7/29/2006

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!

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

No, I told her she could wear the baby facing out. What I was trying to explain though was to fold his feet. I hope she does buy one. I think her son would have fallen asleep actually if she had just walked around with him facing towards her.

I was wondering what happened to everyone and didn't connect the babywearing! Eva feels like it's her safe place. When she gets overstimulated, she goes in the Ergo and calms down immediately.

SoBeBabies.com, Inc said...

I wouldn't do baby facing out for a few reasons.

First, the Ergo wasn't designed for that position and it is definitely against the manufacturer's recommendations.

Second, when a baby is facing out and their legs are down, it puts the spine in a compromised position. The spine should be in a C, belly button on the inside of the curve, if you see what I mean. When babies are worn facing out and their legs are down, as is the style in popular baby carriers such as the Baby Bjorn, it tends to arch their backs, which is an unnatural position. Related to this, this position can put extra strain on the parent's back because the weight is held down and away from your torso, not high and tight.

Third, her baby was just too big.

Now, yes, it is possible to "cheat" in the Ergo with a small baby and put them in a position that indeed curves their back. The newborn insert accomplishes exactly this by putting the legs together. I have seen other moms put their very small babies facing out without the infant insert. Some do it by folding the baby in half at the hips but that doesn't look too comfy to me. On the other hand. some people put their babies in slings facing out like that and say they are comfortable. Still, I think a sling gives the baby a bit more room.

Then there is the sitting on the feet method that will work for some babies and has the added benefit of raising a small baby a bit higher so she can see out better. And the last method is the side-sit, which I do recommend. I have information on my website about side sitting with an older child. http://www.the-ergo-lady.com/learn-ergo-baby-carrier.html#Cheating_with_the_Ergo_Baby_Carrier:

It's quite similar to the positon a newborn is in in the newborn insert, but is a compromise for those that would wear their baby facing out. I wouldn't do a side sit for long periods of time, but it has saved me a few times when I needed to get a very sleepy toddler into my Ergo and she wanted to stay all in a little ball. A hip carry might also be ideal but it takes time to reset the Ergo straps so the side sit can be just the ticket for a baby that wants to look around just a little more than is possible when facing in.

And the last point I would like to make is that when babies are facing in, they can still turn their heads and see plenty, and it is important to remember to stand sideways so your baby can see what is going on and be part of the world around them. Babies that are worn are always observing and learning.