Monday, November 17, 2008

baby gear 101...part 3

in honor of international babywearing week, i thought i'd spend a little time talking about the many options of the wonderful and precious art of babywearing. when i was pregnant, i spent probably a month or more obsessing over finding the perfect baby carriers for my little one. i researched, cross-referenced, stalked chat rooms. i ended up with way more baby carriers than i now need or use (not to mention an i told you so sort of reaction from dear hubby). but in my own defense, it's difficult to know what you will end up using until you can test them with the real deal. i think that every baby and mama will have their own needs and preferences. so, i am going to offer some advice on what i found worked well for us, and i'll also try and give a few other options for you to consider for your own self as well.

 

the photo above shows my husband (with baby at her very first farmer's market) wearing a peanut shell sling. i think our daughter was probably a month old here. this was a nice sling when she was very tiny as she really did just fit in there like a little peanut. i was nervous at first that she was too "bent up" and wouldn't be able to breathe, but she of course was just fine, and in fact, quite cozy as all she really did in there was sleep!

one of the downsides to this type of sling is that it hurts your back if you wear it to walk around a lot, probably because of the uneven distribution of weight. it is nice around the house, though, especially when the little one is fussy and your arms need a break. this sling also comes in handy when the baby is around 4-5 months and is starting to sit on your hip. other popular brands for this type of sling are hotslings and new native.

 

the nifty little wrap that you see above is a gypsy mama. this is essentially just a really large piece of fabric that you can wrap around you in all sorts of ways. you can wear your baby on your front facing in, on your front facing out, on your back...i believe there is even a way to wear two babies with this thing! it is very similar to the moby wrap, which i hear wonderful things about, but as i live in a warm climate i decided to go with the lighter-weight gypsy mama. the fabrics are from bali and are beautiful. the gauze wraps are the lightest weight, but i went with the bali baby stretch. the stretch wraps are apparantly easier for the novice baby wearer as they are easier to wrap and are more "poppable" - meaning that once you have it on, you can put your baby in and out of it a few times without having to take the wrap off and rewrap each time. didymos wraps are another option for this genre.

 

this is my current favorite baby carrier. it is a mei tai and mine is from baby hawk. through baby hawk you have endless options to customize your own carrier, including a ton of amy butler fabrics - so cute. or, if you'd like to make your own, sew liberated has an adorable pattern available here. this carrier can also be worn on your front or back, and is just so easy and comfortable. both me and my little one love it.

we have also recieved an ergo, which we plan to use once we live back in the mountains and start taking the little one on hikes. for now, we've just used it a bit around the house, and it seems very user-friendly and comfy from what i can tell so far.

you have likely heard of the baby bjorn - we recieved one of these as a hand-me-down and our own personal experience is that it feels a little stiff and awkward to us. but i know a lot of people love them, so they are worth checking out. i also know a lot of mamas who love ring slings. my own mama made me one, using this pattern, and she said it was very easy to make. however, the fabric that we chose ended up not being strong enough, so i didn't feel comfortable using it. so my advice is: get some good, sturdy fabric and you are good to go.

so have fun looking around and making your decisions! the upside to having more carriers that you need is that there is a good market for them right now, so they have pretty decent resale value. or you can hang on to them and start a babywearing group in your area, so other mamas-to-be can try out and learn how to use the different carriers. i love how many mamas i see these days wearing their babies. it's such an intimate bond with your baby, and as supporters of attachment parenting know, it can have lifelong benefits for both you and your child.
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1 comment:

Tamara said...

I enter the blog contest at twoofakindworkingonafullhouse.blogspot.com.