Baby Wearing: How to make it work & 4 reasons why it’s time you ditch that Stroller or Crib
What I have to talk about baby wearing has a little nostalgia to it. NO. My mom didn’t wear me & all I remember about my toddler days is that both my parents took turns carrying me outdoors. Yeah, I was that lazy bum kid who complained that her legs pained on walking. I know, what a liar, right? ;-P
As a 90’s baby, I grew up seeing a stroller & a walker at home. Seldom used by me & well, they lied somewhere in the corner. And then I used them as a pram for my doll kiddies when I became a little older. Whenever I happened to visit India during my holidays, I marveled at how the laborious women masons around construction sites literally wore their babies, almost all the time, with a securely fastened belt made with a saree. They picked up bricks, barrowed cement, carried out all the job & yet could be with the baby throughout. That idea of wearing your baby around your body fascinated me to the core then.
However, today along the Indian sub continent belt (pun intended), there has been a massive shift of baby wearers from the worker class women to the common, modern parents (Gender Equality 🙂 Not just the mother, you see!) And I can gladly say, BABY WEARING is the best thing to happen to millennial parents & is here to stay!
I wore my baby too till she was 1.8 years old. That was when she herself began revolting against the thought of being confined to me in the malls.
Baby wearing has been one of the key aspects of my initial parenting phase & I have only nice things to say about it as weighed against what it could have been with a conventional stroller or a crib to keep pulling my days off with the baby.
Here are 4 strong reasons why I personally recommend a baby carrier or a sling to you over a stroller or a pram.
1. HANDS-FREE but HANDS-ON Parenting
With baby wearing, your child stays clung to you in a carrier or a sling. This keeps your hands off from the job of just holding him/her when you actually have lots of stuff to attend to. So no more aching or stiffened arms after carrying your child for 30 minutes!
At the same time, you don’t need to keep checking on your vulnerable little one every minute to ensure there’s nothing dangerous he or she is surrounded with. I did my mini- laundry tasks in the sink (washing my daughter’s cloth diapers) while wrapping her around me in my sling when she was below 6 months of age. What can I say, mall hopping, evening walks, grocery, outfit shopping etc wouldn’t have been fun without baby wearing!
2. Baby Wearing aids Breastfeeding & better Digestion
Remember everyone telling you to hold the baby upright & let him/her burp after each feed? Why?
To avoid spitting up, gas & colic. Right?
Holding babies upright or letting them be in that position when they’re not resting, sleeping or otherwise interested in crawling to a toy helps food move down their system properly. This prevents bloating & even vomiting.
Plus, what’s more? If you’re baby wearing, you can choose to breastfeed your child conveniently while you’re seated; even when you’re outdoors! I have done that at times & I can tell from my experience that you don’t have to worry about concealing breast while getting the baby to latch properly. The head rest does the job already. Wait, I’ll come to that too.
Seriously, breastfeeding the child when he/she is lying on the back or the sides is much more of a bumpy ride than doing it with the head elevated or the upright position.
3. Baby Wearing complements proper growth
As compared to putting babies in a regular stroller or a walker, which they outgrow really fast, carrying them in a carrier or a sling ensures that their legs do not remain stress-fully folded in a rather forced supine position.
Not just that. When small babies (those who are yet to turn to their sides or roll over on their own) are completely idle either on their bed, crib, stroller or anywhere, they’re helplessly forced to be lying on their back. And for prolonged idle duration, their soft skull is quite likely to tend to flatten at the back. Or even flattened sides, which can look odd given that they were born with a perfectly round head.
Instead, when you carry your child in a carrier which has a proper & firm headrest, this tendency is what you can totally steer clear from.
Unlike in a stroller, your baby’s legs are allowed to dangle firmly or comfortably around your waist when you can also support the buttocks. This can really prevent the baby’s legs from resembling a bow shape; or what many call as frog legs.
4. More Bonding, Less Crying
What do you call the most unnerving part about babies?
When they cry their lungs out helplessly. Isn’t it? And it gets more flustering because you presumably can’t figure out the reason.
Babies naturally root for that cozy warmth of a human that they subconsciously miss after being out of the womb. Carrying your baby the normal way or in a sling ensures exactly the same comfort of a warm & assuring presence of yours. The feeling of being wanted & attended to just makes them happy. And they cry very less in comparison to times when they’re bored all alone having spent a lot of time without you, when you’re busy
Now, as much I recommend baby wearing, I’d suggest you to pick your carrier or sling with a lot of caution, since not all the brands available online & offline guarantee safety & comfort in terms of the robustness, fabric & being worth your money.
How to pick the RIGHT Carrier/ Sling
Make sure the fabric of the carrier is soft & breathable (preferably nothing to do with nylon & similar materials). DO NOT compromise on the fabric on the lookout for a strong & sturdy choice.
Head, Shoulder & Hip Support
If you’re buying a carrier/sling in an offline store, do take your child along with you. Wear him/her into it & see if there’s enough support that the head, hip & shoulders get. For babies who still cannot balance their head on their own, this is extremely important.
When you buy carriers online, go for brands which allow you to exchange the piece should it not fit these conditions for you.
Pay equal attention to the crotch area while selecting the carrier. The crotch part of the carrier must be sufficiently wide & soft. Narrow & hard crotch areas in slings can be horribly rough & painful for the genitalia, especially the scrotum of baby boys.
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Do you love #babywearing too? Just like I look at it as be one of the fondest memories about having my daughter. From 2013 to the later half of 2015, our #babycarrier used to be a favorite ingredient in concocting awesome travel memories. We loved carrying her in the sling so bad that we were perpetually engrossed in cooing & babbling back to her as we walked with her clung to us, gazing at our faces & things around her, all comfortable & equally amazed! From then to our super comfortable travel moments today, things have changed. She’s outgrown: The BABY CARRIER?? Her CLOTHES ?& WATER BOTTLES ?(I wouldn’t say that about her lunch boxes though!?) But what remains the same even today, is her amazement that’s now manifested with hundreds of non stop questions!? I still look at using #babycarrier & #babysling a hassle free & hands on fun we had during the initial parenting phase☺ NO aching arms, strained backs & breaking necks!? Did you #babywear your child too? I’d love to know about your experience too!? WATCH OUT FOR MY UPCOMING POST ABOUT #babywearers & being one! #babywearingmama #babysling #babycarriers #wearyourbaby #mombloggers #indianmoms #mommyblogger #momblog #bangaloremoms #kolkol #kolkolbabycarrier #modernmom #instamoms
As long as I was baby wearing, I have used both, a sling from Soul Slings that I used for not more than 8-9 months & the local one that you see in the image above. My friends who had kids a little later than me have also sworn by the Kol Kol Baby Carrier. They have a trust worthy range that you can find here & here.
Children outgrow things REALLY FAST!
So, when you go for a sling or a carrier for carrying your baby in, always look for what you can easily budget WITHOUT COMPROMISING over the quality of the above mentioned points about buying the RIGHT one.
Try to buy a piece that you can expect to use for a longer yet comfortable period of time. My baby wasn’t a really bulky one, so I could conveniently use only 2 of them – a sling for 8 to 9 months & then a proper carrier of exactly this type by LuvLap almost around the same price range.
Disclaimer – This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase by clicking through the link, I make a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. If you do, I’m grateful. And I only recommend products or services that I’ve personally used, experienced & found useful myself. You may know more here in my full disclosure.
Here are some DONT’s about BABY WEARING that you ALWAYS need to take special care of.
Do you also love baby wearing or have some wonderful things to share about your experience doing that? Do tell me more in the comments. 🙂