Thursday, January 20, 2011

Addicted to Baby-Wearing!

Baby-wearing 101

So it's official...I'm a hands free mom!!!! I love saying that because I feel a sense of empowerment. It is like I am not 100% limited in my mommy duties; I can move around. I am free. It's has been so tough spending a month inside of my home. Raphael was born in December, so having a winter baby has been boring and frustrating. I just started bringing him out to run a few errands as of this week so it's important that I have my mobility. It is one thing to be stuck at home but another to be stuck on the couch holding a newborn all day.

He loves being held so much, so it's hard for me to sit him down and do things around the house without massive screaming; I can't blame the little fellow, he's been curled up inside me for 9 months! But as a student and pretty much stay at home mom I need to have the freedom to move around! To put it short, baby wearing allows me to move around the house, do chores, write my papers for school; it gives my arms a break!

Also I am able to run errands more efficiently and I know he is protected from the elements. It is so nice not to have to carry around that heavy carrier everywhere I go, I just put him in the sling and I am accomplishing many things at once! I can shop and carry about my usual business and I am holding him at the same time! I an even nurse him if I want to, but I'm not comfortable doing that in public....yet...but that's another rambling for another time. It's wonderful because the sling reminds him of being in the womb so he ALWAYS falls asleep in it. That also makes errands a lot easier- a quiet, comfortable baby!

So what is the best gift you could give a pregnant woman? A sling or wrap! Seriously. It's practical. Now there are other advantages to baby-wearing like closer attachment to baby, but that is not my main reason for loving baby-wearing. I am a practical person (yes ironically) so the biggest advantage is being hands free.

Now onto more feelings on the matter...when I am out in public people are shocked to see me wear him the way I do. I always get stares or people want to see my sling. I can tell people have not seen these wraps (not the traditional slings either) by the way they look at me. Now I am in Tennessee so I know if I was in California or Oregon or even Asheville then I would fit right into the tribe... ha! But it both saddens me and surprises me. The only places where people have this understanding is at Whole Foods, Trader Joes,or local alternative stores. is But I must admit the Leo in me loves the attention my wrap brings me.... When I am shopping and people notice that there is a baby in there they are startled. The smart ass in me wants to say, "duh! What do you think is in here? I'm not just wearing this to be stylish!" lol

But onto fashion and style with baby-wearing. It is seriously addicting because there are SO many types of wraps and slings. And then you start wanting multiple wraps to match multiple outfits, or even just to diversify your baby-wearing experience! I got lucky and had people give me my wraps....another advantage of having hippie/ alternative mommy friends....always quick to let you borrow something! ha ha!

So I have four wraps officially lol. I have a Maya wrap, a plain ole sling I bought a consignment sale, a Moby wrap, and an upright sling to use when he is older. Here are pictures and opinions.

The Maya Wrap : I seriously love this thing and I am just going to have to break down and buy it. And yes they sell them used if you can't afford to spend $80. Just go here to their website and look under outlet under shop. This is nice because you can adjust the straps to make it fit and position the way you want it. You can do cradle style, kangaroo, upright, and it can even go on your back! You can use this from baby to toddler as well. The trick is learning how to adjust the straps, but it is very easy to use after that. It is essentially one piece of fabric but it is folded and looped around two rings so it looks like it is more. You just want to pull the fabric lightly, where it wraps around the loops. I should make a video...But seriously LOVE this! It even has a cloth that hangs to further protect and cover baby, especially when nursing or in the cold.

Even Daddy is hands free!!

The sling/ wrap I bought at the consignment sale. Now I like this, it is plain and simple. BUT it is very small and should only be used for a newborn, or small baby. I feel like in a month or two he will grow out of it. But considering I only paid $5 for it, it works lovely! I used this before I was given the Maya wrap. Also the straps are not adjustable, so you must figure out what position to use. I also do not like how tight he fits in there when in cradle position, I want some more breathing room. Upright position make me feel a little better. Like I said this is a short term solution!

The Moby wrap is awesome. I have read about it and my doula/ friend let me borrow hers. Now I just can't figure out how it is supposed to wrap around! She showed me but it is more complicated because you have make it. I just need to go online and watch videos or have her show me again and I'll be okay. People have raved about how much they love this and I can't wait to use it!

The last is the typical upright sling I see people use. It is an Infantino carrier. He is not big enough for it, so I'll have a Baby-wearing update for that one in a few months!

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There it is, my opinions and experience! Good luck in baby-wearing land!!!