Question: Is it too late to start babywearing?

Very often, people ask me if it's too late to start babywearing. My generic answer is that if you are holding your child, you would probably be happier with a good baby carrier. As a related question, many people feel that their child is much too heavy to be worn because they have hit around 22 pounds. Let me address that concern first and then get back to thoughts on starting babywearing.

Most babies, especially breastfed babies, have a similar pattern to weight gain. You can see from the new World Health Organization Growth charts that at around 6 months, weight gain begins to taper, and it tapers more rapidly at around 12 months. So many parents watch their babies gain very rapidly in the first 3-5 months and immediately assume that they will have huge toddlers that will be impossible to clothe or pick up. Generally, this is not the case. And in the rare instances where it is the case, you pretty much have to deal with it because babies still need to be held, and a very good baby carrier such as the Ergo Baby Carrier or a Wrap will help you be more comfortable. I ask you, do you want to support 30 pounds with your arms, or strap the weight onto your body? And for you moms that say you are simply too petite to practice babywearing, again, I ask you, do you find yourself lugging your baby around and pushing the stroller with the other hand? You will be surprised how much easier it is to babywear with a proper baby carrier.

So, back to the original question,
it's definitely not too late to start babywearing. If you're carrying your baby anyway, a well designed baby carrier, like the Ergo or the EllaRoo Mei Hip will support him just how you are holding him except hands free. Or on your back so he's out of the way.

If he's not used to being worn, the thing that is important to remember are that you can't stand still. So many people put the baby in the baby carrier and then stand there and say, "He doesn't like it," and conclude that it's not going to work for them. Um, babies aren't all that different. It does take a bit of work. My older daughter couldn't stand to be in a carseat if the car wasn't moving, so I planned my whole route around where I could go right on red! It's just the stuff we do to keep our littles happy. The same for babywearing; you have to at a minimum rock, bounce, or sway, and even better is to pace, or, best, go outside and walk! Once the baby gets used to it, they settle down, but even now, when I pick up my 2 year old, I bop pretty hard for a bit if she's fussing.


For babywearers, the party must go on!

I've just come from a first year birthday party. Of course, most of the guests were moms with babies. Most of the moms knew at least a few other moms, so it was a great opportunity to socialize.

After an hour, maybe a little more, the moms divided into two camps. Those that had to go because their baby had to take a nap, and those that stood up and put their baby in a baby carrier because their baby had to take a nap. The first camp said their goodbyes and was gone within a few minutes. The second camp continued their conversations standing, swaying, maybe bouncing a little. The party went on.

A few from the first camp noticed and were interested in the contraptions. I let one try my Ergo. I wonder if it will appeal to her. Her first thought was to wear the baby facing out. I let the other moms handle explaining that you can't do that. It does seem a shame that the popular Baby Bjorn got everyone thinking that was the way to wear a baby. She very quickly tried a baby carry and could see the wisdom in that so maybe she'll come around and find she gets to stay at parties in the future!

Not babywearing is so limiting!