Babywearing Overview

Babywearing has become very trendy recently.  Just put “babywearing” into a Google search and you get over 2 million hits.  If that isn’t proof that babywearing is growing, the press has been rampant with pictures of stars all over the world wearing their babies in all different kinds of carriers.  Ordinarily that would give me pause, but in this case, the stars have it right (for the most part).  Do you want some better evidence than star behavior?  Babywearing is also one of Dr. Sears 7 Baby B’s.  Through his (and his wife’s) years of experience in their medical practice and at home with 7 children, the Sears family found out that wearing a baby/toddler not only helps milk production, it calms baby (and caregiver) to allow for better growth, helps soothe reflux, promotes bonding, oh and let’s not forget….it frees the caregiver’s hands to eat, clean, read, relax, and use the restroom! If you are new to the idea of babywearing, let me first start by saying that all carriers are not created equal so please do your research.  Throughout this series we will be talking about some ergonomic carriers that promote safe wearing and hip development.  I will also recommend some websites and blogs, such as A Little Bit of All of It, as great resources for learning more about Babywearing. We will also talk about babywearing safety in this series.  Wearing your baby should be comfortable for you and baby, should keep the babe’s bum below his knees, and should be done as long as is desired by caregiver and babe (much like breastfeeding!).  If you have never seen the photo below, please take a look.  This picture is displayed on the Boba Website and shows one of the safety rules for wearing your baby.  More photos and rules will follow in the coming weeks. Safety is key, but if you don’t find the carrier that works best for you and your baby you won’t wear them.  So, in addition to reviewing specific carriers in upcoming posts, I will also provide a chart that I made on our babywearing journey (and continue to add to) showing what each carrier is intended for, is best used for, and some important practical considerations like washability.  All carriers reviewed and discussed are ergonomic and safe for babe’s hip development if they are used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Any carrier can be unsafe if...
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Babywearing: Sore Muscles and Cranky Babies

It may seem like this post is coming a little early in the series, but these are two main complaints I hear from parents about wearing their babes – either of which could keep a caregiver from wearing their baby.  Since I don’t want anyone to give up before we truly get started, I would like to cover these complaints immediately.  The first deals with comfort.  Parents tell me that they can’t wear their baby comfortably for very long.  The second complaint is that babies protest, sometimes quite loudly, about being carried in a carrier. Babywearing takes some practice and patience but can ultimately be very rewarding for baby and caregiver.  This post will tackle both of these issues, starting with the comfort issue. “Wearing My Baby Isn’t Comfortable” I’ll be honest with you, just like any weight bearing activity, it will take some time to build up the right muscles.  While babywearing shouldn’t hurt, you might be pretty sore in the beginning just like you would be after starting a new weight-lifting regime.  Consult your fellow (informed) babywearers to make sure you are carrying properly and then smile – you are getting a workout in while cuddling your precious babe!  When I first started using the back carry I was really sore.  I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, after all we had been wearing our son from Day 2 and knew how to properly position him in each carrier.  After months of wearing our son and having to bounce him on an exercise ball several hours every day for naps, I thought that I had already built up my “babywearing muscles”.  I found out that front carries, back carries, and hip carries all use slightly different muscles.  I also discovered that each different carrier or wrap requires a slightly different set of muscles because their pressure points and weight distribution are slightly different. If you find yourself getting sore, try using a different carrier for a little while if you have that option or ask someone else to wear your little one for a short time.  If those are not options, remember to take care of yourself.  Drink plenty of water just like you would when you are exercising, stretch, and stay active.  The more you wear your baby, the sooner you will be able to do it without the follow-up soreness.  Contact your healthcare...
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