Babywearing vs. carrying

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about babywearing. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


 Babywearing. I have mixed feelings about babywearing. Babywearing seems like a great idea for people who live in an area where they take the subway everywhere. They keep their babies close and they never have to get them in and out of a car seat.

But, in my life, babywearing is a pain in the hind end. I have tried every single baby carrier known. I have an Ergo carrier, a Maya wrap, a Bjorn, a backpack, a big piece of fabric, a ring sling, a thing that looks like a purse for the baby, a peanut wrap, the one you get at Target, and more.

All the carriers made my back hurt. The one from Target allowed me to breastfeed my baby…once. I was in Target and he was hungry. I pulled the carrier off the shelf, put it on and fed the baby in it. Then, I had to buy it. I carried it in my purse for months, but I think I only used it maybe one other time.

My favorite when the babies were brand-new was the big piece of fabric. It really swaddled them close and allowed me to use my hands. It was too hot, though. That’s the only drawback, but a big one in the Summer.

In the end, I ended up carrying my baby all the time. I probably had the babies on my body more than most baby wearers, but I didn’t use the carrier. I just used my arm. My left arm. I got really good at doing everything while holding the baby. I can somehow juggle both kids and the laundry. I got even better at this after daddy left us. I didn’t have anyone to whine to about it, so I had to just realize I was doing it and it was working.

I don’t know if this really counts as babywearing since I was carrying, but not wearing, the baby. But, I count it. I hold my baby close all the time. I feed him like that. It works for both of us. And, I can put him in and out of the car seat easily. In addition, if I need to transition the sleeping baby to his or her bed or just play on the floor, I don’t have to go through the “birthing” process of getting them out of the carrier.

The one carrier I do use is the backpack. The kids and I like to go hiking up the trail. My daughter is old enough now that she hikes right along with me. For a toddler, she can really go far up the steep hills. But, the baby rides in the backpack. I don’t really count this as babywearing as much as when I carry him because we aren’t as close. I can’t look in his eyes. But, he has a good time pulling my hair and leaning as far too the side as possible in an attempt to tip us over.

One thing about always carrying my baby around is that we are close. Orion and I find the default for either of us is together. If he isn’t actively trying to explore something, he wants to be held. This is a little strange because he is such a busy little guy. I’m surprised to realize that I spend so much time holding him. Isis also likes for me to hold her. Picking her up is a quick way to diffuse a tantrum or get her to relax. Sometimes she rebels because she is in that stage of life, but she still wants to be close to me.

And I can’t imagine being the kind of parent that just leaves the babies in bed. For my kids, holding them is the pathway to exploration. My kids are such explorers and they are gutsy. I think the key is that they feel safe and cared for and like I will always be there to hold them in my arms when they need it.


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Category: Motherhood
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I love baby wraps

I say you hit the nail on the head: "I think the key is that they feel safe and cared for and like I will always be there to hold them in my arms when they need it."

I have to stand up for wraps (long pieces of fabric), though. Woven wraps are MUCH cooler than stretchy wraps, and there are many carries that are cooler because they use less fabric. I use them year round in Florida!

And, of course, the whole point is to make your life easier, so they should only be used if they do!

Submitted by Diana/WrapYourBaby (not verified) on Mon, 07/26/2010 - 08:08.
I totally agree with the

I totally agree with the previous commenter. You got it right when you said that's the key to babywearing: that they feel safe and cared for. Plus, it's great for them to be able to see the world from up high like the rest of us!

Submitted by Amy (not verified) on Mon, 07/26/2010 - 18:02.
Either works for me!

We did both. There were times when I felt guilty for not doing babywearing more instead of carrying, but I think you've just allayed all my guilt here. As long as the baby's close and snuggled to you and being part of your life up high, what difference does it make? We developed very strong arms as well.

I will say, though, that our baby was really heavy, and babywearing saved my back and hips on longer walks. At home, we more often carried, but when we were out, we definitely used the mei tai and Ergo. Thanks for your perspective!

Submitted by Lauren @ Hobo Mama (not verified) on Thu, 07/29/2010 - 04:16.
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Submitted by Johnson (not verified) on Sun, 07/10/2011 - 08:42.
carrying a baby in a car seat

carrying a baby in a car seat for 5 to six hours in a mall , is it good for baby?


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 03/20/2013 - 09:39.
Probably kill your arm to

Probably kill your arm to carry baby's carseat that long. Try one of the packs and babywear. Much easier. 

Submitted by lousymom on Mon, 03/25/2013 - 14:06.

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