My son was very small, just 5 lbs when he was born. I wanted to hold him all of the time and keep him close and warm. His stroller being so big and spacious and made him look even smaller — I didn’t like just putting him in there. I had received a baby carrier for my shower, but the minimum weight requirements were for 8 lbs and up. Obviously my little guy was going to fall right through and it didn’t look very snuggly or comfortable.
I didn’t know anything about carrying your baby or the benefits, but a friend had a carrier that was made from t-shirt material and it just wrapped around her and the baby. It was super easy to get on (this one had the straps already made) and she just put her baby in and he slept on her chest. She pulled in the straps to adjust to her needs and presto! Ever since I saw that I wanted one — so I embarked on a baby wearing journey and did so with my Little L, our second child.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have strollers (more than one) but there is something about carrying your baby that gives them added security and let’s be honest here, I LOATHE carrying that heavy and clunky car seat around. In fact, I refuse to do it — I only did it once when I went to the doctor. Since then, I will take my baby out of the car seat and into my baby carrier.
The first 2 months I went shopping that way, went for walks, took my older son to the playground and didn’t have to deal with a car seat or a big stroller. This also allowed me go into the smaller boutiques and cafes where I live which often require you to take the baby out (yeah right!) and leave your stroller outdoors. One woman even said I was “brave” to carry my baby — and I was only sitting at my son’s soccer match not doing very much.
Don’t be afraid to carry your baby — if you want to start, start small. Begin by walking around the neighborhood or when out for a walk at a park. This will let you get a feel for having your baby close and you will quickly learn how to handle it. Remember, there are many kinds of carriers so consider these things first:
1. The age and weight of your child — the younger they are the most likely they will adjust quickly. Make sure you get a carrier that is appropriate for their weight range.
2. Consider carriers that are light and don’t add weight — having a baby on your chest is enough, no need to add more!
3. Multi-purpose — carriers now have pockets for you to keep your keys, phone and wallet and side panels to put a bottle or a cloth in so that you don’t have to carry much around.
4. Baby and beyond — if you plan to carry your child for longer, it would be smart to invest in a carrier that changes and grows with your child. Some can be worn on the back for older children and adjust to meet their leg and arm space needs.
5. A carrier that fits your life — will you be using it more for recreational use or on a daily basis around the house, etc.? Think of your lifestyle and buy a product that meets your needs. Don’t buy something just because it looks fancy.
Don’t forget dad — most of the time, I see men carrying babies. Men tend to be able to handle more weight and your little bundle won’t be much trouble at all! We bought a carrier that my husband could use and we considered a neutral color and pattern so that we could both wear it.
Do you enjoy carrying you baby — what’s your best baby wearing tip?