August 17, 2007

Babywearing Tip of the Week: Like Shoes

Ellen from SoBeBabies has written something I think you all should read...

Baby Carriers Are Like Shoes

What? Excuse me?

No, I have not lost my mind. Bear with me.

Okay, everyone, how many pairs of shoes do you own? No, wait! Ladies, don’t answer that. Guys, how many pairs of shoes do you own? Ladies, you may answer this as though you were trying to please that judgmental someone who implies you can get by with one pair of shoes.

Guys? You there? What did you come up with? Four? Eight? Let’s count them, shall we?

1. Your everyday work shoes that are pretty comfy and stylish enough.
2. Those nasty dress shoes that pinch that you use for weddings and important business meetings.
3. Well duh: sneakers! You gotta have you some sneaks!
4. Boots for inclement weather.
5. Sandals or flip flops.

There. Without even trying, for the absolute minimalist, we came up with five pairs.

My point?

Why the heck is everyone trying to solve all your babywearing needs with one baby carrier when you have five pairs of shoes? Okay, now, ladies, stop laughing. We all know you have just a few more than that stashed away. Shhh, I won’t tell.

So you did your research and plunked down the big bucks for a baby carrier, and, at first, you were happy. Your back and neck felt better and you were all set. But then, you realized, this well-researched purchase did not suit all your needs.

Well duh! Are you gonna wear your snow boots to the beach? Or your flip flops to a business meeting? The answer is usually No!, although one person actually did show up to my wedding with Tevas, but that’s a whole other story!

Here’s the thing. For most of us adults over a certain age, we have figured out that shoes are not a place to skimp. A shoe gets a lot of viewing time and can make or break an outfit, and further, it can make or break your back! Shoes are not a place to skimp because they are about both style and comfort.

Baby carriers are the same! Let me give you a few examples.

1. You got yourself an Ergo and you have been love, love, loving it. It is so much more comfy than the front pack infant thingy you had when your little angel was little which, frankly, broke your upper back and strained your neck. But you’re going to a wedding and you know that Ergo is going to look out of place there, so you are reduced to holding your sweet little baby. Man, you forgot how tiring that was! And you realize your baby can’t nap anywhere because of all the commotion and fussing over him. How convenient it would be if he could be nestled up against you and you could get on with the party.

Introducing: The Dressy Baby Carrier! Yep, there are gorgeous silk slings that can escort you and your little into a wedding in total style!

2. You bought yourself a pouch and it is so simple to use and fine for quick stints. But you are going to Italy and the sidewalks are not stroller friendly. You know you will be walking a lot and your toddler is not the type to keep up. How about a gorgeous Beco? You can pop your baby on your front or back when she’s pooped (as in tired). When you are not using it, you can roll it up into a snug little waist pouch.

3. The Beco was working great but now your darling angel has gotten to that age where he has got to learn to crawl and walk. The up-down-up-down is not working for you. After forking out all that money and only getting a few months usage, you fear you’ve made a poor purchase. Fear not! The Beco or other structured baby carrier is still great for some situations: nursing or sleepy/sleeping baby, and it will come back into its own once your angel has mastered this stage and you will go on to use it for years to come, I promise. But meanwhile, how to deal with this situation? You need something with poppability. A pouch would be great! Plus, when you are baby-less, it packs up small so you can stuff it into your bag.

4. You are at the mall with the stroller and were not intending on babywearing at all. Your little angel has other ideas and you wind up shuffling along, baby on hip, pushing your stroller with the other hand, secretly feeling rather miserable. You dig into your diaper bag, hoping beyond hope. Ahah! You had the foresight to stuff a pouch in there! It’s hiding in a corner but you deftly dig it out, pop it on, and now you can push that package-laden stroller with both hands and a straight back. Whew! Babywearing saves the day! Happy again, you are able to be kinder to your sweet little angel and sneak in a quick kiss on the head.

5. You are totally happy with your sling and always have been. But your husband balks at it and simply refuses to wear it. Your baby is now 9 months old and getting kinda heavy and you are tired of feeling the martyr. In a last-ditch effort to save your marriage, you discuss getting an Ergo and he agrees. Next thing you know, it was all his idea and the Ergo is his baby carrier! You sagely keep your trap shut and wave good bye as he saunters off smugly to the park with baby on his back.- Ellen, Sobebabies.

-I'll add that I think that we all have our own personal preferences and maybe a certain pair of shoes we wear all the time, and of course all you really need is one good babycarrier that you and baby love. But, it is sooo nice to get a new pair of shoes. And same with a new baby carrier. It puts a little spring in your step and offers many new babywearing opportunities...

Don't forget to save $5 off your order at Sobebabies by using code: ABW !


  1. Thanks for the post. This gives me an excuse to buy a third carrier :) I have a sling and a Mei Tai...and now I want a wrap...o.k and another baby to go into it but that is another story :)
    Proud to be Country

  2. I have already started looking into the best carriers to buy... yes, so I can wear Audrey's kids! Am I a total auntie or what!?

    This is great because now I know I have a good reason to stock up on carriers like I stock up on shoes! :)

    Jane, P&B Girls

  3. He He. You're funny. I have gone out and bought myself a bunch of different fabrics so that I can expand my baby wearing collection. I'm in trouble... I have too many shoes and now???

  4. Oh how funny...I'm fairly new to the obession, but I'm on the fast track to owning many slings now. :)

    Oh, and for the record I'm new to the shoes obession, too. I was never a girly girl, but I love all this stuff now!


  5. I do have a ring sling, a wrap, a front back and a back pack. The wrap is the only one that doesn't hurt to wear. The guys won't use it though. Except my oldest, he isn't too manly, he's rather "preppy" lol.
    I feel guilty about getting more than one wrap, but everytime I wear it, we end up with food, drool, snot, dirt (its soooo long and drags on the ground when I put it on), so I have to wash it.
    I'd love to have more than one. And if I'm going that route, I may as well have some cute colors, right?
    Plus I need a water one for the gym/shower/pool. Maybe a pouch for that one.

  6. I love my ring sling most of the time. It's great for quick trips and I'm looking forward to nursing in it! But for longer trips like walking around the mall all day, I can't wait to use my new Moby d!!! I've noticed that the wraps are much more comfy for longer wear!

  7. Love this article!! Having just bought an Ergo myself (which I am blogging about tomorrow), borrowed a Bjorn and own a sling pouch I really enjoyed how Ellen brought forth situations that I can completely relate to!!

  8. A great thought! I love my mei tai but it is a bit bulky and not at all dressy. Although, I am in the minority of women because I don't own many pairs of shoes...

  9. I have three carriers and am close to buying a fourth. Not including the bjorn that my husband prefers :)
    I think having one stashed in my purse or the car for "emergencies" is a perfect idea and definitely need to start doing that!

  10. Too cute Steph, love this post!!!

  11. LOL that was hilarious and soooo true! i use my Ergo religiously, but i have been so wanting to get a nice mei tai lately. maybe this is a sign that i should just do it. :)

  12. Sounds reasonable. Maybe you can help me out. I rely on a pouch sling. (I have a ring sling that I don't really like.) When my boy is wearing shoes, it's almost impossible to get him in and out of that pouch. What would you recommend? Thanks, if you can help.....

  13. Coming in late saying this but is SUCH a cool way at looking at baby carriers! Thanks for the insight.


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