August 18, 2008

Your Babywearing Questions, Part 1

From Jana- What is your preferred carrier for hot weather?

I prefer a lightweight ring sling, not double-layered, and maybe made of linen or cotton. Mei tais are great as I feel that the air flow can get to Mom & baby easier, and woven wraps are also ideal as it also has only one layer compared to other carriers.

If you're going to be by water, a mesh water sling like this one from Nest is fantastic, and also something I used everyday in the shower with Gray as a newborn!

From Heather- I would LOVE first hand observations of the $$$$ slings and wraps.

In the first class I attended at the babywearing conference, an instructor was wearing a Psling. Oh my. So beautiful and from what I could see, and how she described her experience with it, yes- it is worth the money! I was very impressed by the make and feel of the Oopa Slings that were at the SoBeBabies booth. I also saw firsthand the Didymos and Storchenwiege wraps, both of which I found to be equal in quality and heard from other babywearers that either are great woven wraps.

From Madeline- I want to know if its possible to carry a baby beyond 35 lbs.

As long as it is comfortable for you, it is possible to carry a baby beyond 35 lbs. Many carriers suggest up to 40 lbs. The best way to carry a larger baby is on your back in a two-shoulder carrier such as a wrap or mei tai. You'll want to use a woven wrap, and not a stretchy wrap as it will sag after about 20 lbs. If you are concerned about getting baby on your back, use someone to help you or a mirror for the first few times, and maybe try using a baby doll or a bag of rice before trying it out with baby.

From Kim- I have a 14 month old who is only 16 lbs, so I carry her everywhere. I am also 5 1/2 months pregnant - so I am wondering what you have found that works. I am really running out of room for her on my front and side.

Babywearing while pregnant is not something that is often heartily recommended, but it is possible. Some tips I got were to wear baby in a mei tai or podaegi up high on your back, with the straps tied in the Tibetan tie above your belly. And another Mom told me how she wore her baby while 9 months preggo by using the Ergo with straps under the belly and resting on her hips.

I personally stopped wearing Gray after a few months pregnant because it just wasn't very comfortable for me.

From Seeryus Mama- What is the best carrier to carry your baby so they are facing out?

This is something else that I was surprised to learn about at the babywearing conference. Wearing your baby facing out is not recommended! For newborns, the main problem is overstimulation. For mom, especially as baby gets larger, your center of gravity is much better when baby is facing you.

Most carriers that are made for facing out, such as the Baby Bjorn, have the baby's legs and feet hanging straight down in front, which is not good for the baby's hips and spine. The pressure on the crotch artery can also make baby's feet go numb.

If your baby is going to be worn facing out, the Kangaroo Carry with feet in is best- you can do this in a ring sling, pouch, and wrap. If they must have their legs hanging out, it would be best in a stretchy wrap or a wrap hybrid like the Baby Ktan. Try to make sure their legs are spread froggy style rather than hanging straight down. The best way to get baby used to not facing out is to never give them the option!

If you have a babywearing question, please feel free to email me or leave it in the comments below! Stay tuned for Your Babywearing Questions part 2!

I'll be posting all about babywearing and birth stories in the coming week. You can subscribe to my feed here. Also, join the Babywearing Bloggers blogroll if you'd like!

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for the "simply Plain Jane" blog link-the instructions were great; I cant wait to try out the kangaroo cary on ben!

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  2. Thank you for writing about the carrying outward facing. Most Moms don't know that. I'm always asked how to wear in a Mei Tai facing out and I just want to say, "NO!"

    Great post, Steph!

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  3. Sniffle... I miss the days of slinging my kids around. :)

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  4. Thanks for answering my question!! I didn't realize that they shouldn't be faced out!

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  5. Hey Steph!

    Love the post! Thanks for the great info.

    My question is about wiggly babies. My daughter has got a mean case of curiosity and is always twisting and turning in the sling. A side position seems to work best but it is frusterating cause she also trys to wiggle free. = thought maybe she just doesnt like to be carried but she cries to be in my arms and the sling after 10 minutes in a stroller.

    So...what would be the best sling, wrap, or carrier for a wiggler?

    Also what do you recommend for a newborn?

    Thanks!

    Tara

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  6. Thanks for answering my question, Steph. We've moved to a ring sling and that seems to have made a big difference. I'm saving up for a mei tai; hopefully I can get one before we go on vacation in a couple of months.

