With my first son, I found babywearing intimidating and uncomfortable. Despite him being a complete velcro baby who would almost certainly have loved the closeness, I just couldn’t get on with it. The structured carriers I found uncomfortable, and I found the idea of a wrap or a ring sling far too complicated. I couldn’t even tie a knot when I was in the Guides, how would I ever work out how to wrap my baby and stop him falling out?
But second time around I was determined to try harder with baby wearing. I loved the concept of keeping your baby close, and the practicality of having your hands free. When you have a baby and an older child to deal with, having two hands available is often essential!
So second time around I researched sling libraries near us, and I bought a stretchy wrap before Ben was born and practised with a doll so that I felt more comfortable babywearing when the time came. Once I was comfortable with the stretchy wrap, I headed to the Sling Library and rented a ring sling, and by the time I had to return it, I was a baby wearing convert. If you’re considering babywearing, here are all of my reasons why I love it so much!
Close Enough To Kiss
Close enough to kiss is one of the key principles of baby wearing, and although it’s meant as safety advice, it captures perfectly the main reason why I love it. It’s such a physical thing; your baby is so close to you, and both of my babies have wanted to be held almost permanently in those first few months. I’m very much a gentle parent, and if my baby wants a cuddle, then I’m more than happy to cuddle them. It’s a wonderful way to bond with your baby, and the physical closeness settles them better than any other method I’ve tried.
It’s The Best Way To Settle A Newborn
So often with a newborn, they require that physical closeness to fall asleep, and who can blame them? They’ve spent 9 months inside you, all cosy and comforted, it’s logical that they would want that comfort once they’ve been born, whether that’s in your arms, on your chest, or in a baby carrier. The combination of the physical closeness and the movement as you walk around with them in the carrier is a fail-safe way to settle your baby – it was a very rare occurrence that it didn’t manage to settle Ben.
There’s A Carrier For Every Occasion
I now have 3 different carriers – a stretchy wrap, a ring sling, and an Izmi baby carrier (which is a structured carrier with straps but made of fabric) – and I use them each for different situations. I used the stretchy wrap a lot when Ben was tiny as it was really comfortable for us both, but I rarely use it these days now he’s 7 months. My go to carriers these days are either the ring sling or the Izmi. The ring sling works really well for him at this age as he’s so nosey and the ring sling allows him to see absolutely everything. And it’s great for if he’s in a very up and down mood, as once you’ve tied it, it’s very easy to throw on and off. But the fact that he can see everything so well does mean that he’s unlikely to sleep in it. If I know that we’re going to be out with him in the sling and he’s likely to need a snooze, I’ll choose the Izmi, which means I can keep his view a little bit more restricted, and more often than not, he’ll drop off.
It’s Perfect for Reflux
Ben suffered with silent reflux when he was little. He would cry for hours on end, screaming until his throat must have been so sore. We managed to get him medication fairly early on, but one of the pieces of advice for reflux is to keep your baby as upright as possible, and baby wearing is such an easy way to do that.
It’s Great For Exploring The Great Outdoors
We’re a family who love getting outdoors in the fresh air, but there are definitely occasions where a pushchair just doesn’t work. Muddy paths and pushchairs just aren’t a great mix, so if we’re heading out to the woods, to the pumpkin fields, or any National Trust property, the baby carrier is by far the better choice.
It’s Small On Space
When you have a tiny baby, it’s likely that you’ll be holidaying in the UK (we certainly did both times around) and that means packing everything you need into the car. When space is at a premium, a pushchair is something that is far better to leave at home if you can. A sling is the perfect pushchair replacement if you’re tight on space – you can just pop it into a bag and off you go!
Dads love it!
I see so many Dads baby wearing, and it’s lovely! My husband has always preferred using the baby carrier to the pushchair, and would often head out with Max for long walks along the canal using a carrier. I think it’s such a lovely way for Dads to bond physically with their baby.
Disclosure: I received the Izmi Baby Carrier to try out.