I first heard about babywearing when I became a mother almost eight years ago. I knew there were many benefits to carrying my baby close to me. The top benefits that really drew me in were: the baby crying less, constant interaction, and convenient hands-free movement.
I tried slings, pouches, and front carriers. I had limited success with each one. Either my daughter was really fussy — I thought, isn’t the baby supposed to cry less? — or my back would really hurt at the end of the day. Frustrated, I put away my carriers and stuck to toting them around in their car seat and strollers during outings. Then Amani came along and changed my babywearing experiences completely.
Miss Amani hates her car seat. She is just not a fan at all. Unlike her sisters who used to sit contently and quietly in their seats while running errands, Amani screams and wails. I knew I had to venture back into babywearing for the sake of her happiness and my sanity. From my own experience, I knew that the slings and pouches weren’t my thing. I just couldn’t confidently use them safely. With Zaynab, I nixed my front carrier for a face-to-face carrier, as I read that it’s much better for baby’s development. However, I felt it still wasn’t the best choice for Amani. She was still so young and quiet tiny.
I polled readers on Little Life of Mine’s Facebook page about their favorite style of carrier. It was almost unanimous that a wrap was best for newborn to six months. I went ahead and ordered my wrap and anxiously awaited its arrival. Unfortunately, it wasn’t love at first sight. I was put off by the length of the fabric, around 15 feet long! Of course I knew this before ordering, but it feels like so much more in person. Either way, I did what I needed to do for the sake of Amani. I used it during all of my outings with her. She seemed to really like it while she was sleeping. However, when she was awake, she didn’t enjoy being confined. I should have known this already. She’s my only daughter that really disliked being swaddled as a baby.
I decided to give my face-to-face carrier another go now that she’s a little bigger. From the very first outing, I noticed a huge difference! She enjoyed this carrier way more and so did I! I loved that we were both still reaping the benefits of babywearing in a way that was comfortable for each of us. Amani was able to wiggle her arms and legs. She has a tendency to sweat a lot which I noticed didn’t happen as much with this carrier. I loved that it was so much easier to take on and off for nursing.
I really do love babywearing. Baby kisses have increased tenfold with her so close to me. Certainly that makes us both happy! It’s like being able to cuddle her all day and still be productive. As a mama with a newborn and a toddler, I love that I can baby-wear and use the stroller for Zaynab. It makes my errands run so much smoother when I have both of my babies close, comfortable, and safe.
It took a while to figure out how to make babywearing work for me, but now that I did, it’ll carry me through the rest of my baby rearing days.
Do you baby-wear?