Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baby Wearing

Okay. So the last post was deep. This one is a little less so. It's about baby wearing.

Baby wearing is what it means wearing your baby as opposed to carrying them in a car seat or pushing them in a stroller.

Many people advocate baby wearing for a variety of reasons
http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/laura_simeon.html#1263451230
I'll only mention a few of the interesting reasons.

1) It's an easier transition for a newborn. They are already used to hearing our heart beats and feeling us move around. It's a comfort to them.
2) They cry less. You can tell if something is wrong before they resort to having to get your attention.
3) It's good for the health of the mom. You are walking around with the benefit of building up your muscles which is good for you as your baby grows. You get less back and knee pain from lifting them if you already are carrying them around.

I've found that there are many different types of baby wearing devices. Here is the common ones with some commentary.

1) pouches- good for carrying newborns and for breast feeding, bad because all weight on one shoulder, can't be used by people of different sizes, and baby will outgrow, also some are easy to tip baby out

2) ring slings- more discreet breast feeding, and are adjustable, but takes some time getting to a good adjustment especially as baby grows and all the weight is on one shoulder

3) mei tai (back pack type)- great for older babies not good for newborns, even weight distribution and is adjustable

4)wraps- very versatile ways to carry baby, discreet breast feeding, great for all ages, downer is you have trouble learning how to get wrap correctly and comfortably and they are one long piece of cloth that can easily get dirty when putting it on

5)soft carriers- can be used on back or front, only for older babies, adjustable

I personally own a pouch style carrier that allows you to adjust it. The downer is that they caution you when you bend because it's not attached to your waist and it is only for babies up to 20 pounds. What I've been interested in is getting a wrap because they seem to be versatile and good for older babies. The one I like is http://www.sleepywrap.com It's reasonably priced and if you order it through amazon you can choose free shipping. I've looked into making my own, but the fabric at the store is just as much without the time it takes to cut and sew. If you want to make your own http://www.thebabywearer.com/lists/Sewing.htm. It gives a good list of sites that will help you sew your own.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Delta Flute-

    The other site you might like is http://www.wearyourbaby.com/Default.aspx?tabid=68
    I had a baby bjorn and a sling for Sadie from my baby shower, but she outgrew the sling in about two months and the baby bjorn not too long after (I blame my husband for his tall genes!). I was looking at the bigger carriers, but everything was so expensive that I finally stumbled across that site. I ended up buying five yards (I think six would have made it a little easier learning, but five did work) of cotton jersey material (I think on sale it was $25) and sat with Sadie and practiced the different wraps. Here's a picture of us learning to use it http://sadiesmomsblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/baby-back-pack.html
    I haven't had much opportunity to use it now that she wants to walk everywhere herself and won't really tolerate being carried, but I'm looking forward to trying out the "baby" wraps with the new little one! Good luck with the baby wearing!

    I found with the sling it took a little practice getting the baby into it, but once we'd done it four or five times it got much easier! The same thing with the wraps!

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  2. I wanted to wear Kalila, but got a Hotslings.. bad idea for us. They didn't have the sizing on it, so I got a size too big (according to the sizing they say) to begin with, but moot point because it was still too small! A friend had some homemade ones of the same style and they fit a little better, but still did not work for us. Not sure why, but we just couldn't get positioned right, she never fit. An inlaw gave us a bjorn too... but I have scoliosis. Its never bothered me until my epidural, but between teh pain that put me in & the fact that its notorious for not being good for bad backs I ended up in pain when I tried using it.

    I am trying again though lol. Another friend passed along a ring sling and we're looking into a Maya wrap. I did see the sleepytime one you mentioned the other day but didn't look at prices. Need to compare and find out more about those.

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  3. Cam: thanks for the wrap info. I looked into buying 5 yards and it would come out the same price (although with two wraps because you can cut it in half but I don't need two). $8 * 5=40. And I wanted to sew it and put patches on it so that I could easily find the middle as I'm learning to tie it on. Oh, well. I also heard about buying a sheet (for the bed) of jersey knit and cutting it in half to use. But I think that I can spring for one that someone else has made. I saved some of the cash people gave us at the baby shower so it should be fine. Sorry thinking out loud.

