Guest Gina Roberts brings us a list of things to avoid to make babywearing a success for you and your little one. You can read more about Gina at the bottom of this post.
Babywearing is one of those parts of parenthood that can be so incredibly natural and easy. However, it would probably be fair to say that getting it right can sometimes take some practice. Along the way you may encounter some pitfalls and mistakes to overcome…or ideally, to sidestep.
So, rather than struggling with the usual trial and error approach, here are some of the most common areas babywearers find challenges that you can avoid yourself.
Instinct will tell you to wear your baby round the front as much as possible, but in reality you’re setting yourself up for some serious inconvenience when it comes to some tasks. Put simply, try to make your baby just as comfortable around the back. You’ll find it a boon in certain situations and when baby gets older and bigger.
Not Reading the Signs
Just because you’re in the mood to carry your baby around for hours on end on any given day does not mean for a moment that the sentiment is shared. Read between the lines and if they really don’t want to cooperate, consider going with their wishes. Maybe you need to make some adjustments to make sure baby is positioned properly or maybe baby would just prefer to do some exploring.
Don’t forget that the closeness to your body will generate and transfer some serious heat to your baby, so be sure not to overcompensate with way too many warming baby clothes that will have them overheating.
And on the other end of the spectrum, know that body heat only counts for so much and, therefore, be sure to keep an eye on your baby’s temperature on colder days. You could try a coat or vest made specifically for babywearing or buy a coat a size larger to fit over baby. Baby leggings are also a nice accessory to keep those little legs warm as pants tend to ride up while babywearing.
Asking yourself too many questions when babywearing will get you nowhere – neither will worrying yourself to death about what you’re doing right and wrong. If unsure, seek a little advice but don’t go driving yourself mad with doubts and worries. Internalize safe babywearing practices and go to a babywearing meeting to get advice on proper positioning and you’re on your way to babywearing bliss!
Buying the Wrong Size
Not all harnesses and products are suited to all babies and never forget that size really does matter. Invest in the wrong size and you’re in for either serious discomfort or a complete waste of money.
Not Experimenting with Positions
The temptation can be to find a single position that seems to hit the nail on the head and summarily throw all others out of consideration. Not a good idea, as chances are from time to time you’ll need to try out something new for practicality and comfort, so it’s best to get your baby used to as many as possible/necessary.
There are hundreds of online and in-person classes and guides to babywearing for a very good reason – nobody is born knowing how it should be done and done right, so don’t expect to pick things up instinctively and ultimately beat yourself when you can’t.
Giving Up too Quickly
Last but not least, some babies take to babywearing like ducks to water – others make you feel as though you’re pretty much torturing them. The advice is therefore simple –persevere and the results will come! Try different types of carriers (a rental service is a great idea for this!) and positions before assuming you and baby don’t like it.
Gina Roberts is a full-time mother of three. She lives in Stevenage with her husband of five years, who designs and sells eco-friendly baby clothes through his online store.