There is something special about babywearing. Babywearing is the practice of carrying your baby in a baby carrier, wrap, or sling. Women across the world carry their babies while they work in fields, homes, schools, and in businesses. Your little one feels safe curled up against your chest, receiving kisses planted atop her head throughout the day, while you have two hands free to go about your daily tasks.
As a first time mom, I have truly cherished all the moments I have had hiking, walking, doing dishes, and dancing with my daughter held close to my heart in my baby wrap.
I first began babywearing because, due to a set of unfortunate circumstances, I did not have a vehicle the first couple months of my baby’s life. If you aren’t familiar with small-town Maine, I feel compelled to tell you that we don’t really have a big public transportation system up here. This meant that in order to grab coffee, go grocery shopping, and get out of the house, I had to walk. Everywhere. My babycarriers became my life savers. The stroller was great but I didn’t feel secure pushing my fresh newborn over remnants of frost heaves from the winter, so I cherished the fact that my wraps kept my baby close to me as I traversed through town.
Have you started wearing your babies? If not, let’s chat about the benefits so you can see what it’s all about.
There are sooo many benefits to babywearing but we’ll just go over a few together.
Carried Babies Cry Less
According to recent studies, babies who are carried throughout the day cry less than their counterparts.
Carried Babies More Efficiently Regulate Body Temperature and Heart Rate
Babies who are snuggled up to their mama align their breathing, body temp, and heart rate to match her’s. This reduces the risk for SIDS and keeps baby warm.
More Control Over Who Holds Your Baby
It can be difficult to say no when the overly excited stranger sitting next to you at church asks to hold your baby. Wearing your baby in a wrap or sling is the perfect excuse to keep her close rather than passing her around.
Strengthens Bond Between Mom and Baby
Carrying your baby close to you strengthens the emotional bond you have together.
You can see more benefits in this infographic from MomLovesBest:
Babywearing can be awkward at first! It takes time and practice, but after a couple of tries, it becomes less intimidating and more comfortable! I’m here to help you on the journey to becoming more comfortable with wearing your baby.
There are many different baby carriers to choose from, but today I am going to be talking about baby wraps. Baby wraps hold your baby very closely to you and support your baby’s entire body when in the correct position. I have two different wraps: the Boba Wrap, and Milk Snob’s Folklore Wrap.
While there are benefits to both, I prefer my Milk Snob baby wrap. Its beautiful feminine pattern makes me feel more fashionable babywearing in public, as opposed to the bland solid colored Boba. They have soooo many gorgeous colors and patterns that I wish I could buy them all. Not to mention the Milk Snob is a much softer and stretchier material. This may make it sound like it would be less supportive, but I would argue that it is just as supportive while optimizing comfort. The Boba wrap tends to leave my shoulders and neck feeling sore. The Milk Snob is snug enough to support my daughter while having the perfect amount of give to be comfortable. So that is what I will be using in my tutorial today.
First, things to remember when baby carrying:
-Keep your baby’s airway open at all times! Your baby’s head should be tilted up and you should always be able to see his nose and mouth uncovered. Chin up, face visible.
– Babies should always be carried upright, NEVER in a cradle position or lying down position.
– Your baby should be snug and high on your chest. You should be able to kiss the top of her head.
– Your baby’s legs should be pulled up to his hips in a frog like position to optimize proper hip development. The seat of the wrap should be pulled to cover the backside of the knees
– NEVER wear a baby wrap in a vehicle instead of using a carseat. You will be putting your baby at risk.
– ALWAYS read the safety instructions and weight limitations that go with your baby carrier.
All that being said, let’s move on to learning how to wear your baby.
1. Unfold your baby wrap and find the logo at the middle of the wrap fabric.
2. Bring the logo to the middle top of your chest and stretch it out across your chest.
3. Cross the two sides of the outstretched fabric of the baby wrap behind your back and bring each piece over your shoulders, being careful not to intentionally gather or twist the fabric. The more spread out over your back and shoulders, the more supportive it will be.
4. Take the two sides of fabric and tuck them under the center piece (the piece with the logo across your chest). Make sure to keep the fabric tight (see video to learn how to do this).
5. Pull the two pieces down firmly. Each piece of the baby wrap should be snug to your body.
6. Cross the two pieces at or directly above your belly button, then bring them around your waist to your back. Tie in a knot at your back.
7. If there is extra fabric, bring the two pieces to the front again and tie in a knot where comfortable. The ends can be tucked or used for additional support.
Now in my video, I am carrying my six-month-old. If you are carrying a much smaller baby, Milk Snob has their own tutorial that you may find helpful.
Wearing my baby in a baby wrap has been such a valuable experience to me and I hope it will be for you as well. Keep an eye out as I will be starting a babywearing workout soon and will be posting the exercises to share with you. Good luck, and if you have any questions please comment and ask!