Tuesday, October 8, 2013



   In honor of International Babywearing Week, I figured I would take some time to talk about why I like babywearing and the different carriers I use regularly. For those not familiar with the terminology, babywearing refers to carrying your child on your body using any number of devices (so not just holding them because babies are heavy and we have stuff to get done!). There are numerous benefits to wearing your child on your body, both for mom and for baby. Our family didn't even bother with a stroller or one of those infant car seat carrier thingies. They just seemed so clunky and like they were more pain than they were worth. We opted for a convertible carseat that goes from newborn to 70lbs. and babywearing. This worked out well since Perrin turned out to be very high needs and I wear him quite a bit throughout the day.

*Also, please note the in some of these pictures Perrin is lower down on my body than he would be if properly positioned. I wear him looser when he is nursing (which is almost all of the time, lol) and then tighten him up to proper position when he is done/asleep. Babies should be tight against your body with their head right up under your chin, close enough for you to lean down and kiss.

Perrin in the hip carry in our sling

   First up is my ring sling. I use it the least, but I still really enjoy it. It's nice because I can stuff it in my purse for quick trips. Perrin also really enjoys the hip carry where he can see out and still be snuggled up. The down side to ring slings is they get uncomfortable fast since all the weight is on one shoulder. I wouldn't recommend them for older kids (or at least heavier older kids).

Perrin tummy to tummy at 6 weeks

Hug-hold in the Moby
   We also have a stretchy wrap, a Moby. I use this one the most around the house. It's comfy enough that I can sit back in the recliner with Perrin in it (no buckles digging into my back or anything) and take a nap or watch a movie while he snoozes. Moby's are great for kangaroo care and little ones who like to be snuggled up. Although, stretchy wraps don't do as well with heavier kids since most of the weight is on your shoulders and the heavier they are, the more the wrap will stretch and sag with them in it. (I have a similar wrap made of mesh that we use for the pool)

Nursing in the water wrap while taking a swim

Joey wearing 3 day old Perrin in the Boba

  My third and favorite carrier is our Boba 3G. I have always thought soft-structure carriers were a little lack-luster and not nearly as artsy as Mei Tais or woven wraps, but truth be told if I could only pick one carrier in the world to have, it would be our Boba. These types of carriers generally can be used from newborn to toddlerhood (some like the Ergo require an extra insert for the teeny tiny babies). They distribute some of the weight across your hips so they are more comfortable to wear larger kids in for longer periods. They are fairly versatile, many can be worn with the baby on your back. For a full review of some of the most common soft-structure carriers, see this great chart.
Perrin helping me vacuum

Using the front carry for the Improving Birth Rally!

   There are plenty other types of carriers you can look into. Mei Tais are beautiful and a good option in between a wrap and soft-structure carrier. Woven wraps are also wonderful, but I confess I'm slightly intimidated some of the more advanced wrapping techniques. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. The only ones I would stay away from are the narrow based, forward facing varieties such as the Baby Bjorn. They just aren't made ergonomically and can be uncomfortable and/or cause problems if the baby is in them for long periods of time. Plus there is nothing they offer that you can't get with another type of carrier. So that's it! Get out there and wear those babies!

Trying out a Mei Tai we picked up for a friend. This one is an Infantino.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Watch Your Language

   And I don't mean 4-letter words. While there are some swear words I'd rather Perrin not use because of the connotation (i.e. the sexual implication of f*ck), cursing is waaayyyy down on my list of concerns for my son. So what kind of language am I talking about? Well...

   Gendered language. I have already lost count of how many times some one has told me about what to expect from Perrin or how Perrin will act or what kind of child he will be solely based on the fact that he has a penis. Stop it. Just...stop. There are no...I repeat...NO differences between boys and girls, other than anatomy, that are biological. Everything else is learned behavior. The only reason he will ever be black-boxed into any of those behaviors is through having it drilled into him by all of you people. So cut it out.

   Sexualized language. Perrin is not "flirting" with the little girl at the grocery store. He is being social. The girl in baby group is his friend (I guess, he could hate her guts for all I know) not his "girlfriend". He is not a "stud" or "hot" or anything else. He is 3 months old. Not only are you applying an adult sexuality to my INFANT, you are assuming heterosexuality. Stop it.

   Valuated language. Don't ask me if my baby is a "good" baby. Don't tell me he is spoiled. Don't tell him he did a good job or congratulate him for being quiet in any given situation. He is a baby. He could scream his head off for an hour straight in the middle of your great-grandmother's eulogy. He is still a "good" baby and he is behaving normally. His self-value is not dependent on your opinions of what infant behavior should be. My parenting skills are not judged based on your evaluation of his behavior.

   Shaming language. Don't be a bully. Period. Don't tell my kid he should be ashamed or embarrassed or feel silly or any other drivel that people come up with because you have an opinion on the clothes he wears, toys he plays with, things he likes, whatever.

   I know, I know. His brain is tiny. He doesn't have a clue what we are all saying, so I just need to come off it, right? That would be great, but I have a few problems with that type of thinking. Habits are hard to break. If you are saying these things around him now, it's going to be harder to stop saying them later. Practice makes perfect, so get to it and stop saying dumb shit in front of my kid. Also, it's not like he is going to wake up one morning and be all "Oh, I understand what you people are saying now! Right on!" The shift will be gradual and there it will not be apparent when he starts absorbing these types of social cues. And children are ALWAYS absorbing these cues. I remember, verbatim, some of the comments that adults made to me when I was very little. They probably forgot seconds later but some of those things stayed with me. So, I would like to rein in the bad ones and give him some more well-rounded material to work with. Okay?