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How is Babby Worn?
October 30, 2009 7:29 PM   Subscribe

It's too late for International Babywearing Week 2009, but don't let this stop you. Don't have a baby to wear? Don't let this stop you either! Strap on your toddler. Still left out of the babywearing? Well, you can always get a dog!

10 Reasons to Wear Your Baby
An amazing number of babywearers.
Attachment Parenting
posted by cjorgensen (40 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
1 Reason Not to Wear Your Baby: They're heavy. Really heavy. And they can double their density at will, I swear to god they can.
posted by lekvar at 7:47 PM on October 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


The first time my husband's grandmother saw me carrying my daughter in a baby sling, she said "What is it with all these modern parents smothering their babies?! Just put her in a buggy and let her get some fresh air, for heaven's sake!"

My kids never really liked being "worn" anyway. Maybe I was doing it wrong, or maybe they could sense that it felt awkward to me, but they always seemed much more content being carried without the use of a special babywearing device. And, after the newborn stage, they preferred their strollers.
posted by amyms at 7:49 PM on October 30, 2009


My baby was such a bruiser that we nearly threw our backs out wearing him (granted, we didn't try EVERY sling), and he HATED sleeping next to us. Attachment parenting is just not the thing for some babies, I guess. We just cuddled him more fiercely when he'd let us to make up for it.

Now if you REALLY want to get the party started, let's talk about Elimination Communication.
posted by emjaybee at 7:51 PM on October 30, 2009


We've got two strollers, aside from using them to carry veggies at the farmers market, neither of them really leave the garage. It's much easier to haul the kid around either in my arm or in a sling/carrier/backpack.
posted by foodgeek at 7:55 PM on October 30, 2009


Imagine that! I've been using these babies as sandals all week, and I didn't even know about this 'Baby Wearing Week'.
posted by mannequito at 7:59 PM on October 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Babies in carriers are super cute. They're right where I can say hi to them! HI BABIES! Aww, cute.

Makes getting on and off public transportation much easier, too.
posted by kathrineg at 8:04 PM on October 30, 2009


God, don't tell the gays that there's a whole fashion week dedicated to baby wearing, or we might start really adopting them as accessories (instead of just doing so as horrid lifestyle pieces in newspapers often seem to suggest with accidental prejudice)

I kid, I kid, for those who know me not.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:07 PM on October 30, 2009


My baby is not worn, it's still in near-mint condition.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 8:11 PM on October 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I couldn't find it, but I read a scathing article about the backpackingdad.com guy months ago. I went to the site, couldn't decide if he was a nut or the greatest dad ever. I did decide he was harmless, and mostly this is my deffiniton of a good parent.

The dog thing popped up today. My mind went back to the dad. I found the other sites trying to relocate the baby wearing dad.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:15 PM on October 30, 2009


I have nothing against the concept, but I really can stand the term "babywearing." Can we call this something else, please?
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 8:58 PM on October 30, 2009


I found the other sites trying to relocate the baby wearing dad.

Worst excuse ever when your wife finds your porn.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:01 PM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dang! This takes me back. I loved carrying my daughter around San Francisco in her sling and/or Baby Bjorn. I used the Baby Bjorn until she was nearly two years old, since getting on and off the bus with a stroller was just way too cumbersome. And I had a Kelty Kids backpack for hikes. When she was three, she would hike for awhile, then be in the backpack for awhile, then hike some more. I swear I could feel my bones getting stronger (loading your skeleton leads to bone growth).
posted by Fennel B. at 9:16 PM on October 30, 2009


I can't imagine anything my dogs would want more than that dog-snuggly. No really. I can't. They'd be surgically inserted into our abdomens if they could be.
posted by Neofelis at 9:18 PM on October 30, 2009


Well, you can always get a dog!

Oh lord, no. no no no no no.

*facepalm*
posted by GuyZero at 9:22 PM on October 30, 2009


Baby + frontpack = heaven.

