Nursing 102: “Chest to Breast”

Posted: 1594 days ago in Parenting Pregnancy

Babywearing

Posted: 1757 days ago in Parenting

babywearing


Babywearing is awesome, right?

Of course! But it can be overwhelming if you’re just getting started.  

There are many reasons you might choose babywearing. Maybe you’ve read about the benefits: less crying, more bonding and a happy baby who learns more, while increasing mom or dad’s feeling of competence?  Sounds like a win-win! Or…

  • you like the convenience of not having to deal with a stroller
  • you have a fussy baby who won’t let you put him down
  • you are interested in trying to breastfeed on-the-go (or while making dinner)
  • your baby hates his car seat or stroller, so wearing him makes grocery shopping a lot easier
  • maybe your best friend told you how wonderful it is
  • you simply want to carry your baby while having your hands freewho doesn’t want that?

Whatever the reason that leads you to babywearing, the most important first step is to find a safe, comfortable carrier or wrap.  There are countless options out there so here are reviews on three of my favorites…

divider2

themobywrap2 This piece of stretchy fabric wraps around your body in a number of different configurations to create a pouch, sling or carrier. It can be used from birth and although it technically can be used up to 35 lbs I’ve found once baby is around 15 pounds the fabric stretches too much to wear longer than 30 minutes. This is by far my favorite newborn/infant carrier. It does take some practice but once you master it you’ll be able to do it in your sleep.  It’s very comfortable and you can wear all day long with no pain. At one point I was wearing one of my sons in it for up to 12 hours a day (not in a row, obviously).
 themayawrap2 A type of “ring sling”, this is my overall favorite and most versatile.  I’ve used it at all ages – newborn, infant, older baby, toddler (weight limit is 35 lbs). It is super easy to put on (takes about 10 seconds) and pop baby into, adjust quickly with the ring and off you go.  It is very comfortable as long as it is adjusted correctly and not straining the shoulder.
 ergocarrier2 A “soft structured carrier”, this can be used from 4 months on (you can use it from birth with an infant insert, but I personally didn’t like it for the newborn age).  You can have baby in the front facing you or on your back and it goes up to 45 lbs.  As the name suggests it is very comfortable for both baby/toddler and mom/dad.

divider2Just as important as comfort is safety when babywearing.

Never allow baby to be put in a position where his chin rests on his chest as this can compromise his breathing. (This is why bag-type slings should not be used as this is the main position baby is in in them). And, of course, always take note of:

  1. baby’s body temperature so he/she doesn’t overheat
  2. that baby has proper head support with an open airway
  3. and that baby’s head and face aren’t covered

Also stay away from carriers so affectionately known as “crotch-danglers”. These carriers only have a small strip of fabric between the legs, causing them to dangle. Apart from looking visibly uncomfortable for baby, these do not support the hips properly or safely and put baby at risk for hip dysplasia. Proper babywearing places the baby or child’s hips in a V formation with their knees higher than their bottom.

Another thing I want to mention is realistic use.  As much as I love wearing my little guy, sometimes in certain situations it really is just easier to take a stroller or place him in the shopping cart. And that’s okay!  So don’t get caught up in the all or nothing mentality – that’s the beauty of it – you can choose whatever works best!

Happy babywearing!

Erin Whitlock

About Erin Whitlock

Erin is a busy mom of 4 boys, ages 1-8 who tries to navigate the path of motherhood as naturally as possible. After graduating from the University of Texas, she was a reading specialist before becoming a full-time mom. While on a long journey with her boys due to reflux, multiple food allergies, and other challenges, she turned to more natural solutions with great success. When she's not at the baseball fields watching the oldest 3 boys play ball, Erin enjoys running, trying out new (allergy & kid friendly) recipes, and embracing the crazy life that fills her with happiness.