BabyWearing Journey

Learn about babywearing with me

Month: April 2015

Ergo Carrier: An Easy to Find Soft Structured Carrier

When I was setting up my baby registry, I was overwhelmed like many moms-to-be.  Both Babies R Us and Amazon’s baby registries suggested items we needed, including a baby carrier.  I looked around and kept seeing the name “Ergo” pop up, so I added it and an infant insert to my list.  At the time, I didn’t associate the carrier with babywearing and I wasn’t sure when we would use the Ergo versus a stroller, but I added it to my list and moved on to the next item.

One of our wonderful friends gifted us with the Ergo and infant insert at our shower.  When we got home, I pulled it out of the box and was confused with all the straps and buckles.  It was a little intimidating at first!  I read the instructions, tried it on, and then hung it up in the baby’s closet to await her arrival.

Once the little one was here, I was terrified to put her in the Ergo!  I had a lot of anxiety about the many ways in which she could get hurt or die, and I was certain I would trip over my clumsy feet, fall on her, and hurt her if I had her in the carrier.  I was extremely nervous even carrying her – but I definitely could sit in a chair all day, holding her and gazing at her.

So in the beginning, my husband used the Ergo.  He took the little one on evening walks.  This was a time for just the two of them, but it was also a time for me to get a little bit of a breather on my own.  The sleepy dust was strong with the Ergo on these early walks:  he almost always came back home with a sleeping baby snuggled up against his chest (and how cute is that?!).

20150131_165214A few months later, I got braver and decided to use the Ergo on a trip to the grocery store. I was tired of trying to maneuver a stroller through our overly crowded store and felt more confident in my ability to carry the baby without falling on her.  That trip was a turning point!   I didn’t feel like anyone was going to run into the baby and her stroller, and it was so much easier to get up and down the aisles.  Plus, she fell asleep in the Ergo and snuggled up against me.  That was the last trip the stroller made into any store!

You can get an Ergo Carrier with an infant insert for about $135 – cheaper than most woven wraps.  You can use it to carry your baby on your chest facing you, on your back, or on your chest facing out (although several babywearing experts caution that babies can get too overstimulated when facing out).  The buckles and straps may seem intimidating at first, but once you get everything adjusted for you and your baby, it is easy to slip on, slip your baby in, buckle up and go.  The only thing I really don’t like about the Ergo (and I imagine this would hold true for any SSC) is that if both you and your spouse want to use the Ergo, you have to keep adjusting the straps.

 

 

 

Fun Babywearing Moment

powell gardens spring 2015On a recent trip to visit my family, the wee one,  my dad, and I visited the local botanical garden.  My dad lives several states away from us, but I did grow up in that area and still have friends there.  When we entered the gardens, he said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if you ran into one of your friends there?”  I told him that never happens – even when I’m close to home.

I actually started out with the wee one in a borrowed stroller, but after about fifteen minutes she wanted to get out and be held. I quickly wrapped her.  She likes being held and she likes being up where she can see, so she settled down into the wrap.  It was a chilly morning, so it was warm and cozy for both of us.  And really, I’m happier when she’s snuggled up next to me!

As we walked along a path, I heard my name. I looked around and spotted my best friend from kindergarten.  She hugged me and said, “I didn’t actually see you at first.  I saw this [touching my wrap] and thought, ‘Jennifer uses one of these’ and then I looked up and it was you!”

Babywearing win!  Not only did babywearing keep the wee one happier, it kept us both warm AND got us spotted by a great friend.  What an expected side benefit!

Seven Slings Sling: The Carrier I Forgot About

Tonight I was reading a babywearing Facebook group when someone asked, “What was your babywearing progression like?”  I love these questions as I get to chat about my babywearing experience, but it also reaffirm that I’m not crazy – or there are a lot of women who are crazy just like me!

20150315_213808Many people responded that their first carrier had been a Seven Sling, and that reminded me that before we received Ergo, we got a Seven Sling.  In all honesty, though, I forgot about the Seven Sling because I never once used it.

Seven Slings are considered a pouch sling, generally good for newborns and small infants.  They look like a length of cloth that’s been hemmed and then both ends have been sewn together to make a loop.  You wear the sling so that it rests on one shoulder and the other arm goes through the loop (it looks like a sash).  The sling is folded in half to make a pouch the baby sits in.

