“It’s like people have evolved to not have arms!” That was my moms opinion after our trip through a big box baby store at the beginning of my first pregnancy. We both couldn’t believe all of the contraptions invented to hold babies when the best baby holding gadget are our own two arms. I’m not downplaying the existence of bouncy chairs and infant swings by any means. Those things allowed me to take showers, carry a load of laundry to the washing machine and all sorts of other things to keep my life in functioning order. However its just so important to hold your baby!
Research has shown that babies who are held and carried as much as possible during their first year of life get all of their ‘touch needs’ well met and are much less clingy and overly dependent. They also cry much less and grow up to become happier, more social, independent and even more intelligent than babies who were left in these so called baby holding contraptions. Isn’t that interesting? I personally liked how peaceful my baby was when I wore him in our wrap and how he’d fall asleep so naturally in it.
When my oldest was born, four years ago, I only knew about the Baby Bjorn, but I rarely used it because it put such a strain on my shoulders and back. Then I tried one of those huge backpack carriers from an outdoor store and that wasn’t much better. Not only was it not comfortable, but the darn thing was so big and bulky.
When I was 38 weeks pregnant with my second son I did a little research on babywearing and a whole new world opened up to me. I learned that I wasn’t the only mom fed up with the Bjorn and there were a vast amount of more comfortable options for wearing your baby.
Here are my three favorite ways to wear a baby. The fantastic part about all three of these carriers is that you can wear your baby on your front or on your back!
This is the first method I tried and the most comfortable. This is the type I read about when I was at the end of my pregnancy and I was so excited about it, I immediately ran to the fabric store to make one. For $16 and an hour spent hemming, I had two wraps! That’s $8 per wrap! This was without a doubt the most comfortable way to wear your baby. It does take a little more time to put on than the next two I’m about to tell you about, but it’s worth the effort if you are about to go on a walk or out shopping or somewhere where you need to hold your baby for a long time. It holds the baby tight to your body without feeling restricting. I would wear him in the forward cross wrap position and my son would instantly fall asleep in it when he was an infant and sometimes I’d honestly forget I was even wearing him. As he got older I tried out the different types of ways to carry him both on my side and on my back.
- How to Make a No Sew Wrap
- How to Make a Wrap - that’s me and my son in the picture!
- Videos on How to Wear Your Baby in a Wrap
- How to Wear Your Wrap - this is my favorite way to wear my little one
- Where to buy a Moby Wrap Baby Carrier-12 Colors with 2 New Limited Colors!
The Mei Tai
After my son got to be about six months old, I made a mei tai, also known as an asian baby carrier or a.b.c. This automatically became my next favorite baby carrier. While its not quite as comfortable as the Wrap, its faster to put on. You can easily wear your baby on your front or back. To this day, at two plus years old, this is my favorite way to get around the Farmers Market or stores with narrow aisles.
- How to Make a Mei Tai
- Beth’s Instructions for Making a Mei Tai with a Head Support (these are the instructions I used to make mine)
- A Gorgeous Example of a Handmade Soft Structered Carrier (similar to a mei tei)
- Where to Buy a Mei Tai
The Ergo Carrier
I didn’t have the fortune to try one of these until about a year ago. Its modeled after a Mei Tai, but clips together instead of ties, so its even easier to put on. I like it when I first tried it, but became sold on it when my four year old decided on our weekly walk that he wasn’t going to walk another step. Luckly my girlfriend who I was walking with, offered to let me use her Ergo. I ended up carrying my 4 year old five blocks in that Ergo carrier. And, it was actually very comfortable! I would recommend this carrier to anyone. It is expensive, but capable of carrying many children for many years.
Since I learned how to wear my baby my life became so much easier. I was able to snuggle and bond with my baby while having two hands free. A win-win situation! The best part is that I didn’t have to lug around bulky strollers and car seat contraptions everywhere we went. I could just fold up the soft cotton carrier and put it into our glove compartment. After more than two years of wearing my baby, I can tell you that just as the study says he is an independant little boy, who loves to socialize with his friends. And maybe it is just mothers pride, but he is pretty darn intelligent, if you ask me.
Here’s a few other moms who wear there babies:
- Soulemama’s Mei Tai, her sling, and another view of her mei tai
- Julie with her ERGO
- Stephanie Answers Babywearing Questions
- Whitney Conquers Nursing in a Sling. Bravo!
- Babywearing International Awards
Do you wear your baby? Send me a link to your baby wearing blog post and I’ll add you on!