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Tuesday, November 24

Adventures in Babywearing

I was a finalist. Thank you to everyone who voted for me. :)

Beco babywearing baby carrier Lucy daddy
I own two strollers: an umbrella stroller that lies folded in the back of my station wagon "just in case" and a monstrosity that spends the vast majority of its time folded and stuffed into a closet as the Beco baby carrier that hangs above it is taken out and used again and again and again. Poor strollers. They must be lonely. Tough luck Mr. and Mrs. Stroller, but Ms. Beco is the one pulling her weight in this family instead of weighing us down.

We have been fans of babywearing since the first day we tried it. When my baby girl was smaller we'd tie her on in a stretchy wrap. The wrap was wonderful! Our daughter loved the perpetual hug that babywearing provides and we loved having our hands free to do dishes play video games. But before traveling several thousand miles to visit Grandma and Grandpa we invested in a Beco from Parenting By Nature. We felt that a carrier that could be easily gotten on and easily adjusted would be more convenient going through airport security and since our little girl was getting less and less little, it would be practical to have a structured carrier that would better support her weight.

'Practical' does not even begin to describe how we feel about babywearing with a structured carrier; 'cozy,' 'easy,' and 'fun' come to mind. When traveling? I'd go with 'absolutely necessary' and 'miraculously helpful.' There's no plane-side checking of a baby carrier. You either continue wearing your babe on the plane, or you can roll up the carrier and stash it in your diaper bag. Wearing our baby during our flight helped keep her happy and secure versus cranky and wiggly (which kept us parents from being cranky too)! But the real benefit came when an unforeseen landing problem landed us in the emergency room.

Upon descent my body freaked out a bit. I had some blood pressure and hyperventilation issues that left me weak, sick, and fuzzy-brained (well, more fuzzy-brained than usual) and before you could say "please return your tray table to its upright position" the flight attendants had called for help. I found myself being wheeled through the Toronto airport on a stretcher so I could take my first (and hopefully last) ambulance ride to the emergency room while my worried husband raced behind carrying every. last. piece. of our carry-on luggage. The one thing he wasn't struggling to hold onto? Our daughter.

We ended up spending hours at the hospital. We waited quite a while in the emergency room before being told I was fine and that it was nothing serious. Then we spent more time trying to figure out where we would stay for the night, how we would get there, when we could fly again, informing family members of what had happened. It was, to put it mildly, stressful. But the one thing we weren’t stressing about? Our daughter. The whole time she was happily worn by her daddy.

All three of us love babywearing. We use our Beco regularly, around the house when our daughter is fussy, at the grocery, at the park, at the mall, everywhere! But the convenience and emotional benefits of babywearing really shine when life gets complicated. Wearing your baby is like wearing a life jacket…a life jacket for your sanity. So our strollers stay folded and stashed away, rarely seeing light of day, not really earning their keep. Which leads me to ask...anybody want to buy a stroller? Barely used, great condition. Going cheap!

Inspire Natural Parenting Contest

This post was written for the "Blog to Inspire" contest hosted by Parenting By Nature. I'd love to hear your comments! Tell me what you thought! Tell me if you baby wear. What's your favorite aspect of babywearing? What's your favorite carrier? Has babywearing ever saved your sanity in a tough situation? Do you have questions about babywearing? Lay it on me! I love hearing from my readers!

31 Stubborn Stains:

One Cluttered Brain said...

I found out about Babywearing AFTER my baby was already too BIG. DARN! But the concept is great. Freeing your hands so you can actually get something done around the house. I like the idea. I think I might have just had my last child so I probably won't be Baby wearing anytime soon. Who knows though? I might change my mind and get preggo again.

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful that you and your husband enjoy baby wearing so much. My babies were so big that is really hurt my back to wear them. I do feel like it's a wonderful thing to do if you can do it without hurting.

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

Yeah, back pain is no fun. As Lucy was getting bigger it was starting to hurt more and more when we used the wrap, mostly my shoulders would hurt. I think the Beco does a better job of supporting and distributing her weight. It's much more comfortable for a big baby.

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

One Cluttered Brain:

Who knows, maybe you'll wear your grand-babies some day!

How big is your youngest? A good structured carrier can hold big babies and toddlers!

Rosanna =) said...

oh I've been eyeing the Beco for a little while and didn't want to spend ANY MORE money on babywearing but your post convinced me to get it!

Hope the shipping is fast because I want to use to at a Christmas craft fair next week!!

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

Rosanna we really love the Beco. We hesitated on the cost too but once we got it we didn't have a single regret. Adam especially likes it. He wears Lucy a lot more often now that we have a structured carrier than he did when we only had a wrap.

Chanda @ The Eco-Cheap Mom said...

We loved babywearing! We used a ring sling until my son was about 4 or 5 months and then switched to a Babyhawk. Unfortunately, now at 14 months, he has no interest in being worn. :( He prefers to walk, or ride in his stroller.

Anonymous said...

I love wearing Peanut! She definitely prefers it to being in the stroller and I do too. It's easier and hands free! The only thing that sucks is that I have to carry the diaper bag instead of stowing it away.

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

Aw, Chanda, that's kind of sad! I'll be bummed when Lucy decides she doesn't want to be worn anymore! Why do they have to grow up so soon?

Lauren, yeah, I've been thinking maybe I'll start using a backpack as my diaper bag. That might be easier than the GIGANTIC diaper bag I have. I just like my diaper bag so much because it's really pretty! :)

Maryann said...

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Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

Thanks for the compliment Maryann!

Laila said...

