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: Boba 3G Review

Over the past 5 months I have had the opportunity to use the Boba 3G nearly every single day and I can honestly say that I LOVE it and my son LOVES it!  Are you Boba curious?  The Boba 3G has a lot of great features that I didn’t know about until it arrived on my doorstep.  First, let me just touch on the fact that it is ergonomic, has a great seat for baby, and even has foot straps.  You read that correctly, there are detachable straps that baby can slip his or her feet into for long rides.  We just recently tried them out, and they are fabulous.  They even provide entertainment for my toddler who got the brilliant idea to stand up in the foot straps and then drop back down into the carrier.  Giggles abounded at this new game (sigh!).  Still a very nice feature for a taller child to get a good “knee-to-knee” seat. As for the other features, well there are a ton!  There is a detachable hood, which is a terrific feature when you have an older baby who isn’t likely to sleep during an outing and there isn’t a speck of rain in sight.  We still keep the hood in the car in case we need it, but we have only used it once or twice.  I really appreciate that you can take off the hood if you aren’t going to use it because then there is even less bulk to the carrier.  There is a downside; we have gotten caught once or twice without it when we really needed it.  That isn’t Boba’s fault though, just poor planning on my part! There are several zippered pockets on the carrier too.  In fact, when I use the Boba I don’t carry my purse or bag (just wait a second for a cool feature if you are carrying a bag).  I slip my car key, license, and credit cards into the pocket that houses the hood and I slip my smart phone into the pocket on the waist belt.  If you do need to carry a bag or purse, there are straps on the shoulder pads to help hold your bag in place.  I felt like my bag was not quite secure, but every time I checked it was safely snapped to the carrier and in no danger of falling off. Another...
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Babywearing: ErgoBaby Organic Carrier

The ErgoBaby Organic Carrier is a soft-structured carrier (SSC) made of organic cotton and can be used for front, hip, and back carries as well as breastfeeding your little one.  The ErgoBaby is versatile and can be used for babies from 7 (with the newborn insert) through 45 pounds.  The carrier also has an integrated hood with 50+UPF to protect babe’s head from the sun, wind, and rain.  Since this is a cushy carrier for all involved, the hood is a great feature to have when you are out and about and your little one falls asleep. Those are the facts.  You can find those on the ErgoBaby website, but I bet you a wondering how the carrier really works, so let me tell you a little about my experience with the Ergo. I was so excited when my new ErgoBaby Organic Carrier in Lattice arrived on my doorstep.  I immediately pulled it out of the box and proceeded to put it on, and try it out with my toddler.  It was so easy to figure out that I bypassed the instructions at first.  (I can almost hear the entire ErgoBaby legal department collectively sucking in their breath.)  I know, I shouldn’t have done that, but I felt confident in figuring out the front carry.  I had seen the Ergo demonstrated in the past and had been babywearing for over a year when I first got my ErgoBaby Carrier.  Even if you are experienced, you should absolutely go through the instructions before trying out the Ergo.  You want to make sure that you and babe are being safe! (A classic case of “do as I say, not as I do”) I found the buckles and straps easy and quick to adjust, which makes it simple to transfer the carrier between adults, take baby out/in when running multiple errands, and allows for detailed tweaking for achieving the best fit.  Maybe it is just me, but I also found the waist belt fit quite snugly against my body with meant that my toddler didn’t slide down in to that space between the belt and my stomach/hips.  I have had that happen with other carriers, so being able to get a nice snug fit was important.  As a petite and small-framed woman, I like that the waist belt adjusts smaller than some other SSCs on the market, but also has a belt...
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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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Babywearing: Moby Wrap

The Moby is near and dear to my heart, this was our first carrier.  This wrap is made of a stretchy, soft cotton.  It is cuddle worthy for the wearer and wearee (babe).  If you are at home it can be worn without a shirt, which allows you to get some great skin-to-skin time with your baby and keeps you cooler. We had a small baby.  He was born at 6 pounds and dropped down to 5.5 pounds within 2 days.  Although Moby states that their wrap should only be used for babies weighing at least 8 pounds, we consulted our pediatrician and he was all for using the wrap as long as we followed the basic safety guidelines.  Not all small babies (<8 lbs) are good candidates for the Moby Wrap, so please be careful.  Always make sure you can kiss your babe’s head and remember that their chin should never be resting on their chest as this can cut off their air flow.  If your baby has any health concerns please make sure you talk with your healthcare provider for advice. As I was saying, we were able to use the Moby very early, despite our tiny tot.  So we began our babywearing journey while we were still in the hospital and it was terrific.  Nate, my husband, had practiced before our baby was born with a stuffed bear so he was eager to wear our babe.  In fact, he could be caught wearing our baby on his second day of life – what a perfect start to the fourth trimester!  The doctors and nurses were all jealous and impressed with our use of the Moby to keep our son calm, safe, and happy.   I don’t think we even used the “bassinet” provided in the hospital.  Using the wrap from day 2 helped Nate to bond with our son. He could wear him when I needed to eat, shower, etc.  Because the material of the Moby helps to keep babe close, in those early days, it helps babe regulate his/her body temperature, and feel safe, secure, and loved.  It helped us to make our son’s transition earthside a little less overwhelming. After the first month passed, we were still using the Moby all day on many days of the week.  In fact, we used the wrap for months, until our son was about 15 pounds and...
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