When pregnant I always flirted with the idea of baby wearing but there was always one thing that put me off, that being the seemingly impossible task of strapping a baby to your chest. Friends advised me to watch i-tutorial videos as they were supposed to be really helpful but the prospect was still very much off-putting.
Once baby arrived I ditched the conventional sling idea and instead opted for the Ergo 360. The Ergo 360 provides 4 comfortable ways of wearing your baby and even better it is SO simple to use!! I love the Ergo and I am almost certain my baby does too. He particularly likes sitting in the outward position for short periods of time where he gets incredibly excited laughing and babbling at passers by (especially children - he loves to watch children!!).
I always get told, 'oh he must be so heavy to carry in that sling', but really he is not! The Ergo 360 spreads the weight over your entire body so the weight isn't all on your back or shoulders. In fact, he feels pretty much weightless when being carried in the Ergo.
We recently took the Ergo 360 on our summer holiday to Jersey where it proved perfect for navigating a busy airport and hiking round Elizabeth Castle and the Jersey War Tunnels. Places where using a pushchair would have been far too stressful.
There are many practical benefits to baby wearing. The most obvious being the ability to have your hands free to get on and do things! I also particularly enjoy not having to push a pushchair around, especially when out for a walk over rough terrain like our recent day out to Lepe Beach in Hampshire for example.
Another obvious benefit is the ability to breastfeed whilst carrying baby. This is an art I am still attempting to perfect but it is still a massive benefit nonetheless and one I am told can be done with ease by loosening one of the side buckles on the Ergo.
Baby carriers may look initially expensive for what they are, but in fact, they are far cheaper than the average stroller or push chair. If this isn't a massive benefit to any prospective parents then what is? You can also probably pick up good quality second hand carriers on online auction sites and if you're lucky in charity shops and car boots.
If we look at baby wearing from a more psychological point of view then we know that babies that are carried tend to cry less. This stands to reason because it is natural for baby to be close to his mother and babies are most happy when they are being held by their mum. Baby wearing also helps build and maintain the strong attachment between mum and baby.
Baby wearing also helps promote physical development. When a baby is being worn, he senses the rhythm of mum or dads breathing, the sound of the heartbeat and the movements made by mum and dad. These movements are essentially the same movements baby will have felt in the womb. The carrier, is, in essence a 'transitional womb' for the new baby. In this environment the baby is able to focus all his energy on physical development, safe in the knowledge he is secure being close to mum or dad. The stimulation of the carrier also enables baby to regulate his own physical responses.
We must not forget that baby carrying is also extremely good for mum and dad who will benefit from both walking and 'weightlifting'. For any mums looking to improve their post-partum fitness like myself, then this is a huge benefit.
Most people also associate baby wearing with infants, but they can also be used with toddlers. The Ergo 360 goes up to 33lbs/15kg and I hope to continue to use it for as long as possible. Toddlers often become overstimulated and being in the carrier helps to soothe and comfort them.
Do you baby wear? Which carriers do you recommend? What are you experiences? If you have perfected the skill of breastfeeding in an Ergo 360 I would also love to hear from you.
Until next time.