I love babywearing all the time, but if I had to pick one time it comes in super handy for me right now, is when Noah (who is 2) falls asleep in the car on the way to get groceries etc. My Maya Wrap Ring Sling is my all time favourite, and I can pop him in that and get my shopping done quietly while he still sleeps. I also used it for the same purpose picking my older children up from school during the last 2 years. 3pm always seemed to fall around Noah's nap time (and then nursing time at a later stage), so I would pop him in the sling and let him sleep or I could nurse him right outside the classroom, (hands free no less!) and no one would know. I think the key thing people need to remember is to find the right carrier for them. I love my wraps and Mei Teis, but my ring sling is what works the best for me. You just have to keep trying until you find the one that fits you and your babe. :o)

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

That's so true, Laila. You definitely can't assume babywearing isn't for you if you've only tried one style of carrier. Gotta figure out what works for you. :)

Domestically Challenged said...

Yay for babywearing!!! We never use our stroller. Not EVER. The ONLY reason we even own a stroller is because the Grandparents insist upon using one when they come to visit, lol!

I wore my first from the day she was born until around 4yrs when I just couldn't do it any more. My second has followed in same fashion, being worn since her birth 9mos ago. I have several carriers for all sorts of occasions and moods. 8 of them at last count. My faves are the ones I made myself! They fit so much better than any I have ever bought, because I can do custom tailoring for my body and the baby's.

My favorite thing about baby wearing.... I absolutely love having that closeness! But, I think for me, it's being able to tend to my kiddos needs for snuggle time while my hands are free to do what needs to be done. Also, I think they learn more about their world when viewing it from our perspective. They don't see very much when stuck down in a stroller, and they miss out on all the interaction!

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

Domestically Challenged:

8 carriers! I'm kinda jealous! :)

And you are so right about the interaction and viewing the world from our level. Our babes get to be a part of their parents world when they're up held close instead of down at our waists in a stroller.

Anonymous said...

Came over from SITS and turns out your in my old stomping grounds. I'm from Canada (edmonton) but living in Germany! Love your blog. I'm a cloth diapering, home birthing, baby wearing crazy too! And I LOVE a nice fridge...

Nikki said...

I never thought babywearing was for me. And even now, it sort of isn't. But I'm so glad I at least tried it and still continue to wear my Cubby here and there when the situation warrants it. He's so much of a free spirit, he prefers his own space - much like his parents :)

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

Yes, every baby is different. Some would be happy being worn all day (I bet my Lucy would enjoy it, given the chance). Some can only tolerate a bit at a time. It's so important to figure out what works for you and your baby. But any amount of hands free snuggling sounds better than none to me! They grow up so fast. I want to get all the closeness I can before she starts saying "Mooooooom! Cut it out!" :)

Shannon said...

Nice article!! Babywearing is da bomb! My son loved seeing what was going on. While he's too big now...he still rides in the backpack carrier on hiking trips. He even takes his nap in it. (while we're hiking)
thanks for sharing!

Red said...

Hi there! I found you through the parent by nature contest, and just had to say how much I like your blog! We are babyhawk lovers in my family, it has saved our sanity on more than one occasion! My husband has what he calls "Guitar hero naps" with our youngest, where even today at 20 months she'll pass out for a nice nap on his back while he happily plays guitar hero.

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

I bet your able to cover a lot of ground hiking while the little man naps! That sounds so fun!

Thanks, and a big "heck yes" to the video game naps! Beatles Rock Band + Beco = fun for all!

Jenny said...

Great post! I just went to see New Moon two days ago with my husband. He wore our daughter in the Storchenwiege wrap and she slept through the WHOLE thing. I told him it automatically made him hotter than any guy in the movie :-)

Parenting By Nature said...

Babywearing has saved the day many times for us. I couldn't possibly travel without a baby carrier. It makes manoeuvring through the airport so much easier and (almost!) stress free. :)

Thanks for participating and good luck!

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

Hey yeah! I totally forgot the movies! We did the same thing for Star Trek and for Harry Potter when they were in the theatre!

Parenting By Nature:
Thanks for the well wishes, and for sponsoring the contest! :)

Lisa said...

I didn't do the babywearing with #1, but I have already purchased a Peapod for the arrival of #2. I figure I'll need to wear the baby in order to keep up with my will be 2 year old. I'm hoping that he/she will like it. #1 liked to be held but not wrapped up. Would spend some time in the Snuggli, but not much. Did and does need to be free!
Thanks so much for the post.

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...


My baby didn't like being swaddled, but loves being worn. So it's hard to tell which babies will like it until you try it. Though, based on anecdotal evidence, it seems most babies love it.

Hannah said...

I love babywearing! I have 4 little ones, and found out about it when my oldest was almost a year. I have tried several different kinds, but keep going back to my trusty BabyHawk.
Love your blog!

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

Thank you Hannah!

With four kiddos I bet babywearing is a life-saver some days, eh? The BabyHawk seems to be a popular carrier!

Dionna said...

Great story! We brought a stroller with us to Disneyworld on vacation this fall - to hold the backpack and cooler. Our son was in the carrier ;)

Green Mama said...

I love your baby wearing story. I'm totally with you on the stroller issue. I wish I new more about baby wearing before I purchased any strollers. Baby wearing was definitely our saving grace when our son was small and just wanted to be held..so we could have a free hand to do dishes and clean the house. Now that my baby's almost 1 I love using either my moby wrap or structured carrier to go on walks. See, we have a dog and when I'm home all day with my son I can't bear to leave the dog at home and go out with my son. Forget about walking a dog and a stoller, so baby carrier to the rescue!!!!

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

Dionna, yeah, strollers make good luggage carts, eh?

Green Mama,
I can't even imagine trying to push a stroller and walk a dog at the same time, especially if the dog was the pulling type!

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