To Baby Wear or Not to Baby Wear?

July 10, 2011 - Tybee Island

Baby wearing is all the craze right now. Which I think it pretty funny considering that it has been not only a craze but a necessity for peasant farmers for thousands of years… But I digress.

With Bean, I tried using a sling when he was a couple months old. Once he got out of that newborn stage around three months old, he didn’t want to just sit in one place while I went about my household chores. He wanted to come along. And since it’s hard to tote a load of laundry while carrying an infant, we had to try the sling. He wasn’t opposed to the sling, but it was a phase that didn’t last long. He liked it for about a month, and then he had no interest in it anymore. He started squirming a lot and crying when he was in it. I tried an Ergo and a few other baby carriers, but in the end, he just preferred to be held or put down, so we let him be.

Gracie, though, was a sling machine. That kid lived in her slings for months. And it was a necessity with her because I had little Bean Man to care for at the same time. The first time I took them both grocery shopping and had Bean in the cart, Gracie in the sling, and both my hands free to shop, I thought I’d died and gone to mommy heaven. It was amazing!

July 10, 2011 - Tybee Island

Using a sling with Gracie was great during cold season, too. I kept her close to me when we were out in public spaces and everyone was sick and germy. It was nice at things like little kid birthday parties where all Bean’s friends wanted to touch Gracie, but she was still too small for a lot of germs. And, of course, there was when we moved into our new house and I was able to actually help strip wallpaper and do small repairs because I could take Gracie with me.

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Slings and baby carriers are wonderful options if your baby likes them. I would suggest borrowing one from a friend first to see how it goes. I spent a lot on a trendy brand of baby carrier, only to discover that neither of my kids liked it. Test them out before you buy. But if there’s no opposition from your tiny peanut gallery, then go for it!

July 10, 2011 - Tybee Island

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12 thoughts on “To Baby Wear or Not to Baby Wear?

  1. katie

    I hear a lot about babywearing and really want to try it, but I don’t know any of the brands and what is durable. Suggestions?

  2. I never did this, mostly because my daughter is a huge kiddo and was quite the big baby, but in hindsight, it would have been so much easier than doing everything with one hand :-)

  3. Lindsay

    @Katie, I used the moby wrap which I loved (you can make your own for much much cheaper!) then when my boy got too big and wiggly we switched to the bjorn, got a used one for about $25!

  4. I’m crazy about our Moby wrap for my 3 week old. She’s such a snuggle bug that I wouldn’t get anything done without it. I apparently converts for older babies, but they are still facing in. I’ve heard great things about the baby bjorn, but do try to find it used.

  5. I love my Maya Wrap (which is actually a sling) and then the ERGObaby. We got the ERGO once Jacob was older, but I can’t wait to have it to use with our newest little one, who we’ll meet in about six weeks, with the infant insert. My husband, who’s about 8 inches taller than me, liked the ERGO or a Bjorn-like carrier because it distributed the baby’s weight better. I thought the Bjorn (which was actually an Infantino in our case) made my chest look awkward, so I ditched that pretty quickly.

  6. Mae

    I had a similar experience with both my kids. I do agree about asking family and friends to borrow their slings/carrier to see if it works for you. Parker, my now 3 year old, didn’t really like the carrier I had (a Baby Bjorn). He always looked so uncomfortable in it. Besides I only used it until he was about 9 weeks old and already 14 lbs b/c it killed my back. When my daughter was born, I bought the Sleepy Wrap (similar to a Moby) b/c I heard great stuff about it, but Avery wasn’t a fan of it. I then bought an Ergo Baby carrier (sport version) and LOVED it! Avery would fall asleep in it almost instantly. I recently had to use it when we flew to CA and it still felt comfortable and doesn’t hurt my back and she’s a 25 lb 18 month old!

  7. Amy

    My kids both detested being carried. In general, they don’t like being physically close to people, and were much happier in the pram or on the floor. Sometimes I wished I could have worn a sling, it would have made life much easier!

  8. Sue

    I miss carrying my baby. I loved the Moby when he was tiny, and we used the Ergo for ages. He didn’t like to be put down anywhere – just wanted to be up and close to his mama. The baby carriers were a lifesaver. Sure miss those days (he’s 5 now).

  9. I loved baby wearing. A definite must when you have more than one child, but great with only one, too. I even made a sling, one desperate evening, when my baby was suffering, apparently, from an ear infection and his only comfort was being worn/carried. Not an easy task when preparing supper.

    A note to share with your readers: as you recommended, it’s helpful to try carriers out. BUT.. if you don’t know people, often times there are groups in your community that have a “library” of sorts. In my area, LaLeche League is one. Hopefully this info can help someone out. Like… I would never buy a moby wrap – waaaay too complicated, but I know ppl who love them. So glad I had a friend in LLL with one, and saved myself the $70 bucks, or whatever one costs.

  10. Sullivan loathed anything other than my arms around him. I tried the sling and the strapped carriers but no dice. He just screamed at me then snuggled in once I took him out. But guess who got some ripped guns from that? My husband because my wimpy arms couldn’t take hauling my beast of a child around for more than thirty minutes.

  11. Erin D

    re: All My Monkeys’ assertion that the moby is complicated-

    babies have different babywearing tolerances, and so do moms! i found it by far the easiest, because it’s a cinch after the first 3 times, and it’s obvious how to position baby and my girls seemed very comfortable ESPECIALLY in the first 3 months. ring slings were MUCH trickier for me to don, then wiggle baby into such that she’s comfortable & i had her up high enough.

    also the Ergo has been a dream once baby has good head control, and it spreads out weight MUCH better than a sling. great all the way up to toddlerhood.

  12. Erin: That’s why I said “…but I know people who love them.” I just said they were too complicated *for me*. I wanted something that was fast to put on. A sling or a Snugli/Bjorn fit that bill *for me*. 😀 Thus, the point being that it’s helpful to try one out before dropping the cash, as some of them are pretty spendy. Again, I second Katie’s recommendation to try them out if you can, and there are sometimes lending “libraries” of baby gear. Check LLL or other mom groups in your community. 😀

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