Basics of babywearing
Babies just love to be nestled in close to your skin, and when you are babywearing, you can do just that. Whether you are interested in the handsfree experience or wanting to explore attachment parenting, babywearing can be an intimate experience for both you and your baby.
You've probably seen a mom wearing a sling, wrap or carrier with a baby nestled inside. That's called babywearing, a term coined by famed baby expert Dr. William Sears and his wife. Babywearing is a practice where babies are fastened to their parent's body with a sling, wrap or other carrying device, keeping baby close by.
Now, if you've seen a mom or dad babywearing, have you noticed how babies look cozy and parents look relaxed? Babywearing can be a very peaceful, intimate and comforting experience for both parents and babies. If you think that babywearing might be for you, you should research the various carrier options and holds, to ensure that you find what's right for you.
Dr. Sears says that he encourages parents in his practice to wear their babies rather than using strollers. "We have logged many miles wearing our own babies, and as a result, have continued to recommend this style of parenting in our pediatric practice. At baby's first check up, we show new parents how to wear their baby," says Dr. Sears.
You might be wondering why so many women (and men too!) are choosing to wear their babies these days. According to Dr. Sears, babies that are worn in slings cry less, learn more, are more organized and are even smarter. Those are a lot of really good positives.
Moms say they love it too. "When I was pregnant with my first baby, my sister-in-law gave me her Maya Wrap. I loved it. I wanted to be close to my baby and knew that in most other countries Moms wore their babies. I did research and found that babies had less colic and were happier when worn. Plus, as soon as she got here it only felt natural to keep her so close to my heart," says Kim Borchert of PrairieMama.org.
The right carrier
With all the different types and kinds of baby carriers and slings available, it can be daunting to figure out which one is right for you. Start by researching your options. "Do some research about which carrier to purchase. Buy from a reputable retailer, company or sling maker. Find a local babywearers meeting to get hands on help or seek online help. There is plenty of that out there," says babywearing mom Danielle DeCastro.
It's a good idea to ask on pregnancy message boards (check out our SheKnows message boards!), to find out what's working for other moms. Also, ask friends and family who used carriers what they liked.
Once you select a carrier, make sure you know how to properly position it and your baby inside. If your baby carrier is hurting your back or if baby seems uncomfortable, then that might not be the right carrier for you. "If babywearing hurts, you either are not wearing the carrier properly or the carrier is not a good one for you. If you put your baby in and he or she starts crying, get moving, walk around. If your baby is still crying, again, you may not have the right carrier for you or your baby's stage," says Candace Lindemann of Mamanista.com.
Don't limit yourself
Many babywearing moms say that they like different carriers for different activities. It's okay to have more than one carrier, particularly if some work better for you at times and others at other times. "Don't limit yourself to just one baby carrier. Talk to other Moms and try their carriers to find what you like the best," says Kim.
Tell us: Do you prefer a sling or a baby carrier? Comment below!