A Year of Babywearing: Benefits & Tips

It’s hard to believe we’ve been “wearing” Bergen for a year now.  I remember like it was yesterday putting him in the Moby Wrap for the first time when he was just over a week old, walking around the house, and then walking to Breastfeeding 911 class thankfully just two blocks from our house.  I was so afraid he would fall out, so I cupped my hands around him like I was holding him anyway.  Now in what feels like 5 seconds flat, he’s buckled into the front or back of the Ergo carrier, and we are off on another adventure.

We rely on our carriers, and in no way shape or form could we continue our active lifestyle without them.  There are some places where strollers just can’t go, and places where strollers get in the way.  We also can’t just carry Bergen around all day in our arms, and he’d get into more trouble than you can imagine if left to his own devices!

Our Benefits of Carriers & Babywearing

  • When Bergen is safe and sound in a carrier, our hands are free to do other things.  These can be fun things like shopping, eating, or even wine tasting, but it’s also handy for chores like laundry, dishes, and cleaning.
  • Bergen feels secure, and thus more calm because he is close to one of his parents.  This was especially important when he was a newborn, and when he was first teething.

  • When Bergen was a newborn, (and even now that he’s older) he could nap on the go in his carrier.  Many babies will nap longer in the carrier than they would in their crib, bassinet, in your arms, etc.
  • Carriers are less bulky than strollers.  They travel well, and allow us to navigate places like festivals, farmers markets, and sporting events simply.

  • “Strangers” are less likely to touch a newborn baby when they are being worn by mom or dad as opposed to the openness of a stroller, buggy, or carriage.
  • Bergen is at our level and right there with us exploring the world.  I feel like I’m more likely to talk and interact with him on walks, hikes, and shopping trips.  And especially when he’s facing out in the bjorn with his Dad, he is able to socialize with everyone around him; something he absolutely  loves to do.

Our Tips for Babywearing

  • Start early! I can’t emphasize this enough.  From my experience with Bergen (starting at about 1 week old), and friends with little ones, the sooner you start, the more routine and “normal” being in a carrier will be for baby and parent.  Start with just wearing baby around the house, then try a short walk close to home.  Once you are comfortable, you can work up to grander adventures.
  • Practice often in short spurts.  Just because baby doesn’t like it after 15 minutes, doesn’t mean never do it again.  Try it again later for another 15 minutes.
  • Talk to other moms and dads.  Watch other moms and dads in action.  Ask questions.  For the first 5-6 months, I only carried Bergen in the front carry position with the ergo.  I was curious about carrying him on my back so I just asked other moms and dads about it when I saw them out and about.
  • Watch videos.  Do a you-tube search, and you’ll find all kinds of helpful tutorials for every type of carrier and position.
  • Enlist the help of others at first for guidance on positioning, and making sure the baby is safe.  As I was learning to carry Bergen on my back, I needed Slaed to put him into place while I concentrated on buckling.  Now with some practice, I’m able to hoist him on my back by myself from a chair or the back of the car.
  • Visit a maternity/baby store that sells several different carriers.  Have a store employee help you try a variety of carriers out to see what works best for you.  I found it helpful to try the carrier with a doll first, before getting Bergen involved.
  • Think like the little engine that could…and remember the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  You will improve, and it will get easier, I promise!

Babywearer? Give us more of  your benefits and tips in the comment section!

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7 thoughts on “A Year of Babywearing: Benefits & Tips

  1. I’m long past the babywearing stage (my youngest is 7 years old), but it was definitely a big part of my life when they were little. Here in Penang, Malaysia, babywearing when out and about is pretty much a requirement. The lack of good sidewalks and huge gutters to hop over make stroller use nearly impossible.

    • Definitely important for getting Bergen around…but it would be hard to take away the stroller option 🙂 My husband traveled to Malaysia about 10 years ago, and remembers the tricky sidewalk maneuvering!

  2. I love babywearing! I’ve used a mei tai, moby wrap, wrap with different carries (rucksack was a favorite), snugli, ring sling (maya wrap), and ergo but the ring sling and ergos are BY FAR my favorites!

    I do want to add a tip that putting babies in forward facing positions are not recommended for any age. It puts the spine in a bad position. Also the “dangling leg” carriers (the bjorn and snugli are the most common I can think of) are bad for hips. THe ergo carries a baby’s weight in the butt not crotch/pelvis.

    I didn’t know this stuff with my first and carried him in a foward facing narrow crotched carrier all the time (well, until I made my first ring sling!). I was really glad to learn this info before I had my subsequent kiddos.

    I found a couple links, here’s one about forward facing: http://www.bobafamily.com/blog/2011/10/11/nine-reasons-not-to-carry-your-baby-facing-out/
    here’s one about the hips: http://dinkerandgiggles.com/safe-babywearing-hip-health-illustrated-guide/

    • Thanks for stopping by & thanks for the added tips and info on forward facing babywearing—good things to think about. Ergo is definitely my carrier of choice too 🙂

  3. Pingback: Baby Adventure Gear « Wild Tales of…

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