Aside from a myriad of benefits that babywearing brings, the main reason why I started babywearing Riri when she turned 3 months is because I wanted to be hands-on yet hands-free. I wanted to keep her close while I go about doing things. During hospital check-ups, I wear her all the time as it is easier compared to maneuvering a stroller in crowded areas and narrow walkways. It is also convenient for me as I can breastfeed discreetly in public. I can go out, shop and eat while she’s all curled up on my chest sleeping.
Riri was never a colicky baby which is probably because the position she was in whenever she was worn was in an upright position – the slight pressure on the tummy helps in eliminating gas.
Babies, especially newborns need to be held. It is only natural that a baby would want to be snuggled close to the mother. Babywearing is a great way of creating a strong bond between the baby and the parents which is then vital to the baby’s psychological development. It is also a good opportunity for the dads to get involved. I’ve read that when a baby is intimately involved with what’s happening around – when the baby gets to see and hear what is going on when carried, it allows for learning and interaction compared with being in a stroller where the view is not on an adult level. They would be mostly seeing knees and legs of people passing by. Not much interaction there.
Sometimes it is frustrating when I don’t understand why my baby is crying even after she’s fed, burped and changed into a fresh nappy, I find it easier to soothe her when she’s carried. Experts say that infants who spend less time crying spend more time in a state of quiet alertness where they are most content which allows for better interaction with the world around him/her. My tried-and-tested solutions whenever my baby gets fussy are breastfeeding and babywearing. Works most of the time!
I only get to try a wrap which is from Boba and a Tula Standard Baby Carrier which is a soft structured carrier. Both are from Amazon which was shipped from the US. I’ve struggled a bit with the wrap as it takes some getting used to – I was told a ring sling is a good alternative to the wrap but I haven’t gotten round to actually trying it. I like my Tula because it is easy to use – it is as if you’re wearing a backpack infront. SSCs are a popular choice these days. They consist of a buckled, padded waistband, buckled padded shoulder straps and a back panel with a hood.
With so many brand of baby carriers available in the market, it is important that you do your research first before buying to know which brands are safety-tested. We do not want our baby’s safety to be compromised. For one, narrow-based baby carriers is a no-no because they’re worn in such a way that the baby’s legs are dangling downwards. The hip socket is also taking the full weight of the legs so it’s not advisabe to be worn for longer periods because of the strain it will cause. Also, buy from a trusted source. Baby carriers are expensive. You wouldn’t want to end up with a fake version.
How do I know if I’m wearing my baby the right way? If they’re close enough to kiss, the arms are inside carrier, baby’s back is fully supported and the legs form an M position are just some of the guidelines.
Now that Riri is already a year-old, I would still continue to babywear her for as long as she wanted. Sure, I would still bring a stroller along but it would mostly be used for carrying the diaper bags and other stuff.