Baby wearing

As you can probably imagine, a frequent question I am hearing as of recently is, "How do you do it?" My first thought is always something to the effect of, "I couldn't do it without an amazing God, a wonderful husband, and a little insanity for good measure!" On a more serious note though, I have become a HUGE fan of baby wearing. I am not a fan of modern day "attachment parenting," and do not wear my babies for that reason. Rather, I wear them out of necessity in order to get things accomplished and free up my hands. As a mom of 4, you can imagine I have tried about all methods for baby wearing--front carriers, backpacks, slings, etc. For multiple reasons I won't go into, I didn't like any of those options. I dealt with them over the years since it was the only options I knew of, but didn't like them, and I was often achy and sore after wearing them for any extended period. Then I discovered a simple method of wrapping, carried down throughout the generations. I LOVE it! Because I often wear a kid in my wrap out in public, I get a lot of questions about it. So I thought it might be a blog-worthy topic since so many other moms seemed to be searching for a better way to carry their children.

Yes, there is a baby in there. This "front-cross wrap" is my favorite for the smaller babies, and, for me, it was the easiest to learn.

Baby wearing has been around since women have been having babies. It is something of a skill that requires practice to perfect, but once perfected, it is a wonderful tool! Using just one strip of a breathable cotton knit cloth (jersey is my favorite) about 18" wide by 6 yards long, you can create a dozen different ways to carry your baby, toddler, or even preschooler. It holds them up against you, unlike carriers and backpacks, it distributes their weight based on what is most comfortable for you (shoulders, hips, both, chest, etc.), and the kids seem to be very comfy in it. In fact, little A will fall asleep in a hurry when I wear him.

A in the same front cross wrap, but positioned for an older baby.

M in the "back-cross wrap," a good one for older babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. This one takes a little more practice, and although I use it frequently, I am still trying to perfect it.

A in a pareo-style wrap, using the same strip of cloth. This is another of my favorite wraps for toddlers and preschoolers, however, it is the one that I have perfected the least, so I rarely use it.

I found the wrap to be most useful when:
  • trying to cook dinner or clean with a fussy toddler under-foot
  • traveling in an airport where you need free hands and/or the ability to wear a backpack and don't want the hassle of a stroller
  • taking multiple children out in public (wearing one makes this task easier)
  • an unexpectedly long walk with young children (just carry one in your car or diaper bag so you have it for an unexpected situation)
  • soothing a newborn

You can learn more on the wearyourbaby website. Have fun wearing your baby (or child)!


Mrs. U said...

What kind of material is that? Looks super soft!!

I love baby wearing!! When we brought our daughter home almost 2 years ago, I wore her everywhere- at home and away!! I used the Ergo and she LOVED being held in it. I don't wear her nearly as often now, but when I put it on, she is all smiles and ready to be held!

Mrs. U

Red Gate said...

I have used just plain 100% cotton fabric, but in these photos, I am using my favorite, a cotton-knit jersey fabric. It is soft and stretchy, like a quality t-shirt.

Melonie said...

Looks great! I don't know if I'd be patient enough to learn all those methods of tying, though. Can you do it by yourself without fear of dropping the baby? That would be a dealbreaker for me. I'm with Mrs. U and LOVE my Ergo, but your method looks interesting, and very versatile too!

Kyle and Crystal said...

This got me so excited! I got one of those things you buy from walmart and it killed my back! So I am gonna get one of these!!!


I had been wondering how you were doing!

Red Gate said...

Melonie, yes, it can easily be done alone. Go to the website link I gave and watch some of the videos to learn how to do it while balancing a baby. With a newborn, I actually tie the fabric on first, then slip him right in.

Crystal, be forewarned, these cost $50-$80 if you buy them. If you just buy some good jersey cotton, it will run you about $25. It is literally a strip of cloth. Best wishes!