November 11, 2008

We Go Together


Join in the International Babywearing Week celebrations by sharing your babywearing photos- link up in the Mr. Linky here... and you could win!

I've written quite a lot about babywearing over the years, but do still get asked the same questions over and over again. So, here's a little refresher!

If you are just starting out and have a new baby, I always suggest a ring sling. It was my first sling and I found it to be the easiest when starting out. Any ring sling will do- you can shop online, check ebay, La Leche League meetings, or visit a local Mom's group.

If you can, try out a couple different types of carriers to see what works best for you! If not, I recommend buying a carrier that you can easily exchange in case it is too big or too small, or just not the right fit for you.

Wraps are great, too. Just remember that stretchy wraps are best for smaller babies and woven wraps are better for both smaller and heavier children.

If you are going to do a lot of walking or wearing baby for a long period of time, a mei tai (pronounced MAY-tie) is definitely worth the investment. The only mei tais I've had experience with are the FreeHand and Baby Hawk, but there are many out there to choose from. Don't get intimidated by the straps- it is very easy to learn the best ways to tie and wear baby in both a front & back carry!

I've never tried an ERGO Baby Carrier, but would love to. Don't you think Ivy & I would look great with this!?

If you are a larger Mom, you might find that a ring sling with a longer tail will give you a better fit. Just ask the person making the sling to make it a little longer for you. Same with mei tais and wraps- just ask for a little extra and it shouldn't be difficult to have a custom carrier made for you.

Some tips if you find that the sling is not comfortable for you or baby- often the "cradle hold" is not the baby's favorite position, so try carrying them with their tummy to your chest and the rings up high if being worn in a ring sling. You should be able to smooch their little head when wearing them- this is Ivy's favorite way to be worn (as shown in the photo above)!

Make sure your sling is spread evenly across your back and that the rings are up high in the area where a corsage would be worn. No matter what baby carrier you are wearing, baby should be in a position that would resemble how you would hold them in your arms. They should not hang too low to the front or side.

This past summer I was able to attend the
Babywearing Conference in Chicago. Jennifer Norton, founder of TheBabywearer.com was the keynote speaker, and I was moved by her babywearing journey: One important note that she expressed with her heart was- that because a Mother's need for support is so very necessary in feeling like she is doing a good job as a Mom- we mustn't ever criticize someone for not wearing their baby.

We should never make another Mother feel less-than or that what she is doing is wrong. If it works for her, that is what is most important. The findings about the benefits of babywearing that Jennifer was sharing is what has been found through her extensive research, and while I hope that every Mom could experience the bliss of babywearing that I've known in my own life, I can not expect every Mom to be just like me. I want the "every Mom" to be just who she needs to be.


You can go on to read more about Jennifer Norton's presentation here.

What's your best babywearing tip? Have a babywearing question? Please leave your comments below!

Join the Babywearing Bloggers blogroll and check out all the other awesome babywearing bloggers out there.

Subscribe to my blog here- I'll be posting more pics and chatting about babywearing all this week!

Twitter me- I'm babysteph


Photo by
Beth of Beth Fletcher Photography.

37 comments:

  1. A great point to make! Some of us more, er, militant(?) babywearers cringe at the sight of tiny little babies being toted from place to place in car seats and such.

    But, I think the best way to spread the word is by simply wearing YOUR baby, in a cute carrier of course!

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  2. My kids are older now. Oh my gosh I wish we had these things when my kids were young. My kids lived in strollers. I was out all of the time and so my kids got pushed.

    The carriers today truly are just adorable.

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  3. Do you count the Bjorn as babywearing? (I am sure that question shows me as a bit clueless). But we did have Declan on us alot, believed in the snuggling and the principals of babywearing and the Bjorn worked better for both my husband and I. Either way, good post!

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  4. I can't get enough of these photos you've been posting! They are awesome!

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  5. Oh, and I meant to tell you, not sure if you knew that Declan was 2 months premature but one of the main therapies we did right away with him in the NICU as soon as he was off the vent was kangarooing. It was so good for BOTH of us during that time.

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  6. My next baby is definitely going to be worn. My baby carrier was just too complicated to mess with very often, since my husband and I are DECIDEDLY different shapes and we'd have to totally readjust it every time.

