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