Takes me back to new baby smell.
posted by rodgerd at 10:24 PM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Baby wearing saved my sanity.

EM is almost 18 months and 14kgs now and I still wear him a few times everyday. Wearing him means a certain level of freedom. Look no hands! I can go to the supermarket and dash in and out with no child meltdowns. Climb the 8 flights of stairs to my apartment with groceries knowing he's safely tied to my back. Roam around Tokyo not having to stress about him being lost, getting into a dangerous place or waste time trying to find elevators. Or deal with the dreaded carrying child and stroller up and down stairs. In winter I know he's toasty warm (and that I will be - it's like having a little heating pad strapped to you).

Each baby seems to have a preference for the type of wearing - EM screamed blue murder if he was put in a sling, hates the carrier now but is still keen on the actual wrap. I usually whip him onto my back now he's a solid toddler.

There is a learning curve with the full on wrapping styles, but it's so worth it. You learn the ones to do when popping down the street, when you are home trying to entice the little one to drop off, and the wrap to do when he's being a total monster.

I'm no new age revolutionary attachment parenting etc etc type of person - I just know what works for me. Baby wearing solved so many problems and issues I encourage all parents I know to try it.

[Gratuitous baby wearing shot]
posted by gomichild at 10:51 PM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wore both my kids. They both loved the slings, the happy sac and the backpack. And I loved wearing them.

Still, here is my worst baby wearing story...

Living in Vancouver, I was out one lovely summer day with my five month old daughter loaded in her happy sac, worn on my front, with her facing out. We were walking along the seawall, about a mile from our home when she starts squirming and lets go this unholy stream of poo that finds dozens of ways out of her diaper, and drips down my legs. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do but walk home taking some amusing solace in the looks of those who kept making wide arcs around me, especially the childless couples.

I'm sure I lowered the birth rate in Vancouver by a measurable margin in the summer of 1997 with that one ad for the perils of fatherhood.
posted by salishsea at 12:08 AM on October 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


Well, you can always get a dog!

Oh lord, no. no no no no no.

*facepalm*


that's actually a pretty good excuse if your wife finds your porn.
posted by mannequito at 12:12 AM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


That poor, poor dog...
posted by mollywas at 12:50 AM on October 31, 2009


Kitteh sling.
posted by paduasoy at 4:41 AM on October 31, 2009


What to do while you're wearing your baby.
posted by lexicakes at 8:21 AM on October 31, 2009


I nanny for a toddler who is so massively dense that he bends the laws of physics just to weigh more when it's time to get his diaper changed. I think that if I wore him as a fashion statement, I would throw out my spine.

Most accessories don't flail wildly, unless of course you forget to kill your mink before wearing it.

I appreciate strollers for two reasons: #1) I know where the kid is. #2) It gives me someplace to hang all of the baby's various accessories (diaper bag, snacks, etc) without throwing out my spine. Honestly: for baby wearers - do you also carry a diaper bag? How does that work without then throwing out your back? I wants to know!

For my own kids, I might wear them, it depends on whether or not they match my outfit.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:29 AM on October 31, 2009


Damn. I read it as 'babyswearing.'
posted by grounded at 9:31 AM on October 31, 2009


As the newly-minted mom of a newly-minted three-week-old, I am definitely into the babywearing love. I use a Sleepy Wrap, and that sucker is better than benadryl for making the wee one sack out into the deepest of sleeps. Of course, she is still way tiny, so carrying her around like this is a piece of cake. The Sleepy Wrap people say you can lug a kid up to 45-ish pounds in one, but I don't know that I'll be testing that boundary, even with the cross-back support.
posted by shiu mai baby at 1:11 PM on October 31, 2009


The benadryl comment was a joke, btw. I am not actually using drugs to put this kid to sleep, I swear. Maybe.
posted by shiu mai baby at 1:14 PM on October 31, 2009


Honestly: for baby wearers - do you also carry a diaper bag? How does that work without then throwing out your back? I wants to know!

