Friday, February 22, 2013

Keep 'em Close

Everett sleeping in the Ergo
I have been thinking a lot lately about baby Flubber and how I am going to be able to continue on with my daily activities (eating, putting away dishes, working, etc.) and keeping up with Everett with a newborn! When I was pregnant with Everett I didn't really plan on wearing him a lot but I did have a moby wrap that I registered for on a whim and a Seven Sling (pouch sling) that I got for free.  After he was born I realized that I wanted to be able to keep him close to me but needed to be hands free at times so I started wearing him.  

This is exactly what I plan to do with baby Flub Flub- wear him. Everett, while growing  more and more independent by the day, still needs me to be in very close proximity and interact with him when he deems it necessary. I would also like to be able to continue working shortly after Flubber is born and will be able to wear him while I am at work.  I will also be able to nurse him in the wrap/carrier when he is hungry without having to fumble around with covers or blankets (it will take a little practice!) 

So what are the benefits of baby wearing? Happier babies, babies who cry less, more confident caregivers... the list goes on.  Check out these links for more information: 
So that brings me to the different type of carriers that are out there, but before we get started there are a few things to keep in mind when wearing your baby: 
  • Babies should be carried (and held) in an ergonomically correct position 
    • Note: I do not promote "crotch dangling" carriers. Here is what Mark from Mark's Daily Applehas to say about carrying babies this way:  "Babies aren’t meant to hang ramrod straight. The only reason a worn baby’s legs would be straight is if he were only held up by his crotch without any butt or hamstring support. According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, babies with dangling, straight legs are at risk of developing hip dysplasia."
  • There are dangers associated with baby wearing which can stem from improper use of the carrier.  Some of these dangers include suffocation, over heating, falling, and injury. 

Ring Slings
PROS: Slings are easy to use with some practice and can be used from infancy through toddler-hood.  The wrap is somewhat versatile as you can tummy to tummy carry, kangaroo carry, or hip carry with most slings.  
CONS: Ring slings can wear out over time and may need to be replaced.  Also, if not worn correctly you can put strain on your back, neck, and/or shoulders.  If you choose this carrier be sure to practice and read the instructions carefully. 
InstructionsMaya Wrap has a great set of instructional videos of the different types of carries you can use. 
Here are a few different brands: Maya Wrap, SweatPea, Snuggy Baby 

Photo found here
Pouch Slings
PROS: The biggest pro about this type of carrier is that there is no tying, threading, snapping, or adjusting needed.  Pouch slings are generally sized slings and are one piece of fabric that is already sewn into the form needed.
CONS: There are only a few types of carries that can be done in this type of carrier and I don't find them to be very comfortable to wear. 
Instructions: Click here
Here are a few different brandsSeven SlingsSlinglings
Photo found here
Moby Wraps
PROS: Once you learn how to use the Moby wrap it is a very comfortable wrap to wear.  I would put the wrap on at home before I left to run errands and that way I didn't have to fumble with tying it while I was out.  
CONS: This material is very stretchy and even though the weight recommendation is through 35 lbs you can risk over stretching the material and compromising the carry (i.e. your baby could fall out.)  I personally wouldn't recommend carrying over 20- 25 lbs in a Moby wrap. Another con is that there is really only one or two carries that you can do with this wrap so it is not very versatile
Instructions: Click here
Photo found here
Woven Wraps
PROS: A woven wrap is similar to the Moby wrap in the fact that it is one long piece of fabric however a woven wrap is much sturdier and offers dozens upon dozens of ways that you can carry your child.  These wraps can be used from infancy through toddler-hood and offer a great deal of versatility.  
CONS: Like all carriers, you need to make sure that you are wearing your baby correctly. It is very important to practice tying your woven wrap while at home before you venture out with it. Additionally, there is a learning curve as there are a variety of different ways that you can tie this type of wrap. 
Instructions: Check out this link for a bunch of different video instructions for woven wrap carries. 
Here are a few different brands: Girasol, Ellaroo,  Ellevill
Photo found here
Mei Tai Carriers
PROS: This is a type of carrier that is blends wraps with structured carriers.  It can be used from infancy through toddler-hood however it is best to wait until your baby has proper head control to start using this type of carrier. 
CONS:  These carriers require the use of knots and tying rather than buckles, snaps, or rings and can take a little time to get used to.  
Instructions: Click here
Here are a few different brands: Baby Hawk, Mei Tai Baby
Photo found here
Soft Structured Carriers 
PROS: These types of carriers are very easy to use and often times people new to baby wearing feel more confident when using something that is more structured.  These carriers feature snaps or buckles and allow the user ease of mind when it comes to wearing their child.  Some of these carriers allow the wearer to carry a child up to 45 lbs. 
CONS: Unless your carrier has an infant insert, you will probably not be able to carry your child in this type of carrier until they are 12- 15 lbs. 
Instructions: Click here
Here are a few different brands: Ergo Baby, Becco  
Photo found here

Time for some fine print/disclaimers... 

** It is important that you, as the consumer do as much research as you can before you purchase and use a carrier.  The information on this post contain my personal thoughts and are not to be taken as instructions.  Please read and follow all instructions on your carrier and use one at your own risk. 
*** I was not paid or perked by any company mentioned in this post.  These are my own personal thoughts. 

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