Babywearing Advice – Wear ‘Em Wednesday

So last week, when it was still too snowy to go out and play, Mommy and Baby Lulu and I headed to McDonald’s for the afternoon.  Hello, play space? You are Mommy’s BEST FRIEND.  Anyway, Mommy yelled my name for some reason or other – probably she was impressed with how well I was behaving, that’s usually it – and then was chatting with Baby Lulu, when the woman at the next table whipped her head around. “Cole? And Lulu? Do you have a blog?”

You guys? We were recognized! I’m a celebrity!

Anyway, that has nothing at all to do with babywearing, except it sort of ties into this next part; we got an email this week from a reader asking for babywearing advice. Now I feel like even more of a celebrity, and we will probably have to widen the doors in the house for my big, giant head.

Jaime wrote:

I’m a lurker… Sorry! My name is Jaime and I quite enjoy your blog especially since from time to time you talk about places I know (I’m in NYC on the upper west side).  I use the ergo for my second child (10 months and also have an older one who is 4 yrs).  Is there a carrier (not bjorn) that you recommend that faces out and in? I think he would enjoy facing out when he’s awake but after toting him around because of the 4 year olds schedule I now have a 10 month old who hates the stroller.  You use carriers and wraps all of the time but Lulu seems to be ok in the stroller – any suggestions for me? How did you manage that?!!!

Keep writing!

So first of all, thank you so much to Jaime for giving me a topic for this week’s baby wearing post!  I hope I can answer all of your questions…  We were actually in NYC yesterday – Max’s family and we went to ride the subway, and explore Grand Central Station; this trip was a dream for Max and I, who are pretty train obsessed, but a little less enjoyable for Mommy and Michele who were trying to chase after us and Baby Lulu and Baby Sarah.  You know what babywearing is *really* great for? The subway! Mommy can’t wait until I can more reliably walk everywhere, and she can just wear Lulu and go – because really trying to find elevators and struggle through turnstiles and all of that? No bueno.

I will start out by saying that I have never been worn facing out; there is some research that indicates it might not be great for spine and hip development, and Mommy finds it much less comfortable for the wearer.  That being said, I used to be worn for hours and hours and hours at a time, so someone wearing their baby for a lower amount of time might not have the same concerns.  If you really prefer to wear forward facing out, many moms really love the Beco Gemini; it can be worn forward facing in, forward facing out, as a hip carrier, and on the back, and is okay to use with a baby up to 35 pounds.  Frogmama is having a sale on them right now, and you can also take a look at TBW’s For Sale or Trade Forum or Facebook’s Babywearing Swap Group for great deals on gently used carriers.  (You can also check those for used carriers in any of the brands I recommend below; the vast majority of my stash came to us secondhand, and it’s a great way to try a new carrier if you don’t want to pay retail.)

If you find the forward facing out position to be less ideal (especially with a 10 month old! Ouch!), I will say from personal experience that a hip carrying position or a high back carry is great for babies who like to look around and not snuggle into Mommy’s chest.  Personally, I think Sakura Bloom sets the gold standard for ring slings; they are comfortable, supportive, and completely GORGEOUS.  Our favorites are the silk ones – they are a double layer, so they even work with me at three years old, and are equally useful for Baby Lulu.  I’ve heard really great things about Sleeping Baby Productions ring slings as well.

To get a really nice high back carry, we love our BabyHawk mei tai.  Mei tais offer a really personalized fit because you can tie them however you want, and they can be easily shared among wearers.  I’m still occasionally worn in the same BabyHawk that Mommy uses for Baby Lulu, but they also make a toddler version if you’re looking for a slightly larger one.

Finally, if you prefer to stick with a soft structured carrier, they are not all the same! Think about it like a t-shirt; sure a top from Old Navy versus one from the Gap will accomplish the same thing, but one might fit your body better, or feel softer.  We all have the brands we prefer.  Mommy’s stash is fairly HUGE (25+), with a good amount if SSCs in there, but we consistently reach for the same ones.  Daddy has staked a claim on the Boba, and he keeps it adjusted to fit him.  (The buckles and straps can be readjusted to share, but it’s kind of annoying to have to fix them up every time.)  Bobas have a somewhat taller body, and they have stirrups for your feet, so they are popular for older/larger babies.  (Also? Daddy looks SUPERhandsome in it, right?) Mommy LOVES our Olives and Applesauce carrier, and I *just* recently outgrew it so it will last you a while.  O&As are now made with an infant insert so they are great for beginner back carries – they are sort of like training wheels.

As for the stroller? I don’t have much great advice; before Lulu was born, I used the stroller maybe half a dozen times EVER.  Then Uncle Matt and Aunt Maya gave us my SUPERcool yellow submarine stroller, and Mommy made a *huge* deal out of how special it was… When we go out together, she gives me the option of being worn or going in the stroller and I still pick riding on her back about 70% of the time.  Baby Lulu doesn’t have words yet, so she doesn’t get a vote – she gets whatever option I’ve declined.  (Second child syndrome – poor neglect-o-baby!)

Thanks for the question, Jaime! Anyone have ideas about what we should blog about next week?  If you have a blog, link up your babywearing post with us!

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