The Down Sides of Baby Wearing

With all the positive babywearing promotion we do, I thought it was only fair we also point out some of the negatives. When determining if babywearing is right for you it’s important to look at the whole picture.  Here are a few things you should be aware of before becoming an avid babywearer.

Baby Carrier Addiction

Many unsuspecting parents have become victims of baby carrier addiction. It all starts with a simple buckle carrier or a Moby wrap. The practicality and convenience of babywearing blinds you to the lurking dangers. That’s when it hits. Carrier Fever: that inexplicable feeling that you NEED another baby carrier. You tell yourself you'll be happy with just one more wrap; that you can stop at any time. Soon you're lost in a world of beautiful designs and fabric blends, consumed by the need to carry your child in style. Don't be another victim of baby carrier addiction, set a budget and stick to it.  

Stroller Neglect

Many neglected strollers hide starving in the closets and trunks of Babywearers. These poor abandoned creatures are left alone in the world without meaning.  They often become jealous and resentful of the additional attention and personal time your children receive. It is not uncommon for a neglected stroller to begin lashing out by “accidentally” falling on your toe when you open the closet. So please, if you choose to wear your baby, don’t forget about your stroller. Giving your stroller a purpose by allowing it to contribute in other ways can allow you to continue to wrap. For example, our stroller is living a long and happy life carrying our bags items at the beach.

No More Free Arm Workouts

Babywearing can rob you of free arm workouts. There is nothing quite like that burn after good workout. With your child comfortably strapped to your back or chest, you no longer enjoy that feeling after 2 hours of holding a colicky infant. In fact, with a quality carrier, your feet may be the only things that hurt. Sure, it’s convenient and comfortable. But you know what they say, “No pain, no gain.”

The Super Hero Complex

Babywearing can make you feel very empowered as a parent. Putting your fussy baby to sleep while doing the dishes can go to your head. It’s very important to remember that you do not actually have super powers. Any attempt to fly, fight crime, breathe underwater, time travel, etc. can lead to serious injury (especially if you're still wearing your baby).

Economic Impacts

The success of many hard working Americans depend on the sore backs, exhaustion and stress of parents. The personal and family benefits of babywearing can inadvertently disrupt these dependencies. This can cause undue strain on local business such as chiropractors, house cleaning services, baby sitters, and more. It’s important to consider the impact babywearing can have on your community.

All jokes aside, we would like to point out a major concern to keep in mind. If done improperly and without diligence to safety, babywearing can result in injury of the child. There are many wrap and carry methods to learn and enjoy. But a child could be dropped or otherwise injured if proper precautions are not followed. We urge everyone to use the following safety precautions when baby wearing.

·         Always use a practice doll or a spotter when learning new carries.

·         Properly secure bindings such as straps, ties, buckles and rails.

·         Never use a carrier with a tear, broken buckle, or significant fraying/material wear.

·         We advise that you do not use a back carry for babies unable to sit unsupported.

 

Babywearing and Breastfeeding

I'm including this as a "Best of Babywearing" post because I feel like it's a win. Every time I'm able to feed or console the baby while wearing him and also attending to other things  I feel a little bit more cool and productive than I probably should. Nursing while babywearing didn't work the first time I tried it. No way. Way too much milk spraying around and nipple shields to be tweaked and tiny bobbling baby heads needing to be adjusted. But I kept at it found some great techniques and have not had to stop to feed the baby while out and about since Wes was teeny. I remember the first time I fed Wes while walking through Target with him in the stretchy wrap. I called my sister and told her how happy I was! He was still a newborn and I was able to browse the clearance for an extra half hour thanks to the victory. Important things right? I nursed my oldest in a buckle carrier regularly too, but not until she was a bit older. 

Disclaimer: even though I can nurse in a carrier while multi tasking, I will attest to truly enjoying having myself comfortably lounged in bed or the couch nursing my baby and snuggling him and staring deeply into his sweet eyes uninterrupted more than most things in this world. I encourage this to happen as much as possible. 

 Nursing baby Wes while wrangling the crazy 2 year old (now a 3 year old). 

Nursing baby Wes while wrangling the crazy 2 year old (now a 3 year old). 

 Just grocery shopping and feeding/putting to sleep a baby while also enjoying a beverage. 

Just grocery shopping and feeding/putting to sleep a baby while also enjoying a beverage. 

Babywearing With Multiple Kids

Hi everyone, this is our first blog in a series we call “The best of Babywearing.” Look for this tag for some short 1-2 paragraph blurbs on our favorite “win” moments in life made possible by babywearing. Without further ado, I will start off with my absolute favorite part of babywearing.

As many can attest, balancing attention between 2 or more kids is a challenge. As a member of the full-time workforce, the reality of this hit me hard when our 2nd child arrived (a beautiful baby boy named Wesley). Bundling our son up in one of our many baby carriers was a god-send. It allowed me to spend close intimate time with my baby early on while my keeping my hands free to play and interact with my lovely daughter. Babywearing has played a huge role in helping me build a wonderful relationship with my son without sacrificing other areas in my life. There is nothing quite as awesome as snuggling my son in a comfortable carrier while playing hide-and-go-to-seek at the park with my daughter. I owe my wife big time on this one, without the research and time she committed to babywearing I would have missed out on many amazing moments in my journey as a father.

Going to the Portland Zoo with Ella and baby Wesley snuggled up in our Ergo buckle carrier