Baby-wearing: Not just for hippies.

by heirtoblair on October 25, 2012

Before I was pregnant, I thought baby-wearing was only for hippies that were way too involved in their child’s life. Then I got pregnant & realized that baby carriers were THE thing to have as a) a way to bond with the kid & b) an accessory. I registered for the typical black forward-facing carrier & the far more hipster wrap, picturing myself in maternal bliss with my

IMG 2561 300x225 Baby wearing: Not just for hippies.

baby snuggled close to my chest. Which happened a few times & it was beautiful & magazine-worthy.

But for most of his newborn days, wrapping him to my chest was a desperate attempt to calm his reflux scream & get him to nap. He would be inconsolable & thrashing & I would wrap him tight & he would immediately calm & fall asleep. It worked beautifully to settle both him & my nerves. I highly recommend a wrap for anyone with a colic/reflux/difficult baby.

Plus? Exercise while wearing 15 lbs of baby helped me lose my own pounds. I’d put him in the carrier & step out for fresh air & sunshine.

Then that whole if-anyone-but-momma-touches-me-I-will-die! phase. Wearing him was the only way I cooked dinner, emptied the dishwasher, or grocery shopped. Life doesn’t pause just because your baby has separation anxiety, unfortunately. It also was a life-saver when he was in that stage where he couldn’t walk in the store by himself but hated sitting in the cart – I’d toss him on my back & he could see the store but not wander.

Some folks outgrow their carriers as the babe moves into toddlerhood but I admit that we started using it even more. Crowds + active toddler = my love affair with my sturdier carrier. I could strap him to me without messing with a stroller in crowds & he couldn’t run off. Win!

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Truthfully, I had a few odd looks from family members in the beginning because any leaning towards crunchy-ness surprised them. But after watching Harry & I in baby-wearing action, The Momma was wishing she could take that wrap back thirty years with her first-born, who was also a colicky baby.

Looking back, I wish I’d worn Harry even more than I did but hindsight, you know? For the next baby, I’m definitely planning on more baby-wearing & investing in a ring-sling – I’d love to try out a hip carry.

Did you baby-wear? Are you a super-prep like me that baby-wears wearing Oxford shirts & pearls, basically looking like a dog walking on its hind legs?

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments October 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

I wore my third way more than my other two. It was survival for me when the kids outnumbered the number of hands I had and my husband was working a crazy police shift work schedule. I fell in love with it though and wish I had done it more with the other two. Now, I happily purchase baby wraps off of registries for expecting moms knowing how much I enjoyed the convenience and the closeness of it.


heirtoblair October 25, 2012 at 11:34 am

Yes! I think it will be a survival need for whenever baby #2 makes a debut.


Meegs October 25, 2012 at 11:43 am

I wore and still wear my daughter (now 2.5). I love it. Loved having her close, loved doing things with two hands, loved going places that would be much harder without a carrier (hiking, crowded farmers markets, etc). But I’m a super hippie like that. ;-)

I definitely look back and wish I’d worn her more, something that makes me a little sad about no #2, but I look forward to teaching my friends about babywearing, and hopefully one day wearing a grandbaby on my chest!


Melissa October 25, 2012 at 11:58 am

I rarely baby wore my daughter (who is now 4) because I hated the carrier I had. However, with my son (9mos) I wear him often. I invested in a good carrier and love it. I have hands to do what I need to do and keep up with the oldest. I am a coach for a college guard (marching band) so football game attendance is a must. I try to find baby sitters but we all not that isn’t always possible. Baby wearing in my button up and khakis walking alongside a marching band and hanging at a football game. MAGIC! He slept thru the first half. :) I’ve got to figure out the hip wear for my wrap because I plan to wear him a while! I too never thought I would like it, but think it will be my goto baby shower gift for good friends….


Ruthy T. (@DiscoveryStreet) October 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

my daughter was born with hip dysplasia so i couldnt set her down in anything because it would constrict her legs. I felt like the moby saved my life!


