Moderate Minded Mama

Walking the line between crunchy and modern everyday

Ah Baby Wearing! April 12, 2012

Filed under: Kids — laurab06 @ 12:35 pm

Ok, so today has been awesome. Compared to the last week and a half it’s like someone flipped a switch! As I was cleaning, playing, nursing and getting my dehydrator running I couldn’t decide on a blog topic.

Should it be getting chemicals out of the house (one of my personal favorites)? Ways to entertain a toddler while nursing? Babies: what do they really need? Breastfeeding? Nope. The only way I get anything accomplished with two high needs kids is babywearing, yup that’s it. You can see us rockin’ a ring sling while I was cleaning the kitchen this morning 🙂

After getting Lil to bed I sat down to nurse, Ana passed out so I logged onto facebook and I saw this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2128383/Are-baby-bouncers-car-seats-blame-rise-Flat-Head-Syndrome.html ! So, why reinvent the wheel? Here is an updated copy of my blog from almost 2yrs ago.

“Ah baby wearing, it can be done with a sling, it can be done with a wrap it can be done with a soft structured carrier…it can be done anywhere! OK, before I get all Dr. Suessish on you let’s move on to benefits of baby wearing, types of carriers & types of carries (front, side & back).

**Benefits: I personally prefer baby wearin for four reasons: one, my child is attached to me and is happier. Two, I have TWO hands to do things with. Three, if she’s being carried around an unfamiliar/stimulating atmosphere she is less likely to become over stimulated & grouchy. Four, I am a better mom to both my children by being able to meet both their needs at the same time (usually!) 😉 Here are some other reasons baby wearing is awesome!

1) Moms oxytocin is increased by through physical contact with baby. This promotes a better maternal bond & often easier breastfeeding (which can be done in a sling too!) These factors can lower a woman’s risk of postpartum depression. (“”Regulation of anxiety during the postpartum period” Lonstein, Joseph S., Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, Volume 28, Issues 2-3, August–September 2007, Accessed 2009-05-09)

2) Children who are worn are usually calmer because their primal/survival needs are being met. Mom can be seen, heard, smelled & touched and their food source is readily accessible. This also promotes better neural, gastrointestinal and inner ear health & muscle tone. IE: worn babies don’t need ‘tummy time’ as often because they’re already looking around & using the required muscles. (Morris, D. (1992). What Comforts a Baby? In Babywatching (pp 80-82). New York: Crown Publishers Inc)

3) Babies who are worn at an early age are more attuned to parental rythyms of walking, heartbeat etc. and this has a balancing/soothing effect on them! Hence why babies calm down once in the carrier & often doze off.

4) Slings/carriers/wraps facilitate a more secure attachment to caregivers. They also help children to develop socially because they are closer to people (not their knees). Children can study facial expressions, become familiar with body language & learn language faster.
( Kitzinger, Sheila. (1989). The Crying Baby. Penguin Books; ^ Anisfeld, E., Casper, V., Nozyce, M., & Cunningham, N. (Oct., 1990). Does Infant Carrying Promote Attachment? An Experimental Study of the Effects of Increased Physical Contact on the Development of Attachment. Child Development, Vol. 61, No. 5, 1617-1627.)

5) Worn infants have less of a chance of developing a “flat head” because they spend less time on their backs in swings, car seats, bouncing/vibrating chairs etc. Most baby wearing parents also wear babies while they sleep, which also helps avoid flat spots.  (Littlefield, Timothy R. “Car Seats, Infant Carriers, and Swings: Their Role in Deformational Plagiocephaly,” Journal of Prosthetics & Orthotics 15, no. 3 (2003): 102-106.)

**Types of carriers:
1) Ring slings: my personal favorite for hip carries. These are one long piece of fabric attached to two rings at one end. When the material is folded strategically & threaded through the rings it creates a fully adjustable pouch for baby. Newborns can be curled up & put in facing the wearer, older babies can be forward worn & once they’re able to sit up on their own hip carries are simple too. All with one product! These ARE NOT bag slings that go over babies face or head. I prefer this brand of ring slings https://www.mayawrap.com/

2) Mei Tai’s & Wraps: I love my wraps for back carries on long outings to the zoo, Shedd Aquarium or forest preserves. Wraps are one HUGE piece of fabric that is wrapped around mama & baby then tied to secure. These can be used for toddlers & even older children (I have a mama friend that can wear her 4yr old this way because of how the weight is distributed). Some brands are Ellaroo, Didymo and Storchenwiege. There are many more, but these were the first ones I could remember!

3) Soft structured carriers: NOT baby bijorns. Any carrier that has plastic pieces in-between the children’s legs or does not support the “Spread-Squat-Position” can cause a myriad of hip/spinal issues in infants. Infants/toddlers legs should never just dangle free or hang out of a carrier. To learn more about this please see the article & resources here http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/press/2007/11/spreadsquatposition.html#more. Soft shelled carriers such as Ergos, Babyhawks, Bobas, and Applesauce & Olives allow for proper positioning of baby plus optimal back/neck/shoulder support for mom or dad.

**Types of Carries (slings & wraps)
1) Using a ring sling: See this page for a breakdown of carries by age and babies head control/sitting ability. I love this page because it gives very clear instructions and has some videos too. http://zolowear.com/Wearing.aspx

2) Mei Tais & Wrap carries:
Mei Tai’s aren’t my specialty, but here’s a link to see a lot of carries for them. They are very versatile. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnKQ7syGv6E

Wrap Carries:
Newborn front carry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=dORbWkAt1Js&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Older babies front carry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anO6Dl7Lncg&feature=youtube_gdata_player This can be used for toddlers too

My favorite, Tibetan/rucksack back carry:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHQay2iFHKk&feature=youtube_gdata_player
The lady is speaking another language but you can clearly see what she’s doing. This is the video I learned from 🙂

Another popular back carry, the double hammock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMW_GUkMdZw&feature=youtube_gdata_player. I like this carry but you need a longer wrap to do this.

3) Soft Structured Carriers: This will depend on the carrier you buy, see their websites or instructions for proper positioning and carries. 🙂

(All babywearing info from online sources, thebabywearer.com & Wikipedia)”

Yeah, that’s a lot! I hope all the links come through. If you are in the area and would like to see, play with or borrow a sling, carrier or wrap there is a local group, DuPage Slingers, that meets the first Thursday of each month in Lombard. You can find their information here: http://dupageslingers.blogspot.com/

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