Tag Archives: Baby wearing

Baby Wearing Part 2 – a whole lot of information

~ please note that this is not a sponsored post ~

The wonderfully helpful ladies at Wear Your Baby (WYB) were kind enough to sit down with me, my limited knowledge and multitudes of questions to try and help decipher the often overwhelming world of Baby Wearing.

So if the idea of deciding on a carrier or even considering one is enough to see you cowering in Baby Wonderland then read on, arm yourself with some knowledge and tackle the process with the confidence of a Ring-slinging, baby-toting, Paltrow-shaming, superwoman.

I’ve included below a GREAT and simple guideline to lay a nice foundation for your baby-wearing expertise that can be found from the Office of Fair Trading Baby Wearing safety page. A few of these have popped into my head when putting on our carrier lately. A few odd glances may have been given with me muttering ‘close enough to kiss, close enough to kiss’….. incidentally people give you a wide berth when you mumble this under your breath.

TICKS

Lots of information! I have referred back to my notes multiple times over the last few weeks so please don’t try to ‘download’ this all at once. Take one bit of advice away at a time.

Let’s go through the different types of carriers.

Boba Wrap

Boba Wrap

Wraps – what I tend to think of as the most intimidating carriers. Still yet to personally attack this option because I feel like I’d either fail so miserably with the wrapping  directions, resulting with a baby bungee jumping from my chest or over wrap and triple knot so much that I’d need those Fire Department jaws of life to untangle me.

But I have been reassured!!! Once again thank the Lordy for the internet that spits out all the life instructions we need! Step by step videos (click here) spell it out for us and WYB strongly recommend practising over a bed until you’re confident you have it right.

Wraps can either be…

  • Stretchy, made from a cotton/elastene mix and ideal for smaller babies (up to 6kg)
  • Woven (with no stretch)
  • or Pre-tied wraps (e.g. such as the Caboo, perfect for Dad’s or those new to baby wearing). 
Hug a Bub Ring Sling

Hug a Bub Ring Sling

Ring Slings – these have the wonderful added benefit of basically being pre-tied. Stretchy, generally woven cotton. Quick and adjustable and are slung over one shoulder and around the waist. A really nice middle ground I feel on wraps! I did once have one of these and once again my lack of having any idea how to use it left it buried at the bottom of the closet. I cannot stress how fabulous it is having someone show you (sometimes over and over again) how to use it properly.

Boba Carrier

Boba Carrier

Soft Structured Carriers. These guys can be verrrrry overwhelming and are what really stumped me while shopping. There.Are.HUNDREDS!…. So many different brands that honestly looked identical to me, so where the hell do you start? Luckily for me (and you!), WYB really know their stuff and instead of overwhelming customers with too many options, they have sourced the brands that in their opinions are the best. The Beco Soleil that we chose for me and my family is honestly brilliant and has already been worth its weight in gold (and don’t tell the Hubby but I’m eyeing off a Boba wrap in prettttyyy fabric).

Soft Structured Carriers will generally have a waist belt (my advice, make sure you have a waist belt, sooooo much more comfortable and less neck/shoulder strain), and two shoulder straps. They have many different position options for varying ages/weights; such as, forwards front, inwards front, inwards back, on the hip etc.

My 1 year in particular does love facing forward for periods of time, especially when outside. But worth noting that forward facing isn’t ergonomically the best option and can also be overstimulating. It should also only be used when hub is old enough to have good neck/head control and only ever for short periods of time.

Pearls of Wisdom from WYB

  • Every carrier (that WYB stocks anyway, I probably can’t vouch for every single one worldwide…. but most anyway) should be possible to put on on your own when correctly following the instructions
  • Try and avoid the cradle hold, and only carry your child in the upright (straight up and down) position. This is something that WYB do feel strongly about after their accredited training due to breathing complications that otherwise can incur.
  • Double wearing is a possibility with multiples! But definitely seek some professional advice and assistance when learning the best holds, combinations for your unique kids’ ages and weights. You do need confidence and strength for this but will always be more supportive on your body that double carrying without a carrier.
  • For a child with special needs always consult for proper assistance. A properly used carrier can assist with many varying needs. WYB have had particularly great feedback from clients with babies struggling with reflux. A secure upright position can be a godsend for this! ( And who wouldn’t try anything to help settle reflux)
  • Confidence is key when getting used to your new carrier. Practise putting it on either with help or over a bed until you feel comfortable. Babies pick up on your nerves as well so maybe keep them distracted with a toy or song when you’re practising.
  • Always use as per instructions…. and if they are cryptic/ridiculous then chat to a professional consultant. Sometimes someone physically demonstrating it is all you need

Benefits of Baby Wearing

  • People often talk about the ‘fourth’ trimester. Those first 3 months of baby’s life where it’s beneficial to simulate the closeness of pregnancy. Baby Wearing soothes and comforts with familiar smells and sounds
  • Wearing your baby can help make night sleeps better! Sign me up now!
  • When worn tightly and securely in a carrier, the gentle movements of the parent (or carer) can help baby’s stabilising muscles develop. Sometimes resulting in a reduced need for tummy time (though baby wearing for 5 minutes a week doesn’t mean you can avoid it completely…. nice try! Who really loves tummy time?)
  • Great for Dad’s and other carer’s to build attachment! They still have two hands free to cook dinner, massage mum’s feet etc… and get amazing bonding time.
  • Jessie from WYB has personally vouched for Baby Wearing being a saviour when building attachment to their young foster children. It helps them feel safer and more secure in a different environment

Now before you start shopping for your carrier ask yourself the following questions to help narrow down the options.