Kristin October 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Yes, I babywear! As a result of TWO very high-needs babies born 20 months apart, I’ve actually become something of a babywearing evangelical. I am always talking about how great it is. BA, when you have your next little one, come to a Babywearing International of the Triangle meet-up! Not only are the ladies that come super-cool and fun, but we have a lending library with like 50 different carriers to try out, for free. Check us out :)


Cara October 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Baby wearing=baby hands free set. It is totally how i got cleaning and tidying done during the “momma don’t put me down!” phase. And since my daugther was so tiny she was in her carrier until well after a year. She was so small even when she could sit up she was too small for grocery carts to I would baby wear her and she prefered it because she was at eye level to interact with everyone in the store.


Cole October 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I am a few months older than Harry (I was born in August) and Mommy STILL wears me. Given the choice of sitting in the stroller or hitching a ride on Mommy’s back, I choose the carrier most of the time. Our favorites are a BabyHawk mei tai and an Olives&Applesauce soft structured carrier. Baby Lulu gets worn a bunch too – she prefers Sakura Bloom ring slings. :)


Johanna @ These Prices October 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Babywearing a newborn again is what I’m looking forward to the most. This time I am investing in a woven wrap; I was intimidated by them before, but no more!

You will love a ring sling. We used ours a LOT from 3 months – early toddlerhood. They shove in a diaper bag so well and were always easiest for me to get on/off when I was alone & on the go.


Sarah October 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Wearing Brooke in the mei tai through the airport when we traveled alone was probably the most brilliant thing I’ve ever done. I had hands free to put stuff on the conveyor belt at security, could roll suitcases no problem and didn’t have to worry much about crowds.

I can’t wait to babywear from the very beginning with the next little one.


Lindsay @ October 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I registered for a wrap and the Ergo, and my husband insisted he wanted the Baby Bjorn for himself. He wore his Baby Bjorn once. I wore Ethan in the Moby for 15 minutes and never touched it again. We did use the Ergo a lot, mostly when Ethan was a newborn and loved being close to me. It was the only way I got things done for maybe the first six months, including grocery shopping and vacuuming the house. Then he just really started to hate being worn, and I was sad about it. He hated facing in and not being able to see much around him. Eventually the Ergo just made him UPSET rather than calm and it was a sad transition for me. When he was about 10ish months, I did get a Lillebaby carrier to review on my blog which did let him face out and a variety of different ways while still being ergonomic and comfy, i.e. not hanging by his hips like the Baby Bjorn, and he did okay for a while. He still hated being worn for more than a half an hour at a time. Plus, my kid is 30 pounds at 16 months and I’m barely five feet tall, so even the most comfy carrier got a little hard on my back for a while. I did keep all our carriers in the event I ever have another, just because it was nice for a while. I won’t mind if any future children like to be worn for longer.


astrid October 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I LOVE wearing baby #2-like other commenters said, it’s more survival than statement at this point! I keep my Babyhawk mei tai in the car at all times for when we’re out, and I use a Girasol woven wrap when we’re at home. I really want a second woven to mix it up a bit, but they’re pricey! Maybe Christmas…. :-)


Ali @thecoffeeqween October 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I have been a baby wearing momma since I became a momma! With my lest I couldn’t find anything I loved but still did it when we were out and about bc it just made sense. No one in my famy really did this but it was never frowned upon either. I guess bc in our culture back home it’s common. I got a moby with my second and we were gone traveling every weekend the first 6 mos of his life and we both loved it. I can put that bad boy on in the dark luckity split! Callen didn’t like it much when he was first born but now that he is older and can look around he loves it. The moby isn’t popular in the city I love in so j get looks and people ask me all the time what I’m wearing but I love it and encourage all moms and dads to try it out .


kassie October 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I’m totally a babywearer, just because it works for us. 100% because it is easier to me than bringing the stroller, and my arms aren’t strong enough to carry the almost one year old everywhere. I think I’ll keep on wearing her into the toddler time because now I have an ergo (which I didn’t have with the first), and it is easier. I like easier. Easier always wins in this house. Always.


