all about babywearing baby wearing

photo by JustThe10ofUs

Hanging out in the Moby

When I was pregnant, I registered for a baby carrier because I thought it would be easier to carry my baby that way. I'd have my hands free and I could take hikes on rugged terrain and not worry about ruining a stroller. It wasn't until after my baby was born that I even came across the term "babywearing." I wasn't really sure what it was. Was I a "babywearer" just because I had a Baby Bjorn? Or did babywearing involve some other ideals?

I interviewed JustThe10ofUs, who is the group owner of Baby Wearing Mamas, to get the lowdown on babywearing. Here's what she had to say.

Cafe Suzanne: How many children do you have? 

JustThe10ofUs: We have eight children, five are still at home.

Cafe Suzanne: Did you babywear all of them? 

JustThe10ofUs: I wish that I had. I wore baby #3 on camping and hiking trips—in a clunky, old, framed carrier that weighed more than my baby! I didn't enjoy serious babywearing until our fifth baby was born.

Cafe Suzanne: Ever wear more than one baby at a time? 

JustThe10ofUs: No, I've only needed to carry one at a time. 

Cafe Suzanne: For those of us who aren't familiar with it—what is babywearing? 

JustThe10ofUs: Babywearing is wearing or carrying your baby in a pouch, wrap, sling, or any carrier. Some moms wear their babies to special events or outings, while other moms, like myself wear our babies off and on through out the day. 

Cafe Suzanne: What are the benefits of babywearing for the mom? 

JustThe10ofUs: Babywearing for the mom is a wonderful way to keep your baby close to you while keeping your hands free. Babywearing yoga classes enable moms to get back into shape while including their little one in the process.

Cafe Suzanne: What are the benefits for the baby? 

JustThe10ofUs: Babies love to be close to mommy. Babywearing provides comfort and security for baby. A baby that is tucked snugly next to mom or dad is less likely to be touched or exposed to germs by strangers in public. Toddlers that are carried can enjoy crowded events without the risk of being separated from mom or dad.

Cafe Suzanne: If I carry my baby in a sling or baby carrier does that make me a "babywearer" or is there more to it than that? 

JustThe10ofUs: I would consider anyone who uses any type of carrier a "babywearer." We all have our favorite ways to wear our babies—it's all about what works and is most comfortable for you and your baby.

Cafe Suzanne: Does wearing a baby on the back count too? 

JustThe10ofUs: Absolutely, comfort is key and back and hip carriers are the most comfortable when wearing older children.

Cafe Suzanne: Up to what age do you suggest wearing a child?

JustThe10ofUs: I have never been one to put age limits on things as long as the child and parent are comfortable. I still wear my three-year-old to events.

Cafe Suzanne: How do I avoid hurting my back, neck, shoulders? 

JustThe10ofUs: The right method and the right carrier will not hurt your back. Experiment until you find what works best for you and baby. 

Cafe Suzanne: Which baby carriers have you tried? Which are your favorites? 

JustThe10ofUs: I have tried Babyhawk, Baby Bjorn, Maya wrap, a pouch, a Moby, a homemade Mai Tei, and full backpack style made for extended hiking.  My personal favorite is the homemade Mai Tei. I played around with it, made it to fit my specific needs. It's comfy and so easy to get in and out of. It works well in a front or back carry.  My second favorite is my Moby. It works great for long walks and events. I've even worn mine in the pool.

Cafe Suzanne: Can moms of multiples babywear? 

JustThe10ofUs: Yes, the Moby is perfect for multiples. If a mom has triplets, she can still babywear, one or two at a time. 

Cafe Suzanne: If a mom is unable to babywear for physical or health reasons, is there a way she can give her baby the benefits of babywearing without actually using a baby carrier?

JustThe10ofUs: Skin to skin contact is wonderful, even if you're not babywearing.

Cafe Suzanne: Are there any negatives to babywearing? 

JustThe10ofUs: It can take time finding the right method and carrier for you and your baby. Try a few on before you purchase, and hit the Baby Wearing Mamas group on CafeMom to get info from experienced moms.

Have you tried babywearing? Do you like it? Why or why not?