BABYWEARING (PART 1), AKA POSSIBLY THE BEST THING EVER
Let’s talk babywearing.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first that I had ever heard of babywearing. I dutifully did my research on all the different kinds of wraps, slings, and carriers, finally settling on the Boba wrap. Once I finally had the opportunity to use the wrap it was an epic fail - I could not for the life of me figure out how to tie the wrap around me and the
baby in a safe and comfortable way. I then tried a ring sling and found that much more comfortable during the newborn phase, when baby just wants to cuddle with someone constantly. Once my daughter was a little older I switched to a soft-structured carrier, which is easy to use and has the advantage of being able to back carry once baby is old enough. I still pull the ring sling out often though and hip carry, which is great for having my hands free and saving my back from the strain of carrying my daughter on my hip without extra support.
Some awesome benefits of babywearing are:
- Babies who are carried close tend to cry less (and who doesn't love that?)
- Caregivers and babies become finely attuned to each other. Much like with kangaroo care, being carried close helps babies regulate their breathing and temperature, and caregivers are able to read baby’s cues more easily
- Bonding, bonding, and more bonding!
- It is convenient and more comfortable for caregivers vs. carrying or holding baby in their arms (yes, it is possible to carry your baby and have two hands free)
While the wrap wasn’t for me, it really works well for a lot of people. Part of the problem I had was trying to learn it all on my own, and if I could do it all over again I would have sought out the support of a babywearing group to try on different carriers, and to learn the proper ways to wrap and carry. Most major cities have a group that meets often - in Toronto, the Carry Me Close Babywearing Group is a fantastic resource, and they meet once a month in the east end.