  1. What will you be using it for? How long each day? Where?
  2. Who’s going to use it? What is their size, strength etc?
  3. Price range – a decent one with longevity (in Australia) $160-$250
  4. Book in with a consultant if still struggling

And remember if someone isn’t loving their carrier (like I used to feel) it’s usually because it’s not being used properly. A good carrier should be able to last your whole family and grow with your child (probably not to teenage years, I’d draw the line before then).

Phew! Information overload. No wonder this post has taken me so long to write (sorry bout that)….. but so much of what I was learning is still sinking in. Would love to hear your stories (and struggles) with baby wearing and pleeeease share any wonderful tips and tricks with the online world here. We’re all constantly learning how to be mums.

And honestly Carly and Jessie from Wear Your Baby have been incredible and really know their stuff. If you are on the market for a carrier or need some help with one you already have, hit them up!

www.wearyourbaby.com.au

And thanks for reading 🙂

xxxx

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Baby Wearing Part 1 – my story

My family and I after conquering our 'mountain'

My family and I after conquering our ‘mountain’

I know first hand that the ‘Baby Wearing’ world can be intimidating, confusing and a little bit scary (pictures of strongly opinionated, pram-haters come to mind)…. I’m giving my story and helpful (professional) tips across two posts. Part 1 being my blah blah blah of how I don’t really know much about Baby Wearing (thus giving me a great non-bias or pushy perspective) and Part 2 being the actual informative, helpful advice from interviewing  Jessie and Carley at Wear Your Baby.

As with many things parental, I tend to learn in hindsight. Little Evie is now one year old and even with an intense whirlwind International trip to the other side of the world for Christmas, we have barely touched our baby carrier in the last 12 months. If I’m honest, I never quite got the hang of it, Evie’s chunky thighs always got caught and it was a horrible strain on my neck and shoulders. Convinced I was doing it wrong, the carrier never received much love.

Only recently a friend lent me her carrier as a last minute saviour for some Sunday afternoon ‘hiking’ (don’t mistake me for anything resembling fit and active…. was an hour return trip up and down a hill sized mountain….. still enough to render me breathless and on my knees more times than I’d care to admit). Hubby carried Evie up the mountain (hill) and I carried her down… was enough to open my eyes to the world of a properly worn carrier! No neck and shoulder strain, super comfortable and Evie even had a little nap in it.

So started my foray into interpreting the Baby Wearing world. Each to their own, but I wasn’t keen on 24 hour attachment to my bub. One reason (for me) being that we do want a large-ish family and I feel like there’s probably a limit to how many babies/toddlers can be permanently strapped to me… But I have certainly learnt that in different seasons (teething, sickness etc) it’s ok to overdose your child with cuddles and affection, they generally need it in the crappy days. And lots of Baby Wearing contact would be soothing and comforting for bub while still giving mum two hands to fold laundry, bake Martha Stewart cakes and sew adorable baby outfits… OR make coffee and buy ridiculous amounts of things through Mummy Instagram shopping….

After my initial scoping, I had a bit more of an idea as to what we (Hubby and I) wanted.

  • Black – soooo easy to dress up or down 😉 …. and hide dirt and stains so I won’t need to wash as much. YES!
  • One with a forward facing option, because my one year old gets so bored facing my chest for too long that she actually tried to pull my collarbones off the other day. (educated note: the benefits of chatting to Baby Wearing professionals, forward facing is not the best ergonomically for babies, especially newborns, so should only be for limited amounts of time)
  • One with a hip/waist band – to limit strain on shoulders and neck

Feeling super in-the-know with what I wanted I wandered into a (nameless) Baby store…. after fumbling with the demonstration models, trying to interpret the backs of the boxes and looking ridiculously awkward for about half an hour, I left probably feeling a bit more overwhelmed than preferred.

Then most of my online searches for help tended to churn up mountains of strongly opinionated (and opposing) points and ‘rules’. My head started to hurt…

And then I hit gold! Perfect timing moment! Just when I needed clarification and help most, a beautiful friend from years back started an online Baby Wearing store!!! Beauty!… I barely gave her time to settle into the new business before pouncing with a request for an interview! Surely other mum’s have found the whole Baby Wearing deal a bit daunting and in my own (selfish) information seeking journey I could only hope that it’ll help others as well.

So I sat down with the wonderful Jessie and Carley from Wear Your Baby…. our multiple little ones scooting around our toes (and destroying their magazine collection)…. and picked their brains for how to simplify the different types of carriers, what suits what, the basic simple rules to remember…. and came out feeling so much more prepared.

And at the end of it all I’ve come away with a wonderful carrier that I love, have used multiple times this week already (so has Hubby), and a lot more confidence in being a Baby Wearing mum (albeit definitely part-time).

Part 2. including the wonderful advice and help I received from Jessie and Carley will be up on the blog within the week.

Let me know your thoughts ladies! (and men)….. how do you go baby wearing or not baby wearing? Would love to hear your tales 🙂

xxx