Meredith @ La Buena Vida October 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

We baby wore a little bit, but didn’t have either a Moby or an Ergo–I wasn’t convinced that my kiddo would love them, and didn’t want to shell out the money unless I knew for sure they were a good investment. But I WISH we had worn her more, and I really hope to get either an Ergo or Moby (or both!) this time around!


Melissa D October 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I wish I had worn my older daughter when she was a baby, but I just didn’t know any better. When we got pregnant again, I’d see all these mamas with their babies wrapped up so sweetly and every time I asked, they told me about the Moby. I also found a great deal on an Ergo at a consignment sale ($25 and it’s authentic!) before our #2 arrived. I loved wrapping her close to me with the Moby, so I sought out a babywearing group online to learn more about long-term solutions. (It didn’t take long for the stretchy Moby to get uncomfortable as baby grew bigger.) I would totally recommend that anyone interested in babywearing look for a babywearing group near them to try out different carriers. There are a TON of options (slings, woven wraps, soft-structured carriers, mei tais, etc.) and every parent/child duo is going to have different needs. I went from an Ergo to a Beco to a Boba to an Onya (and a few woven wraps) to find the best fit for me and my girl…SO glad you posted this, Beth Anne!

And you may be able to wear Harry on your back comfortably! I’ve worn my 4 year old hiking. :)


Rebecca October 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm

The ergo does a pretty awesome hip carry in my opinion.


Kyley Leger October 25, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I’m like you, I used the Ergo more for toddlerhood than anything else. I’m excited for the next babe and to REALLY wear a baby. I’m hoping this guy lasts longer than Maximus and really enjoys it.


Dana October 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm

My son is 2 and we still babywear. We started when he was a week old and haven’t looked back (jack had reflux and colic too) We had the Moby, ergo, and ring slings (I love love love ring slings). We mainly use woven wraps now for back carries and I have a bambaroo on the way. I love babywearing.


Manapan October 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I love babywearing! At first it was all about practicality. Our car was too small for an infant seat (only the convertible seat fit, so he started out in it) so we had to carry him if we went anywhere. And then he had reflux so we wore him constantly to keep him upright and less pukey. My son is 16 months old now and still hates the stroller so I like that wearing him keeps him contained. Front carries are so snuggly, and back carries are great for calming him down when he’s in full-on tantrum mode. In the past we’ve used a Moby, a narrow-seated Infantino, a Scootababy, a mei tai, and a woven wrap, but none of those live here anymore.

A ring sling is a great option and I think you’ll like it. I thread mine around my son’s chest under his armpits to use it as a baby leash when he feels like walking, and when he gets tired I can rethread it and its a carrier again. But I’m not really fond of it as a carrier now because my son is so heavy (26 pounds) and it puts all his weight on one shoulder.

We have a Beco Butterfly 2, which is awesome for wiggly kids because it has a harness inside to make putting them on your back super easy. We also have a Babyhawk Oh Snap, which is great for larger kids who want a ride. I want a Kinderpack next. I am addicted. :)


CurbsideProphet October 25, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I love Babywearing. Right now the Ergo is my favorite. I recently saw a video on the Ergo hip carry and I need to try it out.


Amy October 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Agreed! The Moby and the Ergo were GOD SENDS! I miss those days. Hmm….I think I’ll have another! :-)


Katie Smith October 26, 2012 at 12:06 am

Love, love baby wearing!!


Karen October 26, 2012 at 10:42 am
Jami October 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Yes! I wish I would have started earlier with Hayden. He likes it, but now he’s almost a year old and we didn’t get enough use out of it. I think I need to get one like you were talking about for grocery shopping, it would help on soooo many different types of outings.


Megan October 27, 2012 at 12:12 am

My husband hated when I wore our oldest in my ring-sling. He thought it made me look too hippity-dippity. But once he saw how fast it put our second one to sleep in the mall one day he now knows why I love it. I wouldn’t give up my ring-sling for anything!!!


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