    This is great info, especially the information about carrying outward facing. Boo likes to ride in the kangaroo carry in the sling, but we'll put a stop to that now. :-)

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  7. Great info here, Steph! Though I am not a mom, it is helpful to learn these important tips and trends; getting the word out. I want to get some of these as gifts for my friends that are expecting.

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  8. Great info Steph! I'm all into wearing Henry! I love it!! :)

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  9. Thanks for answering my question! Now that he's nearly 25 pounds (at 9 months), I've noticed that my stretchy wraps aren't comfy anymore. I do love my mei tais. And I can still use my slings for shorter jaunts. I'll have to try out the back carry. I've been hesitant to do so, but it does seem more practical the heavier he gets. Are there any particular woven wraps that you suggest?

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  10. Lots of good info here for all the babywearer's out there. I just had to comment on the days left for Ivy to make her entrance....30 days...WOW! I am getting so excited.

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  11. I so thought I invented the idea for a mesh sling, but then I saw it in the Steps Ahead catalog. Shoot!

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  12. Thank you for this information. My 15 month old is getting too big for our stretchy wrap. I had no idea that wearing baby facing out was NOT recommended. We have been through 8 slings and nothing has been really comfortable for me. What places would you recommend to purchase a mei tai? This would be so helpful.:) Thank you.

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  13. Just wanted to comment on the babywearing while pregnant question...

    I've been wearing one of my 2-year old twins in a Mei Tai on my back. I'm 36 weeks pregnant with twins so tying the straps is interesting because I have to have them very low under my belly. But it's definitely possible!

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  14. cashmere sling from Oompa, oh my, sounds heavenly! maybe if i win the lottery...

    Also, I love the Ergo for back carring but I've never tried a Mei Tei.

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  15. Big fan of the mei tai. As a guy, I can say that wearing our babies has been a great experience. It's very satisfying to be able to calm a cranky baby (who's obviously fighting sleep) so easily. Not to mention my hands are free to xbox, I mean, vaccuum.

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  16. With a 33 lb 15 month old, I am loving my new mei tai! I was getting worried about how much longer the ring sling would hold up. I still use it for quick in and out situations. But I really am loving my mei tai. I'll be posting pics soon!

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  17. I gave you an award today at my blog come check it out.

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  18. Truly, you are the Baby Wearing Expert!

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  19. First, I love your encouragement. Both here & at 5 Min for Parenting.

    I've always used a bjorn to keep my girls close, but it's never been comfortable. Now knowing it's not good for them either... well.

    So my question: what about a position and/or product for a 17 lb. almost 6-month old wiggle worm? I'd like to keep her on my hip or back as the front tends to make my bad back ACHE, but she's also a hair-grabber/pincher.

    So is there a "poppable" front carry that is not so bad on the back? or a side/back carry that keeps her hands away from my hair? ;o) Thanks ahead of time.

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  20. Thanks for the info. I'm excited to really use a sling this time around and hopefully it will work well!

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  21. Thanks for all of the helpful information. If I'm blessed with another baby, I'm definitely going to babywear alot more.

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  22. I never had slings for my boys, wish I did tho!

    I have an award for you on my blog, come and see!

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  23. This was great to read through! thanks for sharing!
    Jen

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  24. I only used our Bjorn with Elizabeth facing in - neither of my babies wanted to be worn in that type of carrier facing out, but they didn't mind the kangaroo carry facing out.

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  25. I have a question. How do you take a sleeping baby out of a ring sling or pouch and transfer to carseat or crib and not wake the baby?

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  26. I can definitely second the tip about not facing baby out! When my little one was 3-4 months old, she always seemed to enjoy facing out, but the hours afterward were disasterous. She was fussy, crying, and nothing I did could really calm her down. It only took a few times to realize that facing her out was completely overstimulating her. Around the same time, we switched from a BabyBjörn to an Ergo, and among the information from the baby store that sold me the Ergo was a flyer on the problems with having baby face out. It was nice to have my observation confirmed, and besides, the Ergo is sooooo much better than the BabyBjörn! What a difference!

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  27. I had the Bjorn, but didn't last long so I switched the Ergo and Beco. My son is very curious but didn't mind facing in. He could still see and being close to my heart helped calm him down, plus it is easy to nurse when the baby is facing in. If your baby is squirmy, just start walking and they will usually settle down.

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  28. May I also say that wearing the baby out provides no support for it's spine. it gets jolted with every step the wearer takes. The baby just hanging there is very unnatural posture.

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