Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Carrying the babe

When I was pregnant I knew that we'd need some way to get baby from A to B but I completely dismissed the idea of baby wearing. I have a bad neck and even carrying around a heavy purse tends to give me a headache so no way was I going to be able to carry around a 10 lb + baby. We invested ( thanks to some very generous family) in a great stroller and I figured that would be that. As my due date got closer I started to notice how many people were carrying their babies around our neighbourhood, including dads. I decided that they must be onto something and we should have another option so we got an Ergo ( also thanks to generous family). But I figured my husband would be the one to mainly use it and even brought him to the store to try on models. Oh how wrong I was.
Though he does wear it - and makes it look good!

It turns out baby wearing doesn't hurt your back, having a baby hurts your back. Sure it's great having a wonderful stroller, but the babe would sometimes much rather ride in your arms, thank you. Or your awesome stroller won't fit through the tiny aisles in the stores you want to go to. Or you want to go to a restaurant but you don't want to take up 500% more space with a bulky stroller. Or you're at home with a cranky baby that just wants to be held but you'd like your arms back, thanks. And let's face it, all the hip looking moms are doing it which makes me want to as well (hey I'm just being honest). This is not to say that I don't love our stroller since I use it almost everyday, but for all the reasons above I entered the world of baby wearing.

My first time using the ergo was when H was only a few weeks old. He was fussy at home and so I popped him in and presto, he was sleeping and my hands were free to hold a beer (bad mommy!) Of course 'popped him in' implies the Ergo was easy to use at first. It was not. Especially with that insert you need for new babies. That thing was the main reason I didn't use the Ergo much for the first few months.

A friend had also leant me a pouch sling and had assured me that it was amazing. But try as I might I could not stuff me and my boy into it comfortably. In search of something easier to use than the ergo but also adjustable I bought the Maya Wrap, a ring sling, which had the benefit of also being really pretty (let's face it - these things matter). I had hoped it would be love at first wear, but sadly no. However after some practice we figured it out and now it comes many places with us and has saved me on several occasions where the babe was just done with the stroller and we were miles from home.

The problem is, now I'm hooked. I love the snugly feeling of carrying H close and there are just so many ways to do it. Uh oh, another way to spend $$$ on baby gear. In an effort to not break the bank I tried my hand at making a Moby wrap using this tutorial. It worked! Though really I shouldn't be so surprised since the directions are buy 5 yards of fabric, cut in half. And now that I know how easy it is, I want to make more in different fabrics. Uh oh again.

Ok so the point of all this was to write some of the things I've learned about baby wearing for future Alyssa. So here it is:

~ All types of carriers have a learning curve. Keep practicing, it gets easier. And YouTube videos are your friend.

~ Ditch the Ergo for newborns. If I could do it again I would have saved the money I spent on the infant insert and put it towards something else. Once H had some neck control and his legs were long enough to sit properly in it he liked it sooo much more.

~ Tying the moby was not as bad as it seemed at first and a ring sling takes some adjusting too. If I could go back in time I might have started with the moby since it sits on both shoulders and is easier on the back. But H is starting to really like facing forward in his sling, so I'm glad I have it.

~ You really need to be moving for baby to be happy, at least until he falls asleep.

~ Carrying your baby will not solve all your problems. When H was around 6 weeks and in his cranky pants phase I thought that baby wearing would turn our fussy evenings into happy cooing baby times. As with everything that I thought would solve all our problems, I was bitterly dissapointed. Whaat? There are no quick fixes in parenthood?

And now some blurry iphone pics of us in our new faux-Moby, aka a piece of fabric. And yes, I'm going to do something about my hair.


Bec Shulba said...

it looks awesome! :) can't wait to test it out!

Alyssa said...

Bec - I ended up using it so many times today! Hux was a crazy kid today (teething is beginning, I think) and he took two naps in it!. In fact, I actually finished this blog while he napped in the wrap!

Lana Vug said...

Good post. You hear so many different things about this "slings" and its nice to get feedback from someone who has used a few different ones. What are your thoughts on the baby Bjorn? Is it like the Ergo?

Alyssa said...

Hey Lana - the Bjorn is like the Ergo, but all the weight is on your shoulders which sounds kind of painful to me. The Ergo distributes some of the weight to your hips. Also the Ergo is 'supposed' to be better for babies hips/pelvis, but then I've heard conflicting things about that. The one nice thing about the Bjorn is the baby can face forward which the can't do in the Ergo.

theRachel said...

I love that you made your own wrap. You're my hero, Alyssa!