Tuesday, May 11, 2010

why we're choosing to babywear:

Your overwhelmingly positive comments on our cloth diapering post were, well... unexpectedly cute!! I cannot believe so many of you are supportive of going cloth! I'm pretty sure it's because I just have the best blog readers in the universe. And I'm not even biased. It's the truth.

So you've seen me talk about slings and wraps before, most likely. Today I'm here to tell you why we're so "passionate" about toting our daughter in a sling. It isn't just a fashion statement [although they are very fashionable] -- there's a method to this madness. Or something. Is that even the correct usage of that phrase? I don't even think so...


Like I said yesterday, we are supportive of attachment parenting. Dr. Sears has these "7 B's" of attachment parenting:
1. Birth Bonding
2. Breastfeeding
3. Babywearing
4. Bedding Close to Baby
5. Belief in the Language of Your Baby's Cry
6. Beware of Baby Trainers
7. Balance

So, clearly, I'm focusing on #3 today -- babywearing. I have about 4 slings that I just love. Now, I've never actually used a sling. But I've read different reviews and there are different things about each one that I love. Once our daughter is here, she will likely let me know which sling she prefers. Until then, I have about 4 that I think are just fab. In order:

Sleepy Wrap^

Maya Wrap^

Mei Tai^


There are different styles of baby carriers, like ring slings or stretchy wraps, but that isn't really important right now. What I'm interested in are the amazing benefits of wearing your baby. (That was a horrible sentence). I'm taking all this info straight from Dr. Sears -- you can read more on babywearing here.

-Babies in slings are happier babies. Babies like to be held. Most cultures hold babies a lot and rarely put them down. A mother's arms are for holding her baby :) There definitely came a point where my nephews did not want to be held -- they wanted to get down and play. But, as infants, they wanted to be held. A lot. And even into their toddler years, they liked to be held when falling asleep. (Another aspect of babywearing, mentioned later).

-If your baby is in a sling, (s)he's learning. There's only so much that your baby can do while sitting in a Bumbo seat in the middle of the living room. Dr. Sears says this: The human face, especially in this position, is a potent stimulator for interpersonal bonding. In the kangaroo carry, baby has a 180-degree view of her environment and is able to scan her world. She learns to choose, picking out what she wishes to look at and shutting out what she doesn't. This ability to make choices enhances learning. A sling baby learns a lot in the arms of a busy caregiver.

-I seriously can't say it better than Dr. Sears, so I'll just go ahead and copy his next point: Babies in slings are more organized -- Mother's rhythmic walk, for example, (which baby has been feeling for nine months) reminds baby of the womb experience. This familiar rhythm, imprinted on baby's mind in the womb, now reappears in the "outside womb" and calms baby. As baby places her ear against her mother's chest, mother's heartbeat, beautifully regular and familiar, reminds baby of the sounds of the womb. As another biological regulator, baby senses mother's rhythmic breathing while worn tummy- to-tummy, chest-to-chest. Simply stated, regular parental rhythms have a balancing effect on the infant's irregular rhythms. Babywearing "reminds" the baby of and continues the motion and balance he enjoyed in the womb.

If left to his own resources, without the regulating presence of the mother, the infant may develop disorganized patterns of behavior: colicky cries, jerky movements, disorganized self-rocking behaviors, anxious thumb sucking, irregular breathing, and disturbed sleep. The infant, who is forced to self-calm, wastes valuable energy he could have used to grow and develop.

-Babies worn in slings are shown to be more attentive, have better speech development, are better listeners, and are more involved in conversations.

When you wear your baby, your baby experiences exactly what you do. It's a constant learning experience. Those little bouncy seats and exersaucers are cool [my nephews loved em!], but they'll only realistically sit there for so long. You can fold laundry, load the dishwasher, make the beds, and get everything done while wearing your baby. And your kid will love it since (s)he's close to mommy.

You can even breastfeed while babywearing (and no one would know!), babywear your baby to sleep (something Dr. Sears definitely promotes!), and so much more. Even Michelle Duggar owns an Ergo carrier!! Too cool.

I'm so excited to wear our daughter. I've already bought my sister a Maya wrap, so I'm excited to see how Sprout likes it! And remember: moms have been babywearing for centuries. Like cloth diapering, this isn't a new concept. Heck, even Sacagawea wore her baby on her back during the Lewis & Clark Expedition!!

I recommend checking out Adventures in Babywearing, a blog written by an avid baby-wearing mama.

If you're bored, watch this ADORABLE video of this new daddy folding a stretchy wrap (similar to a Moby or Sleepy Wrap) and wearing his brand new infant daughter. She is SO tiny. Even Mark watched this and said it's "adorable." It really is too cute. You'll die when you see her all scrunched up like a peanut:

Happy babywearing!! :)


  1. I seriously enjoy reading your blog! :) You are my random read of the day and I love it! :) Totally agree with the babywearing! Love it!!! and it gives you that cuddle/snuggle time that children grow out of so quickly!

  2. oh I love that video...especially the newborn baby grunts:) And I'd also like to say that babywearing is awesome! I used a Ergo sling with Jakk and he loved it. I used to clean house with him in it, and he would just dose right off to sleep. It actually shocked me the first time how quickly he fell asleep! People always complained I held my boys too much, uh they are babies thats what you're supposed to do! You are going to be such a great mommy! Your little princess is one lucky little girl!

  3. I love this post and the video! This is one thing I am absolutely looking forward to when I have a baby. I love the idea of wearing my baby everywhere especially since my hubby and I want to travel. I completely plan on exploring Europe, wearing my little bundle from Italy to France to Ireland- just to where ever our travels take us! And in my opinion, little babies just can't be held and snuggled enough!

  4. Hi Shannon, I am wondering why you didnt mention the recent recall of certain baby slings. It would have been great info. since you are trying to inform your readers about baby wearing items...just an idea. Also, if you watch the you tube video that Dad uncovered the baby with what looks to be a pretty heaving blanket...not a good idea to have on a baby...just saying!

  5. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10177.html There you go. It's one type of sling. The Sleepy Wrap, Maya, Ergo, or Mei Tai have never been recalled. Dr. Sears has a Babywearing Safety section in the link I posted. As long as you read the manuals to slings, there should be NO problem.


  6. We got the Evenflo Snugli Hug carrier [which is similar in style to the Ergo] for our daughter. She hated it as a tiny infant -- I dont know if it was being so close to the milk and smelling it, or what. She acted like the second you put her in there she was hungry, no matter when she had last been fed. Cry cry cry, poor thing. Now she loves it because she can be worn "outward" and see everything going on. I put her in it every time we go fishing!!

  7. Thanks for the info Shannon!

  8. I used a basic sling when AK was tiny, then we graduated to the Sleepy Wrap, and now we're using a Lillebaby Everywear carrier (it's basically the same as an Ergo! Made in Sweden.) I toted her all around our outdoor shopping center and throughout Barnes and Noble tonight :) She loves it. I have to say, also, that I would never make it through grocery shopping at Whole Foods without wearing my daughter! I wear her so much sometimes I still feel pregnant! Lol.

    You're going to be a great mom, my sweet friend and kindred spirit!

  9. aww! I need to go get some material to make my "moby" wrap! but oh my i love the maya wrap!

    *off to google directions to make a maya wrap!*