Tuesday, June 29, 2010


here is a contest going on to win one of my favorite baby carriers, a Boba Organic 2G Baby Carrier. (See Boba here: http://www.bobababycarrier.com/) And see contest here: http://raveandreview.com
Which reminded me that I wanted to blog about babywearing.

First, let me explain what babywearing ever is.

Babywearing is the act of using a carrier to keep your baby with you and close to you. It does not have to be all the time, 24 hours a day, (Yet some pretty much do) it can be as simple as using a carrier instead of a stroller when you go out. There are many many benefits to babywearing.

  • Babies that are frequently worn in a carrier, cry less. You have to imagine, baby was inside your body for nine months. They fell asleep listening to your heartbeat and breathing. They were used to your body heat. Some people say even your smell. Obviously, being snug against your body is going to be very comforting.
  • Its been shown that babies that have failure to thrive or premature babies benefit greatly from babywearing because being against your chest helps to teach them the body's proper rhythm.
  • It is good for baby's mental development. Babies spend more time in a state called, "quiet alert' which is the perfect state for learning. The senses of the the baby are being stimulated while carried. The baby can see the world from your point of view as well as you! They see your face, see what you are interacting with, looking at etc.
  • Baby's emotional development is better when they are carried as well. They develop a sense of security quickly when they are carried close.
  • It creates a stronger bond and sense of attachment. Babies frequently carried develop a stronger bond and sense of attachment to their caregivers but it also helps Mom with things like PPD.
  • Want to get something done but baby wants you near? Walla! Hands free while still keeping baby close and happy.
  • Those clunky awkward steering strollers are not needed while babywearing. You are free to walk around a store without trying to steer the stroller and keep it from bumping into racks and displays.

There's many many more. But that should give you the overall. ;-)

So, why else do I not like strollers?
First the big issue I have is not with the stroller itself but it really starts with those baby 'carrier' carseats that attach to the strollers. They are bulky, impossible to comfortably "Carry" and they are unsafe. Furthermore, even seen a mom trying to lug that thing around and bump it into at least three different things before she even makes it to the store to sit it in the cart? ha, Yeah, I have.

Why car seat carriers are dangerous:
  • Babies are not at the proper angle while the car seat is out of the base that is installed in the car putting them in a position that can cause positional asphyxiation. See this article: (http://tinyurl.com/2axml6v)
  • Using the car seat carrier in a shopping cart is dangerous.
  • Placing it in those baskets can result in it slipping off if not clicked on properly. (I've also seen people do it in shopping carts that obviously were not even meant for them at all. Even though I don't think any are really properly designed for it)
  • Many babies have fallen out altogether because the caregiver unstraps them. (Which you just shouldn't do period)
  • It can cause the cart to get top heavy and topple right over. I know this seems far fetched but I have seen this in person!
  • The use of a carrier car seat for extended periods hinders infant mobility control.
  • It also can cause 'flat spots' in the skull
  • New studies are showing that the straps on infant seats actually keep the chest from fully expanding to the point that a deep breath can be taken.
  • Any many more as noted in the other links in this post
Strollers are a side argument. I don't like the stroller because it is so impersonal. I don't want my baby strapped into a big bulky device where I can not even see her. I can not interact with her. She can not interact with me or see what is going on. (She sees knees and the bottom of displays, racks, whatever) The child can not learn about their world this way. Where are you when you would use a stroller? Out and about obviously and that is where your child has new things to look at and learn about! Why take that away from them? None the less, they are so bulky and such a pain!
Okay, so we've established we don't want to use the infant carrier to take baby to the grocery, right? So, then now what? The stroller? Okay, great, it's safe. Maybe pretty comfortable. But now what? Can you push the stroller and shopping cart? hmm, no. Maybe you could bring someone with you? Pack the groceries around the baby? haha
Perfect answer would be babywearing! (On a side bonus, if baby gets fussy while out shopping, you can nurse pretty discreetly in most carriers as well!)

So there's my arguments for babywearing.

Now, what options do you have to choose?
There's a lot of different kinds of proper, safe baby carriers. We have several. Don't mind the pictures but I'll tell you about what we have. (So far, haha)

This is our Moby wrap. (www.mobywrap.com)
We were even nursing in that picture. This falls into a "Stretchy Wrap" category. These types of carriers are great for the newborn stage. After about 15-20 pounds the material can sag and start to give a little too much which can cause the baby to slip out. So no using past a few months. (Moby advertises up to 30-40 pounds I think... but it is unsafe, don't do it!)

Here we are using our Woven Wrap:
This is a Storchenwiege in Anna.
A woven wrap is made of a very sturdy woven material and can be used, well, pretty much forever. I've seen people carrying around 5-6 year olds in a woven. They can be used for front carries like I am doing in the picture, or hip carries, and even back carries. (Which I am just not brave enough for yet, I want her where I can see her still!)
Even my older daughter loves the woven:
And they are so comfy. It distributes the weight evenly so your back or shoulders do not get sore. By far my favorite type of carrier.

We have two structured carriers:
A Beco:
Which I love Love Love!
And an Ellaroo Mei Hip: (Well actually I just sold this one)
*This is a BAD babywearing picture though. Hip carrying should not be done until baby has better head control. I was using it for the picture.

I adore structured carriers for just a quick "pop in". However, there are many many bad structured carriers out there. The Bjorn is the most widely seen and bought but it is bad bad bad! A good carrier is going to scoop baby's bottom and have a very wide base so the baby is 'seated' versus 'dangling' by the crotch. My normal rule is that if it advertises a front forward facing carry (Where baby is faced out toward the world) it is probably a bad carrier. That position is terrible for baby's spine and hips.

We also have a few ring slings which I have been sewing myself. (After lots of research on how to do it properly)



These are the best for just keeping in your car for when you have to just 'run in' somewhere real quick. They are great for those quick trips. Though they can be used for longer periods if made and worn correctly they should be very comfortable. I just prefer my woven wraps for longer trips. On a plus, they are the easiest to nurse in.

Well, more to come on this later. But here are some other wonderful resources on Babywearing:

Structured Carriers I Like:
Boba www.bobababycarrier.com
Beco www.becobabycarrier.com
Ergo www.ergobabycarrier.com

Stretchy Wraps:
Moby www.mobywap.com
SleepyWrap www.sleepywrap.com

Woven Wraps:
Storchenwiege www.storchenwiege.com/

Ring Slings
Sleeping Baby Productions www.sleepingbaby.net
Sweet Pea www.sweetpearingslings.com
Sakura Bloom http://www.sakurabloom.com/

This article is so amazing at explaining why certain types of carriers are better than others and why wearing baby in an upright position is so important, amongst other things.

Second is who I would refer to as the Goddess of Babywearing: http://betterbabywearing.blogspot.com/2010/03/babyweaing-overload.html there's nothing I could say that isn't already covered in those two places

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