What, Why, & How to Babywearing
Updated: Oct 12, 2018
New to babywearing? Here are some essential points to understand why we love to babywear!
Image via www.safebabywearing.com
What is babywearing? Why do people do it? Babywearing is the term used to describe a person carrying around a baby in some sort of carrier attached to their body. It is a way to transport and hold baby hands free. Babywearing allows the baby to have all their contact needs taken care of (upright for reflux, held close for a nap, engage with the world from a safe space, etc) while letting the caregiver have both hands free to do other tasks.
“Babywearing is the term used to describe a person carrying around a baby in some sort of carrier attached to their body.”
Some scenarios where babywearing would be helpful include: the working parent comes home from work and needs to start dinner; Baby wants mama hugs; Mama can put baby in a carrier and make dinner while baby looks on from a safe place, physically in contact with mom. In another instance, dad may be putting kids to bed himself and baby will not go down without a fuss - put him in a carrier and he's peacefully asleep within minutes.
The Many Benefits from Babywearing
Babywearing allows caregivers to more easily tend to both very young children and more mobile toddlers – indoors and outside. It is a very practical way to take public transportation and visit friends in walk up apartments instead of toting around bulky strollers. It allows you to grocery shop with both hands free to grab groceries and push the cart, walk the dog without a stroller for them to get tangled up in, chase a toddler on a beach while the newborn is sleeping on your chest, etc. As long as the activity is safe to do with baby in your arms, you are free to engage in it while wearing your baby.
How do you babywear?
“As long as the activity is safe to do with baby in your arms, you are free to engage in it while wearing your baby.”
How do you “wear” a baby? There are several different ways. The most popular carrier type that many people are familiar with and can be found in big box stores are buckle carriers. These are the ergo’s and tula’s where you buckle the band around your waist, sit baby on it, and put the shoulder straps on similar to wearing a bookbag. There are also wraps, meh dais, slings, k’tans, hip carriers, and more. These carriers have less structure and more fabric but are more adaptable to the wearer and baby’s size. The techniques on how to use them all vary but all end up with the same result: a baby attached to your body – hands free.
Baby can be placed on your front, side, or back and worn from the day they are born until you no longer want to carry them around. There are carriers that can be used for nearly every weight and age range (typically 8-50lbs, newborn to preschooler).
Want to see what this is all about for yourself? Try out a new carrier or technique with one you own? All these various types are available for trying out and borrowing at any of New York Babywearing's meetings.
By Anna Lopez