I was first introduced to the concept of babywearing at my shower when I received what looked like a t-shirt with a large pocket on the front. My friend explained it was an infant carrier – the newborn sits inside the pouch, like a baby kangaroo. I thought, “Well, that’s kind of weird, but seems convenient.” Little did I know, a few months later I would start a business that revolves around the same concept.
From Babywearing, to Baby Booty
As a former triathlete, I was bored by mommy-and-me yoga classes, but also didn’t want to leave my four-month-old behind every time I went to the gym. With the mobility of babywearing, I felt free enough to do anything – so why not workout? I designed Baby Booty™, a workout that gives you the freedom to move your body without needing childcare – because your baby comes along for the ride! As someone who now wears her baby around the house and at work, I wanted to share some of the reasons for babywearing – and the ways to do it.
Reasons Why BabyWearing is a Great Option:
- Babywearing is perfect for that precious fourth trimester, and well into toddlerhood, allowing you to instantly pick up on and respond to cues, both subtle and pronounced.
- Whether you’re feeding your baby by breast or bottle, babywearing allows you to move around instead of being stuck in a chair.
- The motion of your gait; the rhythm of your heartbeat; the warmth of skin-to-skin–all signal to baby they are safe, imitating the sensation of being in the womb.
- Should baby fall asleep, carriers can act as an instant swaddle, supporting baby’s limbs to avoid the startle reflex.
- Studies suggest benefits for physical (reducing reflux, strengthening muscular and systems) and cognitive (calming nervous systems while exposing them to your daily patterns) development.
- Whether you have a baby with a sensitive temperament or one that’s always on the go, bringing them along for the ride strikes the perfect balance.
- What’s better than holding your baby close while having both your hands free? Plus, some carriers even have pockets for cell phones or cards.
- Suitable for all terrain, you can hop from grocery store to hiking trail without skipping a beat – or having to lug around a stroller or bulky hiking pack.
The Benefits Are High – But So Are the Options
While the benefits seem innumerable, so do the options for how to babywear. Pocket-shirts, wraps, slings, or structured carriers–it can be overwhelming when it comes time to choose!
The brand and style you choose for your baby really depends on you – what fits your body; what’s comfortable and secure.
- Wraps (Boba Baby Wrap, Baby K’tan, Solly Baby) – Great for under 9 months
- These keep your baby close to your body and offer a comfortable and lightweight solution.
- Great for skin-to-skin connection with your newborn.
- Compact and easy to slip into your diaper bag or suitcase.
- Generally range in price from $39-$89
- Slings (WildBird, Moby) – Great for 6-24 months
- While slings can offer the same benefits of skin-to-skin and softness, it is less complicated to use than the wrap.
- Offers more position options as the baby develops.
- Slings can also feel less constraining and work better for more alert babies.
- Generally range in price from $39-$100
- Structured Carriers (Ergobaby, Lille Baby, Happy Baby, Infantino) – Great for 0-2 years
- These provide multiple carrying options (like on your back) and seat options based on the baby’s size and weight.
- These tend to be the most ergonomic option for you and the baby, with adjustable straps, seats, and padding.
- Once you adjust the straps, they are quickest to get on and off.
- Most offer a forward-facing option, which is great for babies who want to look around.
- Generally range in price from $69-$200
Babywearing Provides Closeness and Freedom
Babywearing is the perfect option for bonding with your baby while providing you the freedom of mobility. It’s also great for their development, both cognitive and emotional, while giving you peace of mind. Obviously I am a huge fan, as babywearing has allowed me not only to workout with my baby, but be social and bring her everywhere with me. I hope this insight empowers you to check out babywearing for yourself and your baby!
To learn how to put on and wear different types of babywearing products, check out this video made by BabyBootyWorkout!
About The Author
Molly Brubaker is the founder of Baby Booty™, a babywearing workout and community for parents based in Portland, ME (also available online for livestream and on demand classes). Find Baby Booty at www.BabyBootyWorkout.com and on Instagram.
Molly has a very active 13 month old daughter who loves to run everywhere, chase her dogs and be a social butterfly with the other babies after Baby Booty class! When she needs some down time she loves riding in her (Lillebaby) carrier, so she can be close to Mom and help teach Baby Booty.