Babywearing has saved my sanity. I can't imagine what I'd do without it. There are few days where my son doesn't end up in a carrier at some point - on my back while I do some housework, cuddled in a wrap while he's teething or sick, bundled up nice and cozy while we go outside. It saves struggling with a stroller through the snow or onto a crowded bus or around a busy store. It saves lugging around an awkward heavy infant seat. It allows me to have two free hands while still keeping baby close when he needs it. It makes naps easier for those babies (like mine) who don't sleep well alone. It just makes life so much more peaceful and simple.
Worn babies also benefit from this, mentally, emotionally and physically. Mentally, they spend more time in a quiet alert state and receive more stimulation. Emotionally, they quickly develop a sense of security and trust, becoming more attached which, in turn, allows them to become independent earlier. Physically, newborns adapt better by being so close to their caregiver's heartbeat, breathing, and voice, and older babies develop a better sense of balance.
First up, our ring sling. This is great for quick trips - fast and easy to get on and off. Because it's a one-shoulder carrier, however, it's not great for long trips, especially for older/bigger babies.
This particular ring sling is a Didymos wrap, Lena print, turned into a ring sling by Sleeping Baby Productions.
Sleeping after a walk this summer
Front, side, front
Next, our mei tai. This two-shouldered carrier is great for people who find wraps too challenging. They can be worn easily on the front or back, and are generally faster to put on than a wrap. Definitely a husband-friendly carrier.
This particular mei tai is a Kozy brand, Windsor print.
Wraps are my favourite. They are so versatile. They can be worn on your front, back or hip in a nearly infinite variety of ways. We have four wraps - a soft stretchy one that's great for cold weather and for newborns (a red Moby), a short one that's good for taking places to wrap there (an Ellaroo LaRae), a thin one that's great for warm weather (an Ellaroo Christiane), and our new (to us) German woven wrap that's nice and supportive for my growing boy (a Paul Didymos). Four wraps is not a necessity - one would do easily. I'd pick a long woven wrap if I have to pick just one. There is a learning curve to wraps, but perseverance and practice is so worth it in the end. When I can scoop up a crying baby, flip him onto my back, wrap him up and get back to cooking supper in no time at all, life is good. Wraps are our most commonly used carrier. I personally prefer them to mei tais because I find them to be cozier and softer.
My son, several months ago, in our Ellaroo brand, Christiane print.
More recently, same wrap.
Our new German woven wrap, Didymos brand, Paul print.
And back home, rosy-cheeked, after a walk in the cold.
Hanging out on mommy's back
A great place to learn more about babywearing is thebabywearer.com, particularly their forums.