Babywearing…Good for Babies and Good For Families Too!

The week of September 21-28, 2009 is International Babywearing Week! Thank you to my friend Teri Shilling at Passion for Birth for bringing this to my attention and sharing some great resources! International Babywearing Week

I LOVED wearing my babies.   Well, confession… my first daughter rode in a sling or other baby carrier occasionally and then a backpack frequently when she got older!. But, by the time I had my second daughter, I needed my hands free to hold my older child’s hand or push a shopping cart or carry things or….and I turned to a classic ring sling for my babywearing needs. My good friend Natalie Steiner gave me some quick lessons and I realized all I had done wrong the first time. Now, I was hooked!

I ordered a custom made sling in fabric I chose, along with a smaller matching sling for my older daughter to carry her babies in too! I was so excited and I am pleased to say that my younger daughter settled comfortably into her sling three days after birth, and neither of us ever looked back! I chose to leave the infant car seat carrier in the car, and get into the habit of taking my daughter out of the car and into the sling every time we went anywhere. No dragging that heavy, clunky, back-breaking carseat anywhere, no need to place it on the floor near all the dirt and grime and feet of the “outside world,” no need to fear all the hacking, coughing old ladies at Ballard Market who wanted to come up and touch my baby riding in her carseat on the top of my shopping cart! Oh no! My daughter was snuggled on my chest, usually fast asleep, or sometimes even nursing…safe next to my heart!

I wore out that lovely custom sling and two more additional slings (including one I made from an Elizabeth Lee Designs pattern) until they were threadbare from, from constant 18-hour/day use! The sling went on my body when I got dressed and came off when I went to bed…sounds extreme, but it worked for my family. I took my daughter to Europe for 3 weeks when she was 15 months old, with only a ring sling for carrying her and it was great!

One of my favorite parts of being a doula is meeting with my clients and their new baby for the first postpartum visit sometime between day 3-5. We cover all the important stuff like breastfeeding and mom’s recovery, but I always make sure to save some time to get their new little one into a baby carrier, (I bring a few of my own, in case one isn’t handy!)

It is especially heartwarming to see the partners so proudly wear their baby, and realize how easy, convenient and soothing it can be for both baby and parent! Way better than the teddy bear we practiced with at the prenatal visit!

If you are expecting, consider wearing your baby! It is good for your baby, good for the parents and the way it has been done for all time! If you are an experienced babywearer, comment to this post and let us know what type of carrier you like best and why, and how we can source them (weblink) and I will add that information to my resource page!

Enjoy this short but wonderful video on babywearing and celebrate International Babywearing Week by keeping your baby kiss-ably close in your arms, in a baby carrier!

More info on babywearing can be found at Babywearing International