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  7. I carry my baby in an Infantino Cozy Ride Carrier, and I really love it. It holds her close to me, and I can wear her for hours.

    I would really love a sling, because the carrier only goes to 22 lbs, and my baby needs to be carried longer than that :) But theyre so expensive I might have to make one.

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  8. Beautiful photo, Steph.
    I love you wore Ivy for the picture. :)
    You know, when I was going to our local NINO group, I definitely picked up on the "discrimination" towards Bjorn types and the old store carriers. While I agree that the other carriers are superior, I have a hard time explaining WHY a MT is preferred to a Bjorn-type, or even how they are different.

    Would you be willing to touch on that during Babywearing Week?

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  9. Stephanie - you guys have GOT to get an Ergo. You'll love it. Do you have any soft-structured carriers at all in your stash? If not, I think Ergo is a GREAT starting place. I wear AJ in ours DAILY.

    Can't wait to read the rest of that article!

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  10. I just ordered the ERGO, and am hoping my 10 month old will like it! I let them know I followed the link from your site, so maybe they will send some ERGO love your way:-)

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  11. I think it's great that you said to support other moms who don't wear their kids. I didn't have a choice really. No one bought us a sling or anything, and we couldn't afford to buy one. I hope that with our next child (should the Lord bless us with another), I'd like to get a sling or mai tei (that would probably be better, my kids will all be hefty).

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  12. I have a slings and two baby bjorns. Both are good for different uses. The thing is I don't use the slings too often!

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  13. question - when double l was smaller I used a sling and a regular carrier. Both are way too small for him, but he still loves to be carried. Is there a carrier for a big 16 month old? he is 28 pounds.

    thanks, courtney

    p.s. that picture is awesome. you have a beautiful family!

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  14. I agree with Megan - Ergos are AWESOME!! I wore my 3 year old around Disney World Paris in one and had no pain issues at all. He loved it and I did, too.

    Hank and I use a custom made Mei Tai now - I'm really loving it!

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  15. I wish I'd had all this info when I had Gavin last year. I had one sling and I liked it but I just wish I'd known more, you know? I plan to link up later in the week to a picture of me wearing him...

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  16. Such a great pic of your family! that ergo looks amazing :) I'm not wearing my baby as much these days (he's walking) I miss it . . .

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  17. I LOVE my Ergo. I used a bjorn for my first three kids and hated it. I took the financial plunge with my fourth, who turned out to be a premie (kangaroo care in the NICU!), and needed to be worn to stay warm. It was totally worth the money. She is 1.5 and I still use the carrier.

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  18. I have tried the Ergo (a friend owns one) And I think it is a great carry. Though I am more partial to wraps and slings. I think one day I'll buy one, but for now I am satisfied with what I got.

    I love the picture. Beautiful.

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  19. I'm not sure if other commenters will be coming back to read what other babywearers write about but I wanted to throw out the option of buying used slings. (Though I know this doesn't benefit the companies directly, it does help get the word out). I bought one of my Kangaroo Korner slings on Ebay and paid half price. Craigslist is always a good option too.
    I still wear my 36.5 pound 2 year old when she needs to nap when we're in public. I know you've touched on wearing older/bigger children before but I couldn't help throw that out there.

    Also, there's a new generation of babywearers at my house this week. It's the sweetest thing I've seen all week (besides the touching photos you've been sharing of your family of course)

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  20. Those pictures are just fabulous!!! Love them! I love the ergo! Its so cute and sporty! Like I said in my blog post yesterday- a mei tei is my next pick. Also another ring sling would be great. I love baby wearing and I'm so thankful to have found your blog!!! I appreciate the refresher questions... I didn't know a more woven fabric would be better for a heavier baby. I do have to adjust Gray a lot now that he is almost 18 lbs in my sleepy wrap. That is probably why. What wraps have more of a woven fabric? Do you know any? Thanks again!

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  21. We are expecting our first in less than 10 weeks. (Thank you for giving me that wonderful coffee advice a few months ago.)

    With our baby shower money, we purchased an Ergo carrier that both my husband and I can be happy wearing. (We chose that over the Bjorn because it protects their pelvis and leg circulation better, not to mention it distributes the baby's weight on the parent like a well-made trekking backpack.) With a gift certificate, I purchased a hot sling that I'm hoping will fit me well. I'm still hoping for a mei tai, a ring sling like the Maya, and a mesh sling for the beach.

