Let me just start out by saying that I love baby wearing. I wanted to be close to Devon all the time and baby wearing was the easiest way for me to do that. It just felt strange to put him on the floor all by his little self. The first month he was born I just held him all the time. I mean ALL THE TIME and I loved it. I can remember on many occasions holding him, staring at him, marveling at him from one feeding to the next without putting him down. I did a lot of couch time since I needed the rest to heal, but by the 2nd month I was ready to be more active. I wanted to be able to be hands free while cleaning, doing laundry, playing Guitar Hero at Christmas, cooking or just sitting at the computer, but not having to hold him with one arm and type with the other.
I know that lots of parents shy away from baby wearing for a myriad of reasons:
- It hurts my back.
- The carriers are expensive.
- The carriers are too complicated.
- My kid won't learn to be independent.
- It's too granola.
- It's one more useless thing I have to buy that won't last for more than a year before they out grow it.
Baby wearing is believed to have many positive benefits to the parents and baby that trump many apprehensions about it. Some of the benefits include: babies crying less, babies learn more being higher up, closer to your voice which helps develop language, is in a state of "quiet alertness" when they are able to learn the most because they are not crying or fussy, happier babies because their needs are attended to faster, it allows babies to extend the "womb experience" by being close to the mother and simulate the motion and warmth by being in the carrier, babies are more aware of the caregivers face and voice, babies are often smarter since they have greater exposure to stimulation by being carried instead of laying on the floor when they are awake, learn communication rhythms, have greater trust with the caregiver because they are in a state of constant comfort and the list goes on and on and on. Depending on the weight limits for your carrier, some of them can carry babies up to 35 pounds! You could potentially wear your baby until they are approximately 3 or beyond.
I would say that I wear Devon at the very least an hour a day when we are at home. It used to be much more than that (all day practically unless he was asleep). I'm surprised he can crawl at all since he wasn't on the floor that much, but he is crawling like a maniac now and wants to be on the move. I hated lugging a stroller in and out of the trunk and constantly bumping into displays in stores since lots of them do not have wide enough aisles to accommodate a stroller. I always wear him when I go to the store, to Costco or to the mall unless I am there to try on clothes. I even used to keep him in the carrier when I went out for meals and he was too little for a highchair.
*Dec. '08 and 15 pounds heavier. I blame Ben for taking me out for these tacos .... even though it was me who suggested the place ;)
It has started to be part of his bed time routine that gives him the cue that it's time to start winding down. Once I put him in the "pouch" it is less than 10 minutes before he is asleep.
I own 3 carriers: The Maya, The Moby and the Ergo. Future blogs will be about these options so stay tuned! I also put up links to their websites if you want extra information.