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Let's Talk Babies!

babywearing

I love babywearing. I did it a lot with Maya when she was a baby, and even as a toddler and still willing to climb in the backpack or sit in the sling. Babywearing is a godsend when you need to have your hands free but your baby needs to be held, I can’t imagine life without a baby carrier. I’ve managed to grocery shop, make a meal, vacuum, go for a walk, write a blog post, all thanks to the wonders of the baby carrier.

I thought I knew the magic of babywearing from my experiences with it when Maya was little but, truly, I don’t think any parent can quite know how awesome it can be until you have more than one child to care for. Being able to throw Anna in my Moby wrap or Ergo carrier has been such a godsend. It has given me the freedom to do things with Maya, and care for Maya in ways I can’t when both my hands are occupied with holding a baby. Plus, I just love the feeling of wearing my baby, it makes me feel so close to her. I love how snuggly she is, the little comfort coos she makes as she lays against my chest. Plus, the added bonus is that she can’t NOT sleep when I put her in the carrier, it pretty much results in instant sleep.

I pretty much wear Anna every where.

Around the house.

Out on our little adventures around town to the zoo, the park, the botanical gardens, the grocery store, the mall, every where.

My piece of advice for any new parent, especially those dealing with a fussy infant who doesn’t want to nap anywhere but on mom or dad, is to invest in a baby carrier of some kind. Trust me, it will be the best baby dollars you spend. I mean what could be better than baby snuggles and both your hands free to do other things that need to get done.

Anna’s closet if filled with carriers of various kinds including front carriers like my ergo and baby bjorn, a moby wrap, and a sling. My favorites are the moby wrap and the ergo. If I need to wear her around the house my go to carrier is the moby wrap. When I wear her around town I usually go for the ergo.

 

Before Maya was born I didn’t know much about babywearing or the various means by which one could carry a baby, I just knew I wanted to do it.  The idea of having my baby close at hand, snuggled in close to me, sounded like exactly what I wanted.  Unfortunately, I didn’t do enough research about the various means of babywearing before Maya was born and instead of purchasing a sling carrier I went with a Baby Bjorn.  Though I loved my Baby Bjorn and used it a ton I really wish I had done more research and had gone with a sling style carrier from the very beginning.  I will know better next time 😉

Maya has spent the better part of her first 3 years on this earth in some sort of carrier, be it the Baby Bjorn, a backpack or the sling style carrier I finally purchased when she turned a year old.  Wearing her has been one of the best decisions I made as a mom.  Wearing her as a baby meant that I was able to tend to her needs more easily and more quickily, and it also meant I could get a few things done around the house when all she wanted was to be carried.  Lorne and I love hiking and being babywearers made that activity so much easier.  We could just put her in the backpack carrier or the sling and off we went.  We took a trip to Colorado when Maya was about 10 months old and without the Baby Bjorn we were using at the time that trip would have been rather difficult.  She got to see the sites right along with us, attached to our fronts.

The memories I have from wearing Maya are some of my fondest.  I miss wearing her now that she is a big girl and would rather walk on her own.  I enjoyed the bonding, the quietness, the reassurance and the naturalness of babywearing.  I recommend it to all my friends when they have babies.

CheckingoutthegeeseatStillwaters (Small)

family shot (Small)

Hiking family shot (Small)

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The BCIA (Baby Carrier Industry Alliance) has made a call to action.  We need to make our voices heard, we need to advocate for babywearers everywhere.  Babywearing is safe and any parent can do it, it doesn’t require special skill, just a good baby carrier, a baby and a parent who wants to wear their baby.

Stephanie over at Adventures in Babywearing has declared October to be National Babywearing Month.  So in honor of National Babywearing Month I have shared my story, what is your babywearing story?

Head on over to Stephanie’s site and the BCIA Facebook page to read other parent’s stories about their babywearing experiences.

Babywearing is defined as the practice of wearing or carrying your baby around in a sling or other form of carrier.  For many in the western world babywearing may be a newer concept since for many decades our culture got away from babywearing.  However, in many cultures around the world babywearing is the norm and has been practiced for centuries.  It is on the rise in western cultures again, and is becoming more and more common.

Are you a babywearer?

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I would consider myself a babywearer.  I used a baby carrier or a sling to carry Maya around almost everywhere when she was little and I still sometimes use a sling to carry her.  Although she is getting a bit heavy for it now :)  When she was very tiny I would use my Bjorn infant carry to wear her around while I did most of my chores around the house and anytime I went shopping.  When she was fussy it was the best way to calm her down.  I would just put her in the carrier and walk, either around the house doing odd little chores or we’d walk outside if the weather was nice.  After a while I purchased a sling and she loved it.  She would ask to go in the sling when we went for walks instead of using her stroller.

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I found that having the close contact with her, especially when we were first working on establishing a good breastfeeding routine, was immensely beneficial.  And I discovered very early on that being close to me and being with me while I went about my daily routine was very calming to Maya and she would often stop fussing or crying the minute I plopped her in the carrier.  There is something very calming to both mother and child when you carry your baby close to your body like that.

There are so many options when it comes to choosing a baby carrier.  Everything from wraps, to slings, to front carriers, to hip carriers, to carriers that convert from front to hip to back as the baby grows.  Choosing the right one for you can be challenging.  I used the Bjorn front carrier and a sling with Maya.  With my next child I will likely do the same, although I’m thinking I’ll spring for an Ergo carrier instead of the Bjorn next time since it seems to be more practical and useful as the baby grows.  You may find that you have to try out a couple of options before you find the one that works best for you.   There are many sites out there that can help you in your search for the right carrier for you, my favorite is, TheBabyWearer.com.  They have a ton of information whether you are new to babywearing or an old hat at it.

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I think babywearing should be encouraged, especially in the early months when you are establishing breastfeeding and getting to know each other. Babywearing can be especially handy if you have an infant who is colicky, or just one of those babies who fusses if he or she isn’t being held by someone.  Getting things done around the house, going shopping, going out to eat are all so much easier when you use a carrier, sling or a wrap.  Babywearing just feels natural and calming.  And if you have our hands full with other things is a great way to still get that bonding time with your baby.