Seven Slings sell on the website for $39.99, but when I was pregnant several stores gave me coupons for a free Seven Sling . When I got my first coupon from Motherhood Maternity, I was so excited to get something to carry my wee one around in.  The experience of buying my first maternity clothes AND getting this awesome coupon for a free sling made motherhood seem somehow more real!

I rushed to the website to look over the colors and read the instructions.  They instructions seemed easy and clear, but I wasn’t thrilled that the free sling would cost nearly $15.00 in shipping (note:  when I later passed the sling on, it cost me less than $5 to ship it, including the envelope I shipped it in).

However I was aglow with early pregnancy excitement, so I reviewed the instructions on how to measure for a size and placed my order.

When the sling arrived, it looked just like its photos on the site.  The colors were bright, the material seemed sturdy, and it looked like a cute way to carry the wee one around.    I immediately put the sling on, and that’s when disappointment hit:  it was so small on me that I doubted I could get a baby in there.

Once the wee one got here and gained enough weight to meet the minimum weight requirement of eight pounds, I reviewed the instructions and tried to put her in the sling.  The sling was far too small, even though I had carefully followed the sizing chart.    I looked into returning the sling, but I found out that Seven Slings is not customer friendly for returns.  They require you to get approval from their customer service team, have all original packaging, and return the sling within fourteen days.    I admit I was a little frustrated about spending any money on a product I could not use.

I don’t think Seven Slings are worthless, though, and it could be a great option for moms on a tight budget.  If you are looking into a Seven Sling, I suggest calling Seven Slings to get help on sizing, order your sling right after your baby is born so you can try it on within fourteen day time frame and keeping all paperwork, including the packaging, in case you need to return it.

For many moms, Seven Slings are a gateway into the babywearing addiction, and that alone makes them important to anyone who loves sharing the joy of babywearing!

 

 

Babywearing is CRAZY!

“Babywearing is CRAZY!” is a weird way to start a blog on babywearing, but that was how I began my babywearing journey. I would never “wear” a baby. What did that even mean? Normal people used strollers!

When I was thinking those thoughts, I didn’t even know I would have a baby. Then when I learned that I was pregnant, babywearing didn’t even enter my mind. I registered for a stroller and a travel system. I also registered for an Ergo. Somehow I didn’t associate an Ergo with babywearing. Most of the time I figured we would use the stroller.

When the little one was born, I was too scared to use the Ergo. I am pretty clumsy. In fact, I tripped when I was pregnant, slammed my chest into the edge of a wheelbarrow, and was laid up for almost two months. I knew that if I tried to wear the little one in the Ergo, I would trip, fall, and hurt her. I was terrified of hurting her.

My husband was the brave one.  He put on the Ergo and started taking the little one on walks.  It was his way20140809_160558 of giving me a break and a little time to myself, plus he could bond with the baby.  I still didn’t think that having her in the Ergo was babywearing.  It was just taking her for a walk.

I got a little braver and bought a Fleurville strechy carrier so I could carry her out to the barn for chores or around the house. That wasn’t babywearing either in my book.

So if I thought babywearing was silly, why did I start a babywearing blog?  Because things changed!  When the little one was about four or five months old, she did not sleep.  The baby books said she should be taking at least two naps a day that lasted sixty to ninety minutes each.  Sometimes she didn’t nap at all.  Other days she napped fifteen minutes.  I was supposed to be working when she was napping, and in desperation I started looking for help on some Facebook(TM) baby sleep groups.  Several people suggested I wear her while I worked and that she would fall asleep.

So I looked around and bought an Infantino mei tai off the Facebook group Babywearing on a Budget.  I started using that for barn chores – I still haven’t worn her while I worked!  Then I saw a cheap wrap on the group and bought it. Then I bought a ringsling. I watched YouTube videos on how to wrap, and I was hooked.  Wrapping is snuggly.  Wrapping is an art.  Wrapping is beautiful.  Wrapping is ancient.  Wrapping is a part of our history.  Who wouldn’t like that?!    I was hooked. I am hooked.

 

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