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Babywearing!

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by saripop, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. After reading the Attachment Parenting thread, I did a bit of research and would really like to do more babywearing! I currently have a baby bjorn carrier, which hurts my shoulders. I can't imagine that slings, mei tai etc hurt as much otherwise I can't see how people could always carry their children! LO really loves being carried and falls asleep so easily, rather than screaming in the pushchair.
    I know there are some real babywearing experts on here, I would love some advice on what carrier/wrap to get. I liked the look of the Kari me ones, they seem easyish to use and sturdy. My LO is almost 6months and is fairly long but dead on average weight.
    Also, if you don't have the push chair to slip it into, what do you do about carrying changing stuff?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    I was wondering about this too. I have a baby bjorn which i hardly ever used with my son as he was always in his pram. He's nearly 22 months old now and my 2nd is due in just over 3 weeks.
    I was planning on using the baby bjorn if we just went on short walks, so i could carry the baby and my son could walk with his reins on. I've got a tandem buggy (i've got the pip converter to make my icandy apple into a pear) so i'll use that for longer trips as my son likes to have a nap in the afternoon sometimes. We do go out quite a bit now and i don't use my car a lot.
    What do you do if your child is quite big and heavy? My son was always in the 98th centile for height and weight, plus he was incredibly active and constantly wriggling and i get the feeling he wouldn't have liked a sling. They also look quite warm, especially in the Summer.
    I've also heard that they can be quite dangerous and they just don't look that sturdy and safe to me!
    I'd be interested in opinions though!
     
  3. *excuse evangelical tone of this post but I lurrrrrrrve babywearing*
    I wouldn't recommend a stretchy wrap (Kari Me, Moby) for a 6 month old - you won't get the support you need as the stretchiness and weight of the baby will put strain on your shoulders (I'd definitely use one again for a newborn though, I loved our stretchy!). If you've liked the ease of using the Baby Bjorn you could try a soft-structured carrier like an Ergo, Connecta, Manduca - they all have buckles but have the wider seat which is better suited to baby's physical development, as well as having more support for you and putting less pressure on your back and shoulders.
    Wrapping is a bit of an art but after a few practice goes you'll find it surpisingly easy. With a 6 month old a woven wrap is your best bet. The market is absolutely enormous so it really is a bit of trial and error to find one you like. We have two (an Ellaroo which is a thin woven cotton wrap with a fringe, and a Storch Leo which is much thicker and more supportive) but would have LOTS more given half a chance! I don't have much experience of MeiTeis - have tried a Maya Tei which was nice but didn't suit us personally - I know there are some MeiTei folks on here though who will be better placed to advise.
    Babywearing is one of those areas where second hand can actually be better, especially for wraps - they're well worn in and less crunchy/grippy which makes manoevering and tying them easier. If you head over to Natural Mamas and look at their For Sale or Trade (FSOT) forums you'll find loads of wraps at reasonable prices. There's also picture threads so you can see what you might like to try. The cost may seem high for new wraps but most slings have very good resale value and they should last for years if well looked after.
    My number one recommendation would be to find a sling meet near you - I'm not sure where you are in the country but there are quite a few all over the place and they give you the chance to have a real hands-on try of the different slings or to borrow a sling if you want to to try out. I went to our first one in our Kari Me and within three weeks had bought two more slings so be warned it can become an expensive hobby!
    Re: changing stuff - I just throw the changing bag on my shoulder. Some people use normal rucksacks (not so easy with baby in a back carry). There are 'proper' babywearing bags you can get too that are designed to fit around you and baby. And babywearing jumpers. And babywearing coats!
     
  4. The only dangers linked to slings are linked to bag type slings . There are general guidelines you should adhere to when babywearing but it's no more dangerous than using a pushchair (I'd be in the camp that says they're even safer as the baby is so close to you it can regulate it's breathing and temperature with yours, for example).
    [​IMG]
    Some words on Mass produced carriers (I think they're including BabyBjorns under that heading but not 100% sure)
    It's also worth having a read of why putting baby facing outwards is not recommended
    The slingguide website in general is a great first port of call
     
  5. I love babywearing too- still going strong- it is hard to picture what the slings are like- so head over to natural mamas to have a look at them and look at photographs. You can buy and trade slings and they hold there value pretty well.
    I have a soft buckle carrier which I really like- my baby and I get very hot so struggle with wraps in the summer but love them in cooler weather- it is really comfortable and the easiest to get her in and out. I have a mei tai which is very comfy- not quite as quick though.

    www.slingguide.co.uk tells you about the types of slings. Most people end up with a couple for different times- some are harder to put on so not great if you are hoping for lots of ins and outs.
     
  6. Ah the joys of TES gremlins - you'll have to right click on the image and click view to see it in full!
     
  7. Some people carry large toddlers on their backs with no problems- so a baby should be no problem. My daughter is 8 months and we carry on the front with no pain- not something we could manage in the Baby Bjorn. Some people even manage one toddler on their back and a baby on their front. It is lovely to be able to feel your child on your chest.

    The only dangerous slings were some handbag type ones. Slings are certainly strong enough- they feel sturdy when your child is in them. I feel safer in a sling than a pram- as I always feel I'll let the pram go and It will roll into the road.
     
