Baby wearing – my journey of learning.
Baby wearing is so very rewarding and I still maintain it saved both myself and my son from considerably more pain during his colic and reflux stage. While we were preparing for our baby to arrive, we asked more experienced friends about baby carriers.
The recommendations were Baby Bjorn baby carrier and the NooNoo Pie stretchy wrap. We promptly went out and bought them and read ALL the instructions thinking we were very prepared.
Ethan suffered from the most terrible reflux and colic. As a consequence he lived in his NooNoo Pie while I bounced. It was a killer on my arms if I did not use the wrap. I didn’t realize I was doing it wrong. One of the most important things I have learned is that your baby’s face must not be covered and within kissing distance so that you can make sure they are breathing alright. Despite being unaware of this at the time, we still had a successful baby wearing experience with our wrap and thankfully he was not harmed.
One of his favorite ways to be carried was on our Selina’s back. She was an expert at tying him on with a towel. Unfortunately, I was not as adept at it, but I certainly plan to practice more with the next one.
My husband absolutely loved the Baby Bjorn carrier and spent ages carrying my son around on weekends to give me a break. Even going shopping in Woolworths with him. The Baby Bjorn is not an ergonomic carrier so his legs always dangled. I have since learned that this is potentially bad for their hips and that there is a scarf hack that can help with that but we did not realize at the time. Luckily we have not had hip problems.
One of my main concerns however is that we could have potentially been making his colic worse. We used to allow him to face out in the carrier. The curvature of a baby’s spine is a C-shape and so when they have their backs pushed up against your chest, their backs are pushed into an unnatural position.
After visiting a chiropractor in desperation, I learned that colic can be linked to the back being out of alignment. There is an important bundle of nerves in the lower back that communicates with the digestive system. If the baby’s back is out of alignment, these nerves are not able to communicate correctly thus causing or worsening colic. After this discovery, I then started my investigations into more ergonomic carriers and ones that can be used on the back so that baby can still face forward.
Our first ergonomic carrier was Manduca. It fulfilled all my requirements for Ethan. We just adore it. It took some getting used to as the style is so very different from what we were using before, but it is so easy to use once you know how. It also offered a toddler extension and for our big boy it was a nice added extra to prolong baby wearing.
Our latest addition is a stunning Zozinette Grande in their Fynbos print. This carrier is perfectly sized for my large toddler and very comfortable. I love how easily adjustable the sternum strap is so front carrying is very easy.
Ethan is now at an age where he either has to be very tired or very needy to get into the carrier. I am not above making him jealous using a teddy bear though haha. The best part about our Zozi is the carrier bag because Ethan thinks he is super cool carrying his carrier around.
Step 1: Make toddler jealous by carrying Teddy Bear around the house.
Step 2: Finally get toddler in carrier and reward with kisses.
Step 3: Toddler gets annoyed with all the photos and starts complaining.
Step 4: Toddler threatens me with keys “prison style” if we don’t hurry up and go for a walk.
Step 5: Yay off for a walk FINALLY! Everyone is happy and comfortable.
A close-up of the beautiful Fynbos print. Really stunning!
Whichever way you choose to carry, it is definitely the best choice I made as a parent. The bonding time you get out of it is amazing and it really is quite practical in today’s world. I don’t believe that toddler carrying is spoiling them, they need that one on one time. Enjoy this special time with your kids, before you know it, its gone.