You spent 40 weeks carrying your baby (or watching your partner carry your baby). Now that they’re here, it’s perfectly natural to want to continue carrying them! Sometimes the demands of life can complicate the desire to hold your bundle of joy 24/7 – older kids need fed, friends want to meet and catch up, and work deadlines need to be met, and these all require having free hands and a happy baby. Many parents choose to wear their baby and leave the car seat in the car – free hands, happy baby, and constant nurturing contact which helps your baby’s brain develop, what could be better?
Unfortunately, wearing your baby improperly can wreak havoc on your body and cause aches, pains, and potential injury. We have provided a few tips to help you safely and comfortably wear your baby.
- Select a carrier that is comfortable for you. You like ring slings but your partner prefers a soft structured carrier? Invest in them both. You can use them for future children, pass them on to a family member, donate them to goodwill, or re sell them to a local baby wearing store.
- Make sure your baby’s posture is correct (see our article on Proper Baby Wearing Posture for Babies) – if your baby is uncomfortable, they will be struggling against you and the carrier which will make it harder on your body.
- Start wearing your baby as soon as they are born. It will be much easier to adapt to your baby’s weight gain if you start when they’re still a tiny newborn rather than suddenly deciding to wear them once they’re 15 pounds.
- Try to maintain a neutral posture (ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in a straight line) with your weight distributed more toward your heels.
- Feel that you have to rush into wearing the baby constantly if you weren’t the one who was pregnant with the baby. You should start slow – half an hour here and there – let your body get used to carrying that weight.
- Hurt yourself. If something doesn’t feel right, take your carrier and your baby to your chiropractor or a local baby wearing store or group and ask for help. If you had a cesarean birth, it may be uncomfortable to wear certain carriers until your incision heals. Don’t push yourself – be patient and just start wearing as soon as you can safely and comfortably tolerate it.
Following these easy steps can help a novice baby wearing parent turn into a pro with just a little practice!