    A friend of ours who wants to throw a shower for us after the baby gets here poured cold water on all those plans, saying that we were silly to spend so much money on baby carriers when we 1. could only wear the baby for the first few weeks, and 2. the baby might hate it. I tried to explain that the cradle hold is not the only hold, that babywearing from the start usually means older babies are happy to continue, that there are a zillion different ways to wear a baby based upon preferences and age/weight ranges, and about the studies that have been done showing its benefits. Her only response was that it sounded like an interesting modern invention. Guess she hasn't been to Africa or South America to meet the mothers who have been doing this for generations.

    So here is a comment from a first time mom-to-be who hopes to indulge in this one aspect of attachment parenting successfully. People here think I'm idealistic and are hoping reality hits me sooner than later. But I keep coming back to your blog for reminders to know that my ideals can indeed be reality.

    And I imagine I'll keep on coming back to your blog to be reminded that I'm this little guy's mama, and not the well-meaning folks around me who seem determined to tell me how to do parenting their way. I like how you share your heart without being dogmatic, and how you use that inner sense/gift to know how to individually parent each of your children. It's a great reminder that we don't have to be "cookie cutter moms".

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  22. I love the point you made-I toted my first son around everywhere in his carrier and at the time that worked well for us; though I am glad I found babywearing :) I am excited to see your video-I'm debating buying a baby hawk (I love you can get a pocket!) or an ergo. I guess I'll decided by seeing if I think I can do the back carry the easiest in which one-the cost is enough that I know I will only be able to justify buying one or the other. Maybe I'll find a sale somewhere...lol!

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  23. the best words a mom can hear is "me too."

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  24. i'm did this post. i'm due in 6 weeks and am looking for a good newborn sling. i have an ergo and love it but for older babies.

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  25. Gray looks SO grown in these pics.. seems like just yesterday he was the one in that black sling. Crazy!'
    btw im getting a black one from Kim teehee.. my red one is on loan and Im dying with out it.. even tho i dont wear Taite much.. I do use slings a lot still. Plus we want a 3rd!

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  26. First I love that picture! Secondly I so need to get my babywearing post up! Maybe tomorrow during laundry :)

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  27. I ordered a ring sling from a shop on Etsy and it should be here in a day or two. I'm pretty excited to try it out. I have a New Native pouch sling that is about 6 years old that I have been using but I wanted something newer. I hope to write a post this week after I get my new sling!

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  28. I can hardly wait to take some of your advice when I try out my new sling in just 35 short days!

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  29. Well I have only worn my youngest for only a few weeks in a Bjorn-the slings- especially the wraps scared me.
    BUT reading your site has really pushed me to read up more about babywearing. So I have 22 weeks to find a sling that hopefully i not only like but the baby likes too.
    I really get hope that this will work and I won't need all that other gear. Plus how can i hold my other children's hands if I am always pushing a stroller or breaking my back carrying my baby in a car seat?

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  30. Try the Beco instead of the Ergo. It is lighter, thinner and prettier. It also has a built-in infant panel instead of needing to buy an infant insert like with the Ergo. I have both and like both, but, if I had to pick one, I'd go Beco for someone like you for size and style reasons.

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  31. We wear an Ergo and we love it!

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  32. I used a pouch sling with my little one when she was small and now I have a Bjorn - I'd love an Ergo or a Mei Tai but there is always the money thing :) and the Bjorn works for now!

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  33. Sorry I haven't been around much. Crazy busy. That photo is gorgeous.

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  34. That family photo is darling! What a great photographer you know!

    Thanks for the great "babywearing basics" article too! I've heard that the Ergo is fantastic, but haven't ever tried one personally.

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  35. that is a gorgeous purple ring sling! Gorgeous!

    And I don't know if it was a problem with that particular sling, but I couldn't master a ring sling until I figured out all the rest. I don't know if it was my issue or the carriers. I'm a MT momma. :) But I have found the ring sling love. I'm still working on my BWing post. It's coming soon.

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  36. Oops - totally put the wrong comment on the wrong post. Ah well. You get the picture. ;)

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