Thursday, October 15, 2009

Baby Wearing, Kangaroo Care, Baby Carriers, Wraps and Slings

When I started having kids almost 10 years ago I bought a baby carrier with buckles and straps that can hold the baby either in front or on the back. It worked pretty well, but it wasn't very comfortable with the stiffness of the harness, and I didn't like how my baby's legs always stuck out of the leg holes at the bottom and often got cold (especially in the winter) even if they were covered up.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my fourth child, some friends threw me a baby shower because it was my first baby girl. My favorite gift of all was my
Maya Wrap baby sling! Compared to the carrier with the buckles and straps, this baby sling is so easy to use and very comfortable! I can carry my baby in a variety of positions and use it until my child weighs 35 pounds. I like to go on walks with my kids often, and it was so easy to just slip my little girl into the sling and go! She was always the most content when she was in the sling, and would often simply fall asleep as I walked. I used the sling until I was too big with my next pregnancy (when my daughter was about a year old) and couldn't comfortably wear it anymore. Now that I have a new baby, I am using my wonderful baby sling again, and loving it! My favorite thing about using the sling is that it saves my arms from fatigue and keeps the baby snug and secure against me. It's also machine washable and takes up very little space to store it.

I recently started looking up more websites about slings and wraps and refreshing my memory on how to use it, and I decided to share some of these sites with you.

  • The Baby Wearer - This is a fantastic site with all kinds of information about every kind of baby carrier out there, including product reviews, instructions, and more! Whether you are new to baby wearing, or an expert, this is a great resource.
  • Baby Sling Sewing Instructions - This shows how to make a Maya Wrap baby sling.
  • Sewing and Improvising Baby Carriers - This is on The Baby Wearer. If you are handy at sewing, or would like to make even a no-sew baby sling, this has a whole list of links to helpful websites.
  • No Sew Ring Sling - This has simple instructions on how to make a ring sling that requires no sewing!
My Maya Wrap is a ring sling that incorporates metal rings with fabric threaded through for a secure sling with no bulk. I can fold up my sling and fit it into a purse or diaper bag. There are lots of other types of wraps and slings available to choose from. I would recommend checking out The Baby Wearer if you want to see what types there are and which one would best fit your needs. Since I got my baby sling I have not gone back to using my old baby carrier, not even once!

This photo to the right is of the first time I put my daughter in the sling, and I soon learned that it was much too low to wear comfortably. I learned how to cinch up the fabric to wear her higher so we were both much more comfortable.

If you have a favorite baby carrier, please let me know, and I would be happy to post about it!

For more information about baby wearing:
Mothering Magazine: Hold Me Close: The Many Advantages to Wearing Your Baby

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