Yeah I carry all the usual crapola - although you learn to streamline. I also regularly walk 30 mins to and from swim class with EM on back, bag with diapers, drinks etc and another bag with our swimwear and towels. And often on the way back I stop off for some groceries, then walk up the stairs to my 4th floor apartment. And I'm far from a bodybuilder.

You gotta remember that you've been strengthening these muscles over the whole time of having the little person - it's not like the experience of suddenly whacking a huge weight on your back. Also it's really important to find the right carrier so that you fit snugly together - its so much more tiring if there is too much wriggle room or the kid is not secure because your body ends up in weird positions trying to balance.
posted by gomichild at 3:25 PM on October 31, 2009


Oh and like shiu mai baby we started off with a stretchy jersey type wrap - but those are really only good for when they are little and for front carries. Once he got big enough to be too bouncy I got a woven wrap - and although it was pricey still sees daily use over a year later and doesn't have a mark on it.

I was also given an awesome coat that we can both wear and has zips and so on for him to pop out of.

I get approached a lot about my wrapping style - lots of baby wearing here in Japan but it's mainly carriers and slings. On the whole though it's seen as normal to tote your little one about.
posted by gomichild at 3:37 PM on October 31, 2009


In West Africa, mothers carry their babies using just a bolt of cloth around them, the baby on their back. By the time the kid is just a few months old, they can cling to you like a frog.

For mothers that have no choice but to work, and have to take their children with them when they do so, having your hands free but your baby or toddler safe on your back is a real convenience.

That is, the focus of the convenience is on the parent (usually the mother) not the child.
posted by clvrmnky at 3:43 PM on October 31, 2009


I think that if I wore him as a fashion statement, [...] For my own kids, I might wear them, it depends on whether or not they match my outfit.

Boy, that's not snide at all.

Also it's really important to find the right carrier so that you fit snugly together - its so much more tiring if there is too much wriggle room or the kid is not secure because your body ends up in weird positions trying to balance.

It's interesting how individual it is, too. I used a front pack which was a maze of velcro and plastic clips, and it suted me just fine. My wife preferred one of those long fabric wraps. Once our daughter got too big to front pack comfortably we went for a full-on carrier.

Something that has given me unique sympathy for people stuck in wheelchairs is wrestling various forms of baby carriage about. Oh sure, in theory, places are required to be disabled-accessible, but if my experience of trying to manoever a tiny person with wheels is anything to go by, that's a lie.
posted by rodgerd at 4:52 PM on October 31, 2009


I think that if I wore him as a fashion statement, [...] For my own kids, I might wear them, it depends on whether or not they match my outfit

Boy, that's not snide at all.


*sigh* No, it's not. It's totally tongue-in-cheek. I'm going to have to stop saying things on MetaFilter that I normally say outloud in "meat space" because no one can ever read the tone that I am TOTALLY KIDDING.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:04 PM on October 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Great title on the post. :)

My kids weigh between 26 and 30 lbs right now. I own one of those toddler backpacks. Haven't used it yet, but I keep meaning to. The question is, will my kids cooperate? My daughter loved the sling. My son did not. (It made me nervous, too. I kept thinking she would somehow twist and fall out.) Both of them hated the Baby Bjorn, and to be honest, we found it difficult to get them in and out of the thing.

Ah well. I can just see myself strapping a kid on my back and another on my front for walks. (OK, maybe not. Although perhaps it wouldn't be all that bad -- I already carry them both around in my arms at the same time for short distances when needed.)
posted by zarq at 8:25 PM on October 31, 2009


For my own kids, I might wear them, it depends on whether or not they match my outfit.

Pffft. Amateur.

A truly fashion conscious parent always makes sure their child accessory matches their own outfit. After all, one never knows when one will need to *carry* the little bugger in one's arms, amirite?

It's the freaks who match their kids' outfits to their car seat you have to watch out for. ;)
posted by zarq at 8:30 PM on October 31, 2009


cjorgensen: It's too late for International Babywearing Week 2009, but don't let this stop you. Don't have a baby to wear? Don't let this stop you either! Strap on your toddler. Still left out of the babywearing? Well, you can always get a dog!

