Of course, being pregnant, I'm totally pumped thinking about wearing our next baby. Today a fellow blogger and friend, Rosey, asked if I would post about babywearing. Definitely!!!!
|Gurumama Ring Sling|
~Babies who are worn cry less! Research has shown that babies who are worn more than three hours a day cry 43% less overall, and 54% less during the evening hours!
Now, you might think, 'Well, of course they don't cry, you're spoiling them!!". But I beg to differ. If a baby knows that they are cared for, loved, and Mommy will attend to their needs right away, they will definitely cry less! They need that security. I'm not saying I'm an expert at actually doing this, but I can agree with it 100%.
~It's good for baby's mental and emotional development. Babies spend more time in a "quiet, alert state" when carried--the ideal state for learning. When carried, your baby experiences the world from where you do, instead of at knee-level from a stroller. Furthermore, research shows that carried babies are more likely to develop a strong sense of security and trust, and often become independent at an earlier age.
~It's good for baby's physical development. Research shows that carrying babies helps newborns (especially premature babies) to adapt to life outside the womb. By being so close to mama's body rhythms (heartbeat, breath, voice and warmth), newborns find their "rhythm" much more quickly.
There are also many benefits for the mother, just so you don't think this is all about the baby :)
~It frees mama's hands! Unfortunately, parents' responsibilities don't stop when the new baby arrives. By wearing the baby in a carrier, you are free to clean the house, prepare meals, tend to another child, shop, or attend a party, while keeping baby happy and well-rested at the same time. With a carrier, baby's, parents', and siblings' needs can be met simultaneously.
~It's a simpler alternative! Wearing your baby allows you to run errands, travel on a bus or subway, eat out and enjoy the outdoors without the hassle of a stroller. No longer do you have to struggle through doorways, crowds, or up and down stairs!
~Nurse your baby on the go! Newborns like to eat frequently. Many new mothers feel a bit tied down. "Baby-wearing" allows you to nurse discreetly, hands-free, while playing with older siblings, shopping, preparing meals, or socializing.
~It's a gift to the whole caregiving family! Father, older siblings, grandparents, and babysitters now have a powerful tool with which to comfort and bond with the baby.
So that's a long list of benefits, and I would venture to say that it is not limited to these. Each mother will have her own experiences to add.
When I share a presentation, I usually after share the background information, and maybe some real life stories, and then I go into the types of carriers and how they are used.
First of all, many of you probably have Snugglys or Baby Bjorn type carriers. Can I ask you an honest question? Do you find yourself more frustrated than anything, trying to get it comfortable, and actually be hands free?
The problem with these carriers is that they don't properly support the baby, or you! The baby's weight is not distributed evenly over your torso, which causes major pressure points, limiting the time you can actually wear your baby.
The baby also suffers in these carriers due to the fact that their growing spines are not supported by the carrier. They are sitting there, legs dangling, in a very uncomfortable position. Their backs are bone straight, and this does not promote healthy spine development!
So while these carriers have become widely popular, they don't necessarily have a great success rate.
Instead, I would like to offer you the following suggestions.
These carriers are easy to use, very portable and are for the most part a one size fits all. They are great from newborn to toddler, though I found with Bria that my shoulder got sore pretty quickly as she got heavier.
Some favorite brands include:
Lil Peeper Keepers - Made from strong, yet lightweight, natural fabrics like linen, tencel, and silk, these are gorgeous, well-made slings. I own one, and it's very tempting to order another, in a different color, lol.
Micki's Wing - This was my first ring sling, and I loved it!! Sadly, I passed it on to a friend. Micki is also a blogging friend, and she's a really fun, crafty, BUSY mom. So, for now, that means that her shop is closed :( But maybe, if you send her a really sweet message, she'll whip up a sling for you :)
The Sling Sisters - Actually, now that I think of it, this would be my favorite! These two sisters are amazing!! They custom make each pouch to fit the wearer, and they take their job seriously. Love them! I've met them in person too, and I highly recommend them!
Gurumama - These are very high quality, beautiful pouches. I got to try one out for a while, and it was really really nice! Gorgeous.
|Homemade Scandi Mei Tai|
Kozy Carrier - These are the 'original' if you will. They started it all in the US anyway. They have a fairly large body, and a padded headrest. A favorite of many!
Babyhawk - Probably the most popular Mei Tai out there. Available in fun prints and colors, very customizable. Really nice headrest as well. I would love to try one of these out someday!
Soft Structured Carriers
Obviously not everyone will love every type of carrier, and that's OK! If you have one that you love, then use it. And I must mention too, that it is possible to make your own carrier, which makes babywearing even more economical! I have made many, and in fact, most of mine have been handmade. From a simple piece of cloth, to an elaborate Mei Tai, use your imagination! For some great sewing instructions, check out Jan Andrea.
Whew. Now that was a post!
*Updated August 2012*