Since the tagline of this blog has to do with babywearing, it is probably time for a post on this. Before I became a mom, this was how I defined babywearing:
1 What you did in Disneyworld when you had no other option
2 a : the equivalent of a fanny pack
b : something only a hippie would do
c: a sign of a soon-to-be homeschooling family (no judgment intended here; I spent a good portion of my school career being homeschooled!)
I saw that a baby carrier was on the list of things to register for, and I knew that at some point, we would want one. After reading tons of reviews on Amazon, I decided we should get an Ergo carrier. It looked strange to me, but the reviews convinced me. I put it on our registry.
I wasn't disappointed when we didn't get one because it seemed like something we would need down the road (i.e. for a trip to Disneyworld in the far, far distant future).
But then I met Monkey Baby. And Monkey Baby
loves needs to be cuddled and held. And this is delightful, but I also need to eat and sleep and occasionally clean the house. Plus I wanted to be able to go for walks, and it turned out that Monkey Baby really did not prefer his stroller (prefer being an understatement here for the screaming).
Someone had given us a Baby K'tan, but it was the wrong size. However, when I put Baby in it and went for a walk (while holding him up with one arm to compensate for the size issue), he looked up at the sky, sighed, and then closed his eyes with a smile on his face. I knew he loved this babywearing.
More importantly, when Monkey Baby was one day old, the pediatrician noticed a slight click in his hip. He said it could be hip dysplasia, which can be solved with a harness. When I saw the harness that the pediatrician described as "not really a big deal," I was horrified. As I researched the condition (and as our appointment to get an ultrasound on his hip neared), I read that the Ergo carrier keeps the hips in a proper position for development. I even read that there is some research that perhaps an Ergo carrier could take the place of a harness. I was sold. So out we went that very day to purchase our Ergo. I'm not sure if this helped his hips or not (he hasn't needed a harness so far and is improving!), but because of the click in his hip, I wanted to be sure that we had a proper carrier.
I was hooked on the Ergo from the beginning. I went on walks just to have an excuse to wear my new carrier. It was unbelievably comfortable, and I loved the pockets it had for my keys, my phone, and a diaper. I wore Monkey Baby while cooking dinner, and after a lot of practice, I wore him while cleaning the house. The Ergo distributes the weight well, so it is actually more comfortable to carry my son (who is now around 18 pounds) than it was to walk while pregnant (after all, no feet in my ribs!). Plus it strengthens the body's core, and it is much easier to maneuver than a stroller. It is probably the best investment we have made as far as new baby purchases go. With the help of Youtube, I even learned how to nurse in it.
Around this time, someone had given us a hand-me-down Moby wrap. She said that it was super comfortable, but I could never get the hang of wearing it. I preferred the simplicity of the Ergo. But one day I was determined to get the Moby wrap to work. So I did. I expected Baby to put up quite a fuss, and he did fuss a little as I put him in. But once he was in, he immediately smiled and proceeded to fall asleep. I love the Moby because I can sit down with him in it after he falls asleep and work on the computer, eat dinner, or visit with friends.
I love babywearing because not only can I get things done around the house, but I also get to talk to Monkey Baby about my day. I tell him what I am doing, I show him things, and I enjoy how quietly alert he is. He settles down more easily when he is carried, and our walks are great for both of us. I can't imagine mothering a newborn without a wrap or soft carrier. There are some days I just wish there was a way I could wear my baby in the shower.
If you are new to babywearing, first of all you must know that it is actually a thing! They have an international group. They have an excellent article on the benefits of babywearing. I have not used the website much, but apparently you can often find a babywearing group in your area, and you can borrow wraps, slings, and carriers to try before you invest your money in one.
First, you need to be confident. Practice with a stuffed animal, or have someone help you at first. If you are shaky (or almost drop the baby!) it is hard for the baby to feel comfortable in the carrier.
Second, try to step outside to put it on or get moving as soon as you get it on. At first (and occasionally still) Monkey Baby only liked walks in the carrier (i.e. I could not clean or cook unless I was constantly moving). As he has adjusted, he likes being carried while I do standing tasks, but this took a while. Be patient.
Third, keep trying! You might consider borrowing a carrier from a friend to try. Most babies eventually adapt from what I hear.
If you are looking to invest, here are the things I like. Full disclosure: I've only tried these two carriers, so this is just a comparison of the two of them.
The best thing about the Ergo to me is how easy it is to get it on. It has excellent safety features, and you can get that fussy baby in and get started walking quickly.
It is washable (mine is covered with flour right now, so it will need to be washed soon!).
It is ergonomic (good for mom; good for baby).
It has a zippered pouch and a hood.
It is super, super easy to adjust. My husband is much taller than I am, and we can quickly switch it between us.
Con: I am small and have small shoulders; though the pads are nice and thick to prevent soreness, sometimes, they can feel a bit too big on me.
Favorite uses: long walks, outings in stores, sometimes around the house (depending on my mood).
I'm also kind of obsessed with the Ergo blog.
The Moby Wrap
The best thing about the Moby is that it is SO comfortable. It fits like a glove, and my baby seems to prefer it for much longer periods of time than the Ergo.
I can also sit in the Moby wrap (for some reason, I can't sit easily with the baby in the Ergo).
It is also washable and is super soft.
Cons: It takes some time to get it wrapped and to learn to wrap it well. I am still learning how to get it just tight enough and to make sure Monkey Baby is properly positioned. As I have become faster at putting it on, I have grown to love it more. Also, I occasionally miss that handy zippered pouch for my keys, and there is no hood. If you need help getting yours own, Moby has some great videos on their website. They also have a soft carrier that seems similar to the Ergo; it would be interesting to try it.
Favorite uses: cooking, cleaning, walking/dancing around the house, walks outside (depending on how quickly I can get it on).
So get out there, and give it a shot. I rarely say this about anything, but babywearing has truly been life-changing for us (or at the very least, day-changing).
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post; it is just my opinions on babywearing and on the two carriers we have tried so far. I provide links to the websites, but I am not paid or reimbursed in any way for this.