Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why I babywear.

If you know me you've seen me do it. Wear little Olivia in a Ergo carrier or a sling as I go about my daily business in the house, walk around the neighborhood, calm her in it, or while running errands about town.

Before I was pregnant I had no idea that baby wearing even existed. Then I saw a girl at church frequently walk in with her baby in a teal green moby wrap. Her little one was always quiet as a church mouse while he was in it. I decided to look into this whole idea of "baby wearing".

Here is what I found out and have decided from my own experience to be true:

1. Slings save you money. If you know how to sew you can make your own, find them on craigs list for 1/3 of the price bran new, I have even found them in thrift stores! I use my sling in preference to a stroller.
 In fact I dislike using my stroller. Olivia is always happier while on me. She just nestles her head in and falls asleep. The only time a stroller has been necessary is on really hot days when holding her close is just too hot!
2. When I carry Olivia in her sling I don't have to worry about "forgetting" her while I shop. She is always close so I know where she is. It is really convenient for me. I can breastfeed on the go and no one even notices! In the sling she isn't easily distracted. In the airport in LA and Seattle I carry her around without a worry in the world. It makes for great hands free time enabling me to carry bags...push a cart, hold hands with my husband.
3. Carrying baby is great for their neurological development, enhancing their sense of balance and equilibrium.
4. Carrying infants help lower stress hormones and adrenalin circulating in baby's blood stream as well as mine. When she is happy so am I.
5. Babies in slings cry less. Olivia is a very happy baby. As a newborn she had a lot of colic due to GI distress. Putting her in the sling and going for a walk was my sanity! She would calm right down and fall asleep.
6. Baby wearing has been fantastic exercise for me. My arms, back and stomach have quickly regained strength.

Ultimately I carry her because I LOVE to. She is so snuggly and warm. She is close and looks up at me with her big eyes and smiles. She seems interested in everything I do, a part of it all. I will be carrying her for a long time!

There are many other claims made by the baby wearing advocates. The above are the one's I have found to be true for Olivia and I. Others are true these are only the ones I feel I can prove. 
Here is a link to other things baby wearing is said to do: http://continuum-family.com/index.php?main_page=babywearing

Olivia is only 7.5 months so I am waiting for this to be true...we shall see "Infants who are carried have less head lag, stronger neck and shoulder muscles, and walk on their own by ten months old versus the average North American walking age of eleven and a half (or more) months. Baby-carrying allows infants to retain the standing/stepping reflex present from birth which they use to push themselves up and grab onto mother."
I would say she has a very strong neck and shoulder muscles. Her posture is nearly perfect. Currently she is walk/ crawling. (crawling on her hands and feet not knees) She pulls herself up constantly.


  1. Well, I wore my oldest (now 2 1/2) and she can climb a rope at the age of 2 if that says anything about shoulder strength. She also walked all by herself at 9 months of age. My almost 7 month old can already stand on her own, and I am sure she will be walking by the holidays. I am the local "nutjob" that babywears, but ya wanna know what, at least my kids are happy, healthy and developing at light speed. There is a little boy I know here that is ALWAYS in a stroller. He is over a year old and only crawls.

  2. What a sweet picture of you two! Baby-wearing has been great for us as well (I have a 7 month old). It makes her happy and makes me happy to have her close. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have worn my son since he was a newborn (he's 12.5 months now), and I have always gotten these comments from people when we're out in public remarking on how calm and happy he is. Moms of older kids have approached me to tell me how they wish they would have known about baby wearing possibilities when their kids were small--and new moms hooked on their high-end strollers look longingly at my two free hands and happy baby as though they may have finally spotted a solution to their trips to the market. I love it, and even though my son is significantly heavier now, I still far prefer baby wearing to other modes of baby transport.

    As for the faster development, I can certainly confirm the more rapid upper body development, but my son isn't yet walking. Interesting theory though!

  4. What a darling picture of mommy and baby girl!! I love how she is looking straight at the camera and smiling.
    Jessica, you remind me of myself when Elleanor was this age...I was so happy just being home with her all day and 'nesting.' Euphoric. :)

  5. Hey Jess! I am also a huge baby wearing fan! I discovered with child number 3 that I was out of hands and decided to go with the "Kangaroo Pouch" sling and my daughter and I loved it! I had her in my sling from 2 weeks until she was about 15 months when my belly got too big due to pregnancy. I went with my sling I could carry her no matter what her size was and as a new born she was in the kangaroo care position which is the healthiest for newborns. Now with child number 4, I can slip him in the sling while I grocery shop and have my toddler in the cart for easy shopping.

  6. My son loves being worn. It's much easier to take him places because he doesn't fuss when he's cuddled up to Mommy. He usually falls asleep and is content while I eat lunch, shop, do housework, whatever.

    It also helps keep touch-happy strangers at bay... it's harder to grab his hands when they're close to my body, and people seem to respect my space more than his space (if he's in a stroller or car seat).



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