I first attempted babywearing when I had my son 13 years ago. As a teenage mom, I didn’t know very much about it except that I could place my baby in a pouch instead of actually carrying him. My older sister introduced me to the New Native Baby Carrier. My sling was khaki colored and I used it a few times with my son. I loved the sling and I thought it was cool, but I really had no idea what I was doing. I remember wearing him in Walmart once when he was really little and an employee asked me if I had a cat inside of it.
Fast forward to nine years later when I had my daughter – babywearing had actually become trendy! YouTube taught me a lot about babywearing. Some of my favorite babywearing YouTube moms are BabywearingFaith, WrappingRachel, and Wrapyouinlove.
Our local Babywearing International chapter has a lot of slings, wraps, and soft structured carriers you can borrow and try on to see which carrier works best for you and your baby. They also have certified babywearing educators who can assist you at their meetings.
My personal favorite wrap that I tried out is the Tekhni brand. I have big babies and the Tekhni wraps with Repreve in them hold my babies the best. My favorite soft structured carrier is the Kinderpack with the Tula as a close second. The KP is my top favorite because my kids are big and the KP felt like it had more support for a child who was in the 95th percentile for her weight and height.
While I love babywearing for so many reasons, here are the top three ways it has made my life easier as a mother…
My daughter was a full term NICU baby. She was born on her due date but had some birth complications. I could not hold her until she was 15 hours old. She also refused to breastfeed and my milk never came in because of the birth trauma to my body. Her head actually broke my tailbone during her exit. It took six months for my tailbone to heal and it was difficult to even hold my daughter.
With her attached to my torso, it was much easier on my tailbone than actually holding her in my arms. I didn’t get those moments after birth of bonding with my daughter. I didn’t get to bond with her while breastfeeding. But I did get to bond with her while I wore her. Thankfully, I was able to wear her for two and a half years. She still wants me to wear her but she is 40+ pounds so we just give cuddles and snuggles now.
Have you ever tried to clean with a mobile toddler or a newborn? It was so much easier on me being able to wash dishes with my 10 month old wrapped on my back than crawling around my living room where I couldn’t see her. I have also cooked dinner with her on my back several times. Crying baby or toddler needing to be held by mama? There’s a baby carrier for that! Keep in mind it is advised baby needs to be able to sit unassisted before you attempt to wear them on your back – unless you are an experienced babywearer.
By the time my daughter was four or five months old, she was way too heavy for me to tote around in a car seat carrier. Obviously a four or five month old cannot sit unassisted in a shopping cart. What’s a busy mom of four to do? Babywearing to the rescue! From the time my daughter was four or five months old until she was 2 1/2 years old, I almost always wore her while shopping. I also preferred wearing her than putting her in a buggie because of all of the germs and possible accidents that can happen.
It’s International Babywearing Week! An annual outreach event sponsored by Babywearing International, this week-long opportunity is designed to celebrate, promote, advocate for, and focus media attention on the many benefits of babywearing.
Babywearing has been a lifesaver for me and now that I am pregnant again – guess what the first thing I bought for the new baby was? A new wrap! Now that I am more of an experienced babywearer, I am so excited to wear my newborn baby!