As I am an advocate of babywearing and use my baby carriers far more frequently than the pushchair. I thought I would share my top ten reasons to wear your baby.
- There is no faster way to settle a newborn baby than being held close to mum or dad. Emma lived in our Moby wrap for the first few months – she hated being placed in her moses basket. Carrying her meant that I could get on with the important task of making a hot drink and playing with Daniel whilst ensuring she got some sleep. It is great for colicky babies and those suffering reflux. Daniel was colicky and settled much quicker in the carrier and Emma had silent reflux and hated being on her back, so the moby wrap was a godsend.
- Newborns crave (and need) contact from those that care for them. When using a sling it is easier to respond to your baby’s needs if you are holding them. A murmur, movement or whimper is (in my experience at least) observed much quicker when a baby is in a sling, meaning that you are much quicker to respond and resettle them.
- You have your hands free – this is especially useful if you have another child to look after. There’s just 16 months between Daniel and Emma so I didn’t have the luxury of resting when Emma did. Having Emma in the wrap meant that I could still meet Daniel’s needs whilst ensuring that she slept and rested, as newborns should!
- You can avoid the pass the baby around situation – I hated being at large gatherings when the children were newborns because inevitably it meant that people wanted to hold them. This is all OK and obviously well-intentioned but Daniel had allergies when newborn so if anyone had perfume on or had used strong-smelling things to wash their clothes in he flared up in rashes. Emma was a nightmare as a newborn, crying a lot. If we had finally got her to sleep, the last thing we wanted was for her to be woken! Having them in a wrap meant they slept snuggled in close to me and weren’t overwhelmed by everything.
- The sheer convenience of babywearing – I simply can’t imagine heading across fields, along the canal or into the city centre with a pushchair. Carrying the children in a sling means I can walk around freely, not having to worry about getting a pushchair onto a train, navigating crowds etc. No more waiting around for lifts too.
- Carrying your toddler promotes security. Daniel has been in situations where he is uncomfortable or overwhelmed. Lifting him into the carrier has calmed him down and made him feel much happier and secure. A good example is when we joined in a walk at a local parade. I thought he would enjoy it. Instead he was massively overwhelmed and buried his head into me whilst in the Ergo carrier. Had he been in a pushchair he would most likely have cried and found the whole thing much more stressful than it needed to be.
- The cost of a carrier is likely to be much less than a pushchair or travel system. The pushchair we have (A sola) cost over £200. It is a great pushchair, it really is but expensive. The carriers I have used cost a total of around £120 (a moby wrap and an Ergo). You can get cheaper combinations and knowing what I know now I would buy even cheaper and get a Rose & Rebellion carrier (a bargain at £79.99)
- Who doesn’t love a hug? Children grow up all too quickly and carrying them in a carrier is like one big hug. Daniel isn’t as cuddly as he used to be, he is far too busy exploring his world and Emma doesn’t get the same time to just lie with me and sleep like Daniel did. Having them in the carrier means I get extra hugs and we have better conversations with them. When Daniel is on my back in the connecta we chat a lot, he points out things to me and I can answer and respond to him. This is of course possible with a pushchair but in the hustle and bustle of the city his little voice can be drowned out. Having him at shoulder/head height means I can hear those quiet but important observations.
- Using a sling is good exercise for mum! I carry Daniel a lot and it I can carry him for longer periods than my husband. If we go out as a family then I carry Daniel and my husband carries Emma. I am much stronger and fitter (and as a result healthier) from carrying both Emma and Daniel regularly.
- Slings take up far less space than pushchairs and prams – I can have the carriers in the car and have plenty of space for shopping etc. If I need to do a large shop I would have to remove the pushchair from the car. It is also easier to find space in the house for the sling (usually hung up at the door) whereas a pushchair is a much bigger item to find space for!
What other reasons for babywearing would you add to this list?