It’s no secret that I L-O-V-E babywearing. Sure, I loved it with my first. But once my second baby (and even my third) were born, babywearing became a lifestyle.
We all know the perks of wearing your baby. Less crying, free hands, amazing bonding, strangers can’t touch them, easing breastfeeding, etc. You don’t have to lug around a carseat or stroller, either! And with other kids in tow, babywearing was a huge lifesaver for me. I could take my older girls to the park, to the library, or to the store with my baby strapped to my chest the entire time. Margot, at 4 months, LOVED to be worn in a wrap or carrier. She was happy as a clam and would be perfectly content hanging out on me all day long if I let her.
If you are curious about babywearing or if you have had babywearing troubles in the past, check out these helpful tips…
1. Find what works. I have tried several different carriers over the years and have whittled my favorites down to three. I have a wrap, a ring sling, and a soft-structured carrier. Some are better for different ages/stages. Some babies prefer certain ones over others. Try them out at baby stores, check one out from a babywearing library, or borrow them from local moms! You have to find what works for you and your babe.
2. Practice. I have heard many mamas say that their baby “hated the sling” or that they just couldn’t “figure it out.” Like any other thing, practice makes perfect. Each carrier takes some getting used to. Make sure to read your instruction manual or watch coordinating videos to get the hold correct. Practice at home several times with and without baby before you take it out in public.
3. Be smart and safe. There are a few basic babywearing tips. Of course, make sure your baby’s airway isn’t blocked. Make sure to never drive or ride a bike while you are wearing your baby. And make sure you and your baby are comfortable.
4. Think ahead. Because wraps are so long, it’s easiest to put it on before you leave the house. That way, you’re not dragging it on the ground in the parking lot, etc. When you arrive at your destination, the wrap is ready to go and you can slip your baby right in!
5. Ask questions. If you are unsure if your baby is in the carrier correctly, ask! If you aren’t sure how to put the babe in the sling, ask! No question is a stupid one. If you don’t have friends to show you how, consider posting in an online forum. There are plenty of places to get knowledgable help from babywearing experts.
6. Stay away from danger. Yes, it’s true that you can get a lot done when you are wearing your little one in a carrier, but be smart. Don’t drink hot coffee. Don’t open a hot stove. Don’t cook something that could splatter, etc. With your little one strapped to your front, be safe!
7. Bend with your knees. I have back issues, so this is something I have to regularly remember. When you are babywearing, make sure to bend down with your knees instead of at your waist. When you bend with your knees, your baby stays in an upright position, and you don’t kill your back.
8. Stay cool. Especially during summer months, babywearing can get a little hot. Be sure to wear a carrier that keeps you and your baby nice and cool. Make sure to stay hydrated when you are wearing your little one in the heat. Make sure baby stays hydrated, too!