Babywearing: Is It For You?
Babywearing or carrying your baby or toddler is common practice in many parts of the world. It was also common in Western countries for many centuries. However, over the last several decades we've shifted away from this practice until very recently.
When I was pregnant with my first, Hadar, we looked into all of the important baby gear that we would need. One of my cousins used a baby carrier with her boys and suggested I use the same brand. I thought buying a baby carrier was a great idea because my hands would be free to do various things around the house, while still holding the baby. The nice thing about using a baby carrier is that it can be used in places that are difficult for a stroller (hiking, using the stairs, etc.) One word of caution- make sure to find a baby carrier that cradles the baby and holds their hips in proper position to prevent hip dysplasia. *For more information, check out the International Hip Dysplasia Institute website.
Benefits of babywearing:
-People won't touch your baby as much because they're tucked in close to you. It's much easier for people to touch your baby when they're in a stroller.
-Aids with breastfeeding. While wearing baby mothers can pick up hunger signs more easily.
-Allows for proper development of cranium, spine, and postural muscles. Babies who spent a lot of time in swings, carseats, and on their backs can develop deformities in their heads and spine.
-Soothes baby. I've found that both Hadar and Oz cried less when they were in the carrier. The movement babies feel in the carrier is similar to movement in the womb.
-Regulates pysiological functions. When babies are close to caregivers, they can more easily regulate body temperature, breathing, and heart rate).
Personally, I like the cloth wraps for smaller babies up to 6 months old. I have heard great things about the Moby Wrap. I use the Boba wrap which is similar to the Moby and I love it! The wrap is a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around your torso and over both shoulders.
After 6 months or if I am doing something more strenuous, I use a more structured carrier. Structured carriers are made of padded material with shoulder straps and buckles. I used the Infantino carrier with Hadar, but I have since bought the Ergobaby carrier; the organic one. While the Ergobaby is more expensive, I really like it much better for babywearing. In my opinion it is much more comfortable to wear than the Infantino. I also find it much easier to put on than the Infantino.
If you're looking into babywearing, but not sure where to start there are babywearing groups all over. Of course, you can also ask other moms which one(s) they use. You can buy them online or in a store. It may help to test a few out before picking the right one for you.
Have you tried babywearing? Which carrier did you choose?