Decisions, Baby! Installment 2

12 Dec

Baby is the new black.

Babies can become rather inconvenient once they pop out into the world. Not that they’re not all cute and amazing, but they do make handling mundane tasks like going to the bathroom a major challenge.

I know some people have babies you can just plop in a bouncy seat and they can sit there all content and maybe even catch some z’s. Not so much for Baby E. At four months old, he’s just beginning to realize the fun of sitting on something besides me. So it was quite lucky that I had considered baby wearing before E was born.

If you’re not familiar with baby wearing, here are but some of the benefits. Once you dig in, you might find it a little cultish and a bit confusing. There are tons of carrier types and even more options within each style. If you’re simply thinking Baby Bjorn, you have no idea (serious BWs won’t touch that one – apparently it puts all of baby’s weight on his crotch and no one wants to be carried by their crotch).

I spent a ton of time researching carriers and reading reviews. I even visited a local baby wearing group where I could try on different styles and ask questions. Here’s what I learned:

  • Wraps. These are basically just long pieces of fabric that you can tie and wear in a million different ways.
    • Stretchy: Some wraps are stretchy like t-shirt fabric. These are good for newborns and small babies and are super snuggly and warm. The Moby is a popular knit wrap. These are generally great, but can be hot in warm climates.
    • Woven: For bigger babies, choose a woven wrap which will hold its shape and support baby weight better. You can tie these in a million ways and wear baby on front facing in or out, on your hip or back. These come in pretty prints and cooler materials like gauze. As a bonus, you can nurse in a wrap if you’ve got mad skillz like that.
    • Other: there are other wrap-like contraptions that aren’t quite wraps. I have a Baby K’tan that a dear friend gave me. She didn’t care for it, but I LOVE it. It’s cozy like a stretchy wrap, but it’s two loops of fabric joined by a fabric band. You can wear it like six different ways, and there’s no tying or having wrap tails dragging on the parking lot pavement. Watch the sizing, though.  I have an old one that’s a small, but they changed the fabric and the small now is way too tight for me. They said it will stretch, but I don’t know…Mom's-eye-view of Baby E in the K'tan. Quite cozy!
  • Slings.  These go over one shoulder and secure with a knot or a ring and work for little babies and bigger ones as well. Pros- quick and easy, pretty, and you can nurse in them. Cons- not completely hands-free, doesn’t distribute weight evenly and can hurt a little if you wear it for a long time.
  • Mei Tai. These are Asian-style carriers that are squares of fabric with straps at top and bottom. Not as good for newborns, awesome for ones with moderate head control and up. Pros- cute and comfortable, wear front, back, side. Holds the baby securely. Cons- takes a little practice to learn to tie it quickly, especially for a back carry. I have a Babyhawk and really like it. I’ve also tried on an Ellaroo and liked it, too.Babyhawk
  • Structured Carriers. These carriers have straps, snaps, buckles, and, well…structure. I have a Bjorn that The Hubs uses from time to time. I have heard from those who know that the Ergo is the schiz. If someone wants to buy one for me, I will gladly take it!

And that brings us to price, which is always a big factor in my world. Carriers are expensive, y’all! I found my Babyhawk on eBay  at about 50% of retail. Thebabywearer.com has a for-sale-or-trade section on their forum. You have to register to participate. I did, but found the forum a little intimidating. Lastly, I found paxbaby.com, where you can rent carriers to try them before you buy.  $9 for two weeks, and if you decide to buy, they deduct the rental fee from the sales price. Pretty good deal!

So there you have it – a crash course in baby wearing from a novice. If you’re new to the game and have any questions, shout at me in the comments. I’d love to help if I can!

BTW, all of this is strictly my opinion. I am in no way paid to promote anything I mentioned here.

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