Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wearable Wednesday 1: Benefits of Babywearing

After I did 14 miles of mud and obstacles, he needed snuggles in the Ergo.  Totally worth it!

Here's my first installment of Wearable Wednesday, yahoo!  As a new mom, one of the quickest things I learned was that I didn't want to be confined on where I went with my baby.  Between having to ride the bus and all the little German cobblestone roads, I didn't feel so comfortable with lugging a stroller everywhere.  And the second I would put her in the carseat, I'd be sad and just want her back near me.  Thus, I chose to "babywear", or carry her on me in a fancy baby carrier.  It was SO SIMPLE and comfy and I always had a sweet smooshy baby next to me!  Over the years and with both kids, I've grown to be a self-proclaimed expert on almost every type of baby carrier and when/where they work best.  And I'd really love to share that info with anyone who's willing to listen.  (Disclaimer--I'm not anti-stroller.  I own four, in fact.  I just really think that this is a topic that isn't as mainstream as it could be and love to share.  Don't think I be hatin')   So for this first week, all I simply want to do is tell you about some of the benefits of babywearing:

1.  Closeness=less crying.  There have been numerous studies in major pediatric journals stating that babies who are carried close tend to cry less.  Putting them in a carrier directly by the body is the closest a baby can come to recreating the womb situation, so it makes sense that it will soothe them!  I found that whenever we were in a brighter environment, it also served as a way to keep my babies from getting overstimulated.  If done from the beginning, it is really an amazing way to quickly and efficiently comfort a baby.

2.  Babywearing can give a parent more confidence.  As a first-time mother, I was very scared to leave the house.  There was SO much to think about--What do I do if she cries?  If she's hungry?  If she poops?  If my milk explodes everywhere?  If, if, if???????  Well, putting her in my wrap seriously diminished the nervous factor for me.  If she was hungry, I could nurse her IN the carrier or use it as a cover.  If she pooped, I had something to lay her on or at least cover up the poop clothes with.  And if my milk exploded, well, she covered that for me too!  And like I said above, the lessened crying seriously upped my confidence level as well.  I felt like a rock star in moments that I doubt I would have if I had brought a large carrying contraption otherwise.
Our first family trip--Ireland!  My mei tai made the trip possible.
 3.  Daddy can feel close, too!  In the beginning, baby spends so much time bonding with mom that dad can feel a bit left out.  But most carriers can be adjusted to fit all shapes and sizes, so dad can get all the snuggles he wants as well.  Remember, baby needs the warmth of another person, but it doesn't always have to be mom.  And even when that new dad is totally scared of holding baby the wrong way, a carrier can make it much less stressful.  (Feel free to interchange dad with grandparent, partner, aunt/uncle, older sibling, whatnot.)
Babywearing dads are pretty hot, too.
4.  It helps mom get back into shape.  After nine months starting with running turned to walking turned to waddling, it's nice to be able to carry just yourself again, I know it.  BUT you've had that weight on you already, and it makes it much easier to hold baby from the very start.  Keep it up, and after a few months you're toting the most adorable 15lb weight vest one can imagine!  As baby gets bigger, change carrier style and switch him/her to your back. And when you're doing your first obstacle race a year after baby comes, you'll be able to make that tire carry your bitch without even "training" for it.
Two kids at once.  In Times Square.  And yes, he's eating her hand.
 5.  If you have multiple children, it's a lifesaver.  I mean sure, it was wonderful when the first one came, but for baby 2 it was a new level of helpful.  My kiddo wasn't ready to slow down for some silly new little person, and I didn't want to make her.  So I put the little dude in his wrap and we went about our business as soon as I was on my feet again.  I rarely had to feel that I was giving one less attention to tend to the other, and in those first few months that's a tough one to balance.  See above photo.

6.  You can go anywhere, seriously.  Festivals with crowds?  You can make it through.  Up a mountain?  Like carrying a bouncy backpack.  Busy grocery store?  No crazy old ladies squeezing your baby's cheeks anymore!
Ancient castles aren't stroller-accessible, but they sure are purdy.
I'm sure there are other reasons why babycarrying is awesome, and for more benefits feel free to visit Babywearing International.

Next Wednesday:  Babywearing 101, basic types of carriers.  I'll name the most used styles and give a very short list of uses for each.  In the following weeks I'll discuss each individually.  Please feel free to share this with


  1. Great post! And yes, babywearing dad's are hot.

  2. Baby wearing gives me the free hands i need to eat breakfast! With two babies, I'd starve without the carrier!

  3. Love it! We made it through the aquarium with ease while Jayvan was in the Ergo. I saw many a person struggling with their strollers.