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The Ins and Outs of Baby Wearing: Is It Right for You?

February 15, 2013

3029610157_4663230353_zThe most traditional way to transport your baby, the stroller, certainly has its advantages. When you’re walking long distances, up and down hills, or transporting more than one child, the stroller is a no-brainer. But baby-wearing has been growing in popularity lately, in part because of its hands-free nature, and because of the closeness many parents feel to their babies when carrying them in this way.

If you’ve never considered wearing your baby as a form of transporting her, think about your lifestyle and how this method might meet your needs. Do you take public transportation frequently? Having your little one close to your body and having two hands available can be a huge asset. If you find yourself making multiple stops on foot throughout your day, and getting the stroller around, in, and out of every location is a hassle, then baby-wearing may work for you. And of course, carrying your baby close to you allows you to feel his movements and heartbeat, and will let him feel yours as well. It can be very calming for babies who don’t like a lot of distance from mom and dad!

Choosing the right baby carrier for you may require a bit of trial and error. There are carriers that position your baby on the front of your body, and strap onto your torso. These will feel very sturdy and will not shift very much when your are in motion, which can be a plus. There are front facing, body-facing, and even backpack models, and some come with waterproofing and sunshield options. But if you find this type of carrier to be a bit too heavy or too hot for you or your baby, you may want to choose a sling. Baby slings are often worn around the home, but many parents wear them outside as well. When worn properly, slings are very stable and are a bit more lightweight and breathable than some carriers. But if you’re a worrier and like the more constructed feel of a carrier, the sling may not be for you.

You may want to take your baby to the store and try out different models of baby carriers and slings before choosing the one that will work for you and your baby. And you may find that your partner prefers a different carrier, so make this shopping trip together! Of course, your stroller will likely remain an important component of your baby gear, but moms and dads are loving the option of holding their baby close and keeping their hands free, so it couldn’t hurt to explore whether an item like this might work for your family.

Photography courtesy of Creative Commons.



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