Of course, if you're eager to celebrate International Babywearing Week but don't have the time or the inclination to get a dog, you can just do what I always do at this time of year – steal one!
posted by koeselitz at 9:04 PM on October 31, 2009


Babywearing: one of those words we make up for the way pretty much everyone else in the history of our species has always behaved, but we lost as a culture over just the last few generations and have had to relearn (to our great pleasure and advantage). See also: cosleeping.

Did it, loved it, miss it. A Baby Matey front carrier through infancy (are these still made?)... It adjusted to a back carrier for a few more months... Then a hiking backpack through a little over two and half years.

Three kids... so we were "babywearers" for about 1/6 of my life to date. It was one of the cosiest, most continuously practical and rewarding ways of being in relationship with a new baby.
posted by namasaya at 11:13 PM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have yet to sire any children, but I did baby-wear my friends' kid once and it was 3 of the best hours of my long-single life.

I swear. It was like putting on a magic front-pack that rendered the entire female species completely unable to look at me without losing normal-stranger-compsure, instead breaking down into baby talk and then leading to conversations with me that otherwise would never have been imaginable.

My friends lived around the corner from me, outside Manhattan, and neither could get out of work early enough to pick him up before our evening plans, so they asked me (working from home) to pick him up from the nanny and bring him into dad's office. It was a commute I had made hundreds if not thousands of times before, none of them with a baby on my chest. The typical commute involved walking through the neighborhood to the bus stop, waiting for the bus to Port Authority, riding through the tunnel, finding one's way out of the PA building, and then meandering midtown towards the office. I would estimate with fair certainty that I made at least 95% of the babyless commutes, I talked with exactly no one except maybe a passing "thank-you" to the bus driver. People generally commute in silence.

Not this time. I didn't make it to the end of the first block before being stopped by some girl walking neighborhood dogs. I probably had at least two other interactions before making it to the bus stop, where we were the subject of conversation for the three girls there. And then the bus driver. And then anywhere near us on the bus. And then the woman at the pizza shop on 8th ave where I stopped for a slice. I could barely drag her attention away from the baby long enogh to get her to give me the slice, but when she did she insisted on giving me two for the price of one, and wrapping up one of those doughy-ball things in foil "for the baby." Also for free even though I told her he still eats baby food.

Random gorgeous girls on the streets of the fashion district, on the elevator, the admins at the front desk to the office - no one was impervious to the magic baby beam streaming from my chest. The world was my oyster.

I walked into dad's office and could only ask in awe: "Holy crap is it always like this when you wear him???"

Dad knew exactly what I was asking: "Every time, dude. Every time."

All I can say about baby wearing is AAA+++ would wear again.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:12 AM on November 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


Hee! It kind of works for moms too. I got a lot of free tax advice when I was wearing my four month old to the tax prep place.

Older Boy loved it. Younger Boy kept trying to escape. They're 40 pounds each now, but I can still carry them on my back when I have to.
posted by lysdexic at 7:14 PM on November 1, 2009


Great title on the post. :)

Thanks. I don't know why that video popped into my head while I was writing this.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:43 AM on November 2, 2009


I'm going to have to stop saying things on MetaFilter that I normally say outloud in "meat space" because no one can ever read the tone that I am TOTALLY KIDDING.
If only there were some way of representing sarcasm in comments.
posted by Electric Dragon at 7:43 AM on November 2, 2009


Except that it's not HAMBURGER level sarcasm, it's just, y'know, lighthearded joking around. The two are totally different in tone - as in, were I saying this sort of "babywearing" stuff outloud with friends, it would sound different than when I'm being totally HAMBURGER sarcastic.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:49 AM on November 2, 2009


I understood that grapefruitmoon was joking, but that mannequito guy is plain sick!
posted by cjorgensen at 6:01 PM on November 2, 2009


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