So, way back in the day when Baby #1 was born, I didn’t know a dern (yeah, I said dern) thing about this baby-wearing phenomenon. I picked up the cheapest front carrier on the market and tried to put my darling little baby in it. Said darling little baby screamed her darling little head off…for the whole thirty seconds it lasted. That was our first and last carrier experience. As a result, she spent a lot of time traveling around in her baby car seat or in the swing or bouncy seat. These things aren’t bad, but it would have been nice to hold and snuggle her a little more while still moving about the day.
When we had our second little bundle, I picked up a popular structured front carrier for big bucks. It was better than the cheapo and our little guy was alright with it, but the thing was so bulky that it wasn’t really for “bonding” more for the convenience of carrying in public. AND, it kinda hurt my back (that’s already pretty hosed from gymnastics, having babies, and chronic typewriter’s kink – random, I know) though I wasn’t willing to admit that because it was so stinkin’ expensive. SO, with my third baby I became a slightly crunchier mom and picked up a ring sling and stretchy wrap. The ring sling was ok, though I never felt like it was on quite right. I used it when my daughter was very small and it was nice to carry her close without killing my back (or being unable to get anything else done). The stretchy wrap… I removed it from the package, saw the yards and yards of fabric included and proceded to ball it up and sent it to my sister-in-law (who loved it).
Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or what, but this time I took a different approach to these things. I took time to learn how to use them best. I absolutely LOVE my ring sling (and would like to get another one). I can throw it on quickly and saddle baby right up. She snuggles in and not only am I being more productive because I can carry baby hands-free, we get some extra bonding time in. And, yeah, it also prevents her from being mauled accidentally by the other kids who think she’s a toy. She’s hardly been in her swing! And they say 4th babies don’t get as much attention! Pfffft. I got my stretchy wrap back from my SIL, too. After YouTubing a couple videos, I have that down! I love the softness of the wrap, but it’s not always as convenient as the RS. It takes more room in the diaper bag and the extra fabric is cumbersome when you’re trying to wrap in a parking lot or some other gross dirty place (it tends to brush parking lot pavement, ew). I love wearing it around the house and when we’re out visiting others, though. There are ways to pre-wrap yourself before arriving at your destination, I just haven’t done it yet. There’s a time and place for all carriers.
I’ve heard a lot of other mamas vent in frustration about wraps and carriers, too. I will tell you ladies, there’s hope!! You just have to be patient, know that your baby is learning as well as you (and he or she may not like a particular carry at first, but keep trying). You should also lean on other baby-wearing mamas for support! Check out The Baby Wearer for forums and tons of reviews and other info. You can also YouTube tons of helpful videos. This video was super helpful when learning how to wrap my Moby. You can also search for videos that compare and contrast different carriers – and there’s a TON of them. Finnnnallly, check online for swaps! You can feed your new baby-wearing addiction with nice used items from local or online product swaps.