Wearing Your Baby

baby-wearing-2

Ironically, this week in language class we got onto the topic of the benefits of “baby wearing.” I think I have mentioned it before, but I am very much an advocate of wearing babies for the sake of mother-baby bonding and the general health and happiness of mom and child, not to mention for the sake of convenience. Our sidewalks are terrible for strollers, so the sling was so nice sometimes! Since the topic came up, I thought I’d share some thoughts and resources with you in order to do my part to promote global baby wearing (which I am sure most of you can share from experience, is in actuality already a very multi-cultural practice.)

Some reasons to wear your baby:

-Closeness and bonding (there are a number of studies out there that show that wearing your baby can help with postpartum depression and is very beneficial for the overall bond of mother/father and child).

-Convenience. It is easier than hauling a stroller out the door if you don’t need one. Also it is easier to get things done around the house if you have your hands free yet can be holding your baby at the same time.

-Comfort. Most moms find it comforting to have their babies close to them, and most (probably all) babies love being close to mom/dad.

-Colic… I wasn’t intentionally going with the “c” theme, but it seems to just be working that way. My son was really colicky and I called the sling his “happy place” because it was the only way that I could get him to stop crying on numerous occasions. It worked far better than anything else to soothe him!

-Development (moving farther on into the alphabet). It has been shown that wearing your baby promotes emotional, physical, and intellectual development and is especially beneficial for premature infants.

….and there are many more advantages, but I am out of time, so here are some links:

The Baby Wearer

Natural Child

Parentingweb.com

Here are some other good links that I have found that help you to make your own wraps/carriers/slings.

Ring sling sewing instructions (I think one of you linked to this as well recently!)

Several make-it-yourself carriers

African Kanga (Kikoy) wrap instructions (using just a large piece of fabric)

There are also TONS of great ones that you can buy if you happen to be back in the US.ย  Some are the Ergo carrier, Moby Wrap, general pocket sling and ring slings, Mei Tai style carriers (like this one), Baby Bjorns… Find what you like and wear it!

(And in case it is of interest, though my kids spent much time in their slings, we did most naps in their own beds. Some sites recommend having your babies nap in their slings, and while this is great and something I did a lot at first, some moms prefer teaching their kids to sleep in their own beds early on for the sake of routine. I was just writing this little disclaimer to say that you can be a baby wearing mom on any end of the spectrum. Any time spent wearing your baby is good, even if you don’t wear them all day!)

Do you or did you wear your baby? What are your thoughts?

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10 Responses to “Wearing Your Baby”


  1. 1 susanmarie April 4, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this comment if it weren’t for my sling – because I would have lost my sanity long ago without it. It was really the only way to calm my first baby (and me too.=)

    It would almost always put my babies to sleep.

    I bjorned my second baby a ton for convenience and transportation. Same with this one.

    I’m not an all-day wearer at all though – it’s too hard on my back after awhile. But still a big fan. =)

  2. 2 Junglewife April 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    With my first, I didn’t know anything except for the Baby Bjorn, so I used that for quite a while. Then we moved to language school and the Bjorn started getting hard on my back. I heard about Hotslings and had one sent out to me – my daughter was already about 9 months old but that thing was a lifesaver. I sent you the picture of us riding the motorcycle – she would ride in the Hotsling every time we went out anywhere, even falling asleep in it while we were riding the motorcycle! I was able to go shopping, run errands, etc.

    With my second, my Hotsling was starting to wear out so I got another one plus a Peanut Shell. I love them both! My second LIVED in the sling for her first 4 months or so. She wouldn’t nap in her bed – only when I was holding her, so the sling enabled me to actually be able to get stuff done! I still use it but not as frequently anymore (she is a year old now).

    OH, I have the Ergo carrier too. I still use that almost every day. I walk in the morning while my 1 year old rides on my back! When we are traveling, she is as happy as a clam on my back or sleeping on my front while we trek around the airports. She may outgrow the sling soon but I think it will be a long time before she outgrows the Ergo!

  3. 3 Claire April 4, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    You are so right! Slings are a mother’s friend. There are some videos and patterns on this site that are helpful for moms learning to use wraps, which I like in the cooler months.

    Here’s the baby sling pattern and here’s the one on how to tie and use a baby wrap.

  4. 4 Gina Marie April 5, 2009 at 1:14 am

    I had a sling with my first, but it is something completely unheard of in China, so I got a lot of criticism for it. People would tell me my son was uncomfortable (really? he’s sleeping) or that it was unsafe, and they would come and put their hands under it as though it would fall off me at any moment.

    I think because my son was such a good sleeper on his own, and because I was tired of the “pi ping” (criticism), I graduated to the Baby Bjorn pretty quickly. And then they started telling me he would walk bow legged from it when he got older . . . ๐Ÿ™‚ You just can’t win in some places! I know it’s just the “takes a village to raise a child” mentality.

  5. 5 Andrea @ The Train To Crazy April 5, 2009 at 2:10 am

    I have 3 little ones so if we are going to go anywhere someone has to be worn! I’m not wearing anyone at home right now but in the newborn stage I always do. I still wear my 4 year old sometimes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. 6 Ana D. April 6, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Hello there fellow-missionary-mom, I have an Easter giveaway on my blog that might be of interest for you and your kids, don’t miss it!

    God bless you,

    Ana

    http://annedg777.blogspot.com/2009/04/jumpstart-giveaway.html

  7. 7 Bethany April 6, 2009 at 7:53 am

    I love wearing Elijah. Malawians often times laugh because he is at my front instead of on my back. They also question whether or not his legs are squished, but after he gives them a BIG smile, they know he is a happy kid.

  8. 8 Richelle Wright April 6, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I wear my babies some – slings, backpacks, front carriers, tied on my back African style. I can only do so on a limited basis, although I love it, because of back and shoulder problems. The other kids are usually always right there with me, doing whatever it is I’m doing: working on the computer, folding laundry, cooking, cleaning… I just find a way to get them involved from even the very youngest of ages.

    Gina Marie – I always receive criticism or suggestions of a better way (well-intentioned, though it may be) when I’m out and about with my children. Some days I just brush it off, but other day, it needles and I need to have the person stop or I’ll find resentment and uncharitable thoughts starting to build. I’ve learned to think through some indirect comments that subtly say, “Please stop,” without appearing ungracious or causing the other person to loose face. For example, I start the greetings, which always includes “And how are your children, how is yourfamily?” which then allows me to ask… “And how many children do you have?” to which they reply, “And you?” – which works for me since I’ve got 8 and most people who are talking won’t have that many. I checked with a few older women I respected to ask how to stop the comments because some days it was affecting my attitude I would become defensive and closed towards people instead of open and sharing… just a suggestion for what it is worth.

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