Our Baby wearing journey probably began like a lot of families; we had heard it was good for baby, and thought it looked cute . So we dutifully bought one of those stretchy style wraps. However, the reality wasn’t like the pictures on the box. It felt like impossible origami wrestling a screaming tiny thing into this swathe of fabric. And the few times we successfully tied the thing it didn’t feel secure or comfortable and I was terrified my precious baby would fall straight out or I was damaging her hip joints somehow!
However what pushed us to try again once she got around six months was the fact we were doing long haul travel (AUS to the UK & back) and knew it’d make life much simpler. Fortunately we found a carrier which worked for us (ergo baby 360) . It truly has been invaluable in making day to day life easier. But it when we are traveling it truly comes into its own.
A Baby carrier is my number one travel essential, I recommend to all families who are heading off be that for a day trip or six months round the globe. Buggies have to be left at the departure gate, maneuvered up stairs and busy streets. A carrier can be used to get them to sleep on the plane, to explore the beautiful places you’re visiting and easily packed away once you’re done.
A few things I wish I had known when we started out:
I wish I’d know Baby wearing consultants existed back then. They are very affordable, and typically warm lovely people who care about mums and babies. They can help you find a carrier which is best suited to you and your child and teach you how to use it confidently and comfortably. I remember chatting to a guy from Ghana who couldn’t believe someone would pay £20 to learn to Baby wear. But he grew up in a family where everyone baby wore, in a village where everyone baby wore and here daughters were taught by they mothers and aunties. It’s the same with lactation consultants being necessary. Unfortunately we currently live in a world that has lost its “village” we don’t grow up learning from our peers so it’s necessary to get some specialised assistance mastering new skills and that’s okay. Carrying consultants can also work with special requirements such as carrying with twins, and enabling both parents and children disabilities or specific illness to still enjoy carrying. Zoe has been our lovely Consultant, if you are in the Surrey area, she will come to you. or you can find one nearer to you here.
Contrary to Advertising, the truth is, there’s no such thing as the “best” carrier on the market. It is about finding what’s best fit for you both. Based on your frame, your needs and your baby. You can try before you buy by joining a local sling library-six slings later, I wish I’d known his too!
They aren’t too old for you to start! Preschoolers still be carried safely and comfortably, so if you didn’t start from newborn it’s never too late to start! We are currently using a Toddler Connecta which will pretty much fit for as long as she is happy to be carried!
The TICKS guidelines a good place to start with ensure your carrying safely. I was paranoid about her hips and suffocating her! The reality is it’s quite simple to check that a carrier is safe.
Most of the planet has been baby wearing for centuries, so they’re probably onto something.
Here are seven reasons I think everyone should consider Baby wearing:
It keeps them safe, secure, away from dirty surfaces or germs in busy area, and well meaning strangers poking fingers in their mouthes!
They feel secure, calmer, and consequently more likely to sleep and less likely to cry. Baby wearing has also been show to positively impact factors such as speech and attachment.
Contrary to the suggestion that carrying your child makes them delayed in walking, or makes them clingy and less independent, the truth is the exact opposite. Carrying has been proven to develop their coordination and confidence. And strong attachments lead to confident more independent kids.
It’s easier than a buggy: easier to pack, easier to get around, easier to use on public transport. Not to mention cheaper!
It’s a great source of postnatal exercise. A well fitted carrier is far kinder on your back than lopsidedly in one arm or hunched over a pram. And the additional weight burns calories, and provides a gentle way to lose weight post baby if that’s what you’re aiming for.
It’s a great way for Fathers to bond with their child (and of that gives Mothers a break even better!)
It can support Breastfeeding, both practically in positioning and physiologically by promoting milk production
It makes my life easier, give me my hands free and stops the whinging. I can cook, I can walk the dogs, I can get round the shops. That’s surely the best reason of all.