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. Miss E 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 Mr D whilst ensuring she got some sleep. It is great for colicky babies and those suffering reflux. Mr D was colicky and settled much quicker in the carrier and Miss E 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 are just 16 months between Mr D and Miss E so I didn’t have the luxury of resting when Miss E did. Having Miss E in the wrap meant that I could still meet Mr D’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 Mr D 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. Miss E 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. Mr D 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. Mr D isn’t as cuddly as he used to be, he is far too busy exploring his world and Miss E doesn’t get the same time to just lie with me and sleep like Mr D did. Having them in the carrier means I get extra hugs and we have better conversations with them. When Mr D 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 Mr D a lot and I can carry him for longer periods than my husband. If we go out as a family then I carry Mr D and my husband carries Miss E. I am much stronger and fitter (and as a result healthier) from carrying both Miss E and Mr D 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?