    Mama: The sleep wrap and the moby baby wrap cost $40. But I've heard to try several things before giving up especially if you have back issues. A wrap seems more flexible because you can try tying it in different ways. If you find a certain position that helps your back, you could probably buy something that uses that position consistantly. Just a thought. I have no baby. I have no major back issues so what do I know.

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  4. Yeah I've heard the same things about the wraps lol.. is why I'm looking into one. Both the Moby and Sleepywrap are available in stores nearby here so I dont even have to worry about shipping with either one... makes me happy. I'm definately not going to give up... Well, I did last time but only because we couldn't afford another sling. We spent the money for the first one & regretted it later. Planned to give it to a friend but she disappeared. Hoping I can find another pg friend to pass it on to at some point because I know that style does work for some, just not me.

    Btw... That last part would be more like you haven't had experience w/ using them yet ;-) You have (at least it seems) researched them.. and you do have a baby even if he hasn't made his grand entrance yet! Glad you have no back issues though... Thankfully mine have caused very few probs, I didn't even think to consider it before Kalila was born that's how little its bothered me. I think I got more grief from dr's and family than the actual condition lol.

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  5. Mama- they are probably just concerned about it becoming an issue as you get older (your back pain that is). I know a lot of people with curved spines. For some the curvature is very slight so it doesn't usually cause them tramendous pain. For others it's awful. I know some who buy those fancy devices to turn themselves upside down so that they can take pressure off that part of their back.

    I have some back pain, but that's due to the baby and not bending "correctly." My knees aren't all that great. They pop and hurt after a while. I know your supposed to bend your knees and not shuffle your feet, but I can't help it so to compensate I bend at the waist. Although since getting huge, I've turned to squating and that seems to help. It helps distribute the weight on my knees and my back so neither one starts to protest as bad.

    I'm hoping that after the baby I can get into some leg and back strengthening exercizes. I haven't really looked into it, but I know it will be necessary. I love to swim and hubby hates it. Maybe when it's warmer, I'll work on laps and whatnot. Oh,well. I'm digressing again. It's becoming a problem. I'm trying not to go crazy in this last week or two so I start thinking about other stuff. LOL

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  6. Aww.. Good luck w/ working out, I'm bad about keepig up with that.

    I know my family meant well btw... Thankfully it hasn't been an issue for years. For awhile they were using it as leverage between each other (gotta love divorce). One side wanted me to have surgery, not something I was or am comfortable with... They got me into a brace but I was allergic to something on/in it and broke out badly. I haven't been back to a dr about it since, but everything they originally told me would happen hasn't. I know it can be really difficult on some people but I really think we should have gotten a second opinion on mine... I was even told I would never have kids because of it and would most likely be comp crippled by this point. I am having some back pains lately, but I am putting them on the same reasons as you... I'm pregnant. Its not unbearable, doesn't stop me from doing things... It feels nothing like it did from the bjorn/isn't near or around my curve... and I know it will go away after he's born. It did last time.

    & understood about the rambling thing. I do it normally (like you could't tell lol) and I remember it getting worse as I got closer last time.

    Ok, back to looking for what to make for dinner tonight lol. I'm thinking soup.. its rainy here today.

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  7. Great Article! While I understand it is almost impossible to cover every brand of baby carrier there is one brand that seems to be made from a unique fabric and as a result is worth mentioning. The Swaddlesport Pouch Style Carrier is made of a moisture wicking fabric (like a golf shirt) that actually wicks sweat away from the wearer and the baby. This sling is much cooler than the others we have tried. We were even able to get my husband a Swaddlesport, aka his “man sling”, in his college team’s colors. Now our baby will be attending this year’s college football season in style and comfort.

    In well-designed and appropriately used products, like the Swaddlesport Pouch Style Carrier, babywearing is not only safe, but is actually very beneficial when done properly. Studies have shown that quality baby slings and carriers have been shown to save lives, improve health, decrease crying, increase IQ, and facilitate breastfeeding and bonding. For examples of these cases and further reading see “Increased Carrying Reduces Infant Crying: A Randomized Controlled Trial” an article written by Urs A. Hunziker MD and Ronald G. Barr MDCM, FRCP(C), “Saving My Baby” a blog post written on Fierce Mama’s Blog by Sarah Kaganovsky and Dr. Maria Blois’s book Babywearing.

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!