  8. And a friend of mine wrapped her 7 year old a couple of weeks ago just to prove it could be done, haha! [​IMG]
     
  9. Thanks for the fantastic and informative replies, ladies! Following some of your links I have found the FreeHand Mei Tai, which looks like the kind of thing I'd like.
    http://slingjax.co.uk/catalog.php?category=16
    Does anyone have any experience with this one? Is it easyish to use (I don't mind a little work!)? Would you recommend it? You all are right, it's a whole new language and I need to really learn all about it!


     
  10. I have had one of these- it is easy, only a little fiddly - a waist strap- easy then the shoulder straps.. It is very soft and co mforms to the the babys shape well, it is comfortable and folds up very small in the bag. I like it! It distributes weight well- can be used on hip, front or back. If you don't like it- sell it! Comfy for baby - she loves it- and I do too!
    My husband won't use it as he doesn't trust the fact you have to tie knots- but it really isn't hard. (Unless you are a man, it seems [​IMG])
     
  11. Right, will be ordering one straight away. Had a lovely walk carrying my LO in the baby bjorn today. Can't wait to try out the back and hip carrying! Is this the start of a whole new obsession?!
     
  12. Abso-flippin-lutely! I almost bought another one on a whim today for £65...*just* resisted...
     
  13. So, stupid question... Why do you need more than one wrap/carrier, other than that they are so pretty? Are there different situations where different styles are better?
     
  14. It depends on what you want to do with your carrier - some people like a shorter wrap for quick ruck carries on their back, but a longer wrap for more supportive front and back carries. Some wraps are thinner than others so more suitable for warm weather. Some have UV protection. Some are more supportive so better for bigger babies and toddlers. Ring slings are meant to be good for quick up and downs (with a toddler who likes to walk but gets easily tired for example). Soft structured carriers and Meitais are great for getting on and adjusted quickly. Dads seem to particularly like soft structured ones :)

    But mainly it's so they match your shoes ;)
     
  15. Lol, bunique! I actually might now have to buy some shoes to go with the mei tai!!

    Natural Mamas looks a nice site, in fact i like the whole ethos of all of this carrying/wearing business. Do you notice that your carried babies behave differently from others? I guess that's also to do with the whole attachment parenting thing though. I know that Sears says that babies who are carried are calmer and sleep better or are easier to settle to sleep and this is apparently based on research. Just wondered if there was any truth in that.
    Now regretting not doing next day delivery on the mei tai!
     
  16. sorry, on my phone so no paragraphs. Insert them where ever you feel is appropriate.
     
  17. She's my only one so can't really compare her to others! She's generally quite content during the day - only grumbles if wet/tired/hungry and slept brilliantly for weeks but that's gone out the window recently (now 16 weeks)! She is a great advert for slings in that she falls asleep almost instantaneously at our sling meet pretty much every time I wrap her. She doesn't particularly like being left with anyone but me, but I don't put that down to wearing her (I know others will but I think that comes with the territory where attachment parenting is concerned), more that it's just her personality at the mo - she will happily be cuddled by anyone if I'm around. I think the research says that worn babies spend more time in the "quiet alert" state where infants do most of their learning. She does like peering out of her sling and taking in the world around her and I love that she's up at head height so feels 'involved' when people stop to talk to us. And really, what better way to go around than having lots of cuddles :)
     
  18. I used a didymos wrap for my DD (after having a baby bjorn and hating it then discovering real carriers!!) It was fantastic..she loved it and I did too. I could still carry her on my front when she was two. I just put her nappies and stuff in a rucksack.
    Once I decided she was too hevay for my front I bought a Mei tei toddlerhawk (i never got the hang of the didymos back carry.....you can do them I just couldn't) and that was great too. I tended to put nappies in a small bag I carried in my hand then. or just across my chest.
    Babywearing was great.i just wish we could have more choldren so i could do it again!
    I have a firend who has twins and she managed to carry one on her front and one on her back,
     
  19. kittenjames

    kittenjames New commenter

    i always loved the idea of 'wearing' my baby so bought a top-selling structured carrier (don't want to name it as it served it's purpose and may well suit others!) before he was born. i've loved carrying him in it but have started to get a really bad sciatic type pain. so today, inspired by you lot, i went to try a moby wrap. the lady at the shop showed me how to wear it correctly and helped me pop LO in. the difference is amazing - so comfortable. i bought one in a gorgeous teal colour and wore it home, LO's head was popping out to start with and he was nosying around. after 10 mins he fell fast asleep. i showed my husband how to do it once and he managed it on his own the second time and wore LO in the garden. i'm gutted i didn't have one from when he was newborn, but i figure i'll just have to have more babies ;- )
    kj and LO 12 wks
     
  20. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    Carrying your baby is awesome. I have about 10 wraps and 5 meitais and quite a few others have passed through my hands on the FSOT boards on NM and UKbabywearingSWAP. Some new. sadly my babywearing days are coming to a natural end. However some of my wraps and a couple MTs will never leave home.

    I can't get my head around people's loyalties to buggies. These are so much more practical. Of course buggies have their use but at least one cloth carrier is a must for every parent imo.


     

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