Babywearing comes with some great benefits for mom and baby. Wearing your baby will make breastfeeding easier, promote bonding through skin to skin and help you to keep your hands free to get chores done and look after your children all while still keeping your baby close and happy.
It’s no secret that babies need to be held a lot in their early months and this can be exceptionally tiring for mom, wearing your baby will make it so much easier to cope with a new baby.
Here are some tips for babywearing to get you started.
Research and Experiment
There are so many different types of baby slings and carriers out there. Some slings carry baby in the front facing towards you some carry your baby in the front facing outwards. Then you get slings that carry your baby on your back, ring slings, baby wraps and many more.
Each one has it’s pros and cons and each one would suit babies of a certain age or be used for a different purpose.
You need to research and try out different slings. Knowing what you want to achieve with your sling will help you to choose the best baby carrier for your needs.
I suggest checking out a baby carrier guide online, watching Youtube videos and asking moms that you know for advice.
Baby slings and carriers can be expensive and it is nice to be able to try one out before making a purchase, so see if you can try out slings and carriers that your mommy friends have before you buy to give you an idea of what you want.
Ask around if there is a babywearing club in your area, this is a great way to be exposed to all different types of slings and get advice from lots of babywearing moms.
It may even suit you to get more than one sling. At one stage I had a ring sling, a baby wrap and a baby carrier. I used each one but for different things.
I found the ring sling especially useful for when I was breastfeeding to hold my baby close to me giving my arms a break, plus it also shielded us while breastfeeding in public. However I didn’t feel confident using this sling in order to be completely hands free.
The baby wrap I used when my baby was clingy and wanted to be close to me all day, it held my baby nice and snug against me.
The baby carrier I used when I went shopping since it kept my baby very secure while I walked around and got my shopping and errands done.
You need to do the same and figure out how to make babywearing work well for you and your baby.
Babywearing is not something that you will get right overnight. It takes lots of practice to get it right and ensure that you are at ease and your baby is comfortable.
Some baby wraps can seem very confusing to use, with loads of fabric and not being sure how to tie it around you or place your baby safely inside.
Written instructions with images can be confusing too, so try entering the type of sling you have into Youtube and watch videos of how it is done properly. Doing this will make it so much easier to figure it out.
Spend some time at home putting baby in and out of the sling. Try practicing when your baby is in a good mood and get your baby used to the sling at home so that by the time you use it in public you have it down to a fine art.
As already mentioned some of those baby wraps are really long and bulky when they are not on you. Trying to put on a baby wrap, sling or carrier while you are already out with your baby is not always going to be convenient. Rather put it on at home and make sure it is on correctly before you leave.
This will make your babywearing trip easier and stress free.
Bend With Your Knees
Make sure that your baby is always in an upright position by bending your knees and not bending your waist. If you do need to bend a bit at the waist remember to keep a hand on your baby at all times.
Bending at the knees not only keeps your baby safe, it also protects your back against injury and pain.
While babywearing is great to keep your hands free and get more done, remember to put safety first at all times while wearing your baby. Here are some things you should remember when wearing your baby:
- Keep a hand on your baby if you bend at the waist.
- Make sure that your baby is able to breath easily. It is important to be able to see your baby’s face so that you can be sure your baby’s nose and mouth are not covered or restricted.
- Do not drive a car or ride a bike while wearing your baby.
- Do not drink hot drinks or cook while wearing your baby.
- Ensure your baby’s hips are supported. The sling should support your baby’s thighs and your baby’s legs should spread naturally around your body. Your baby’s legs should not hang straight down.
- Your newborn should be worn on your front, facing you with his head and neck supported until he is about 4 months old and able to hold his own head up strongly.
- Remember to check your baby carrier or sling regularly to ensure that no parts are worn or damaged.
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Also published on Medium.