There is nothing better than snuggling up to a newborn baby and I quickly realised this as a new mama. Little Aiden loves cosying up to his mummy and daddy and has gotten into the habit of sleeping on our chests. As much as we adore our little boy it’s become extremely tiring when after transferring him from our arms into his moses basket he would be awake 10 minutes later. I have noticed that when he is sleeping in our arms he occasionally opens his eyes slightly, peeking to see if he is still being held by one of us.
Obviously with a baby that is so attached to his parents it’s hard to get anything done, which us where baby wearing comes in. African women have worn their baby’s in traditional woven clothes for centuries. It’s not something that I was really aware of until I was welcomed into Alfie’s family. Babywearing has definitely been heavily commercialised in recent years and there is so much choice out there. It’s instinctive to hold your baby close to your chest and there are so many benefits for both parents and baby:
- Helps to develop a close relationship between baby and both parents
- Babies worn in wraps tend to be more content
- Great to keep babies upright if they are suffering from colic, reflux or trapped wind
- Convenient for breastfeeding
- Hands are free to get things done
- Baby’s cry less as they know that you are close enough to tend to their needs
- Develops the muscles that babies need to hold themselves upright and to sit
With these benefits in mind, I knew that I wanted to start babywearing whilst pregnant and Alfie wanted to get in on the babywearing action too. As a first-time mum, I wasn’t entirely sure where to start, except I was committed to the idea to have a soft wrap for around the house and Alfie wanted something more masculine and more sturdy for outdoors. I went with what I was now familiar seeing and opted for a traditional African baby sling, which consists of a long piece of woven fabric that is tied correctly to carry the baby safely.
My sister-in-law gifted me this gorgeous traditional printed fabric. I love how unique it is compared to the commercial wraps out there. With this kind of sling, the baby’s are commonly worn on the back as the fabric isn’t stretchy enough for them to be worn on the front, something that I have only recently learnt. The material isn’t too difficult to wrap once you get the hang of it and now Aiden is older and stronger I’m looking forward to carrying him in this around the house.
When going out for walks we use something a bit more sturdy like the Stokke MyCarrier that I was kindly sent to review. It comes in 6 different colours and made from organic cotton. Some reviews have suggested that this particular baby carrier difficult to put on, but personally we haven’t had any trouble with it. One of my favourite things about this carrier is how high it comes up, covering the baby’s entire length, concealing and supporting their head. Also, it is ergonomically designed and allows the baby to sit in their ‘happy hips’ position so they are comfortably supported. The MyCarrier grows with your child (from birth to 3-years) and allows them to be carried on your back too.
Baby Aiden loves walks in his MyCarrier
Since the African woven wrap isn’t stretchy enough for front carrying I’ve recently ordered an AmaWrap, which is a 100% stretchy wrap. More importantly, is that the baby is ergonomically positioned with the pressure is taken off their hips and once wrapped properly the AmaWrap ensures this. I can’t wait for this wrap to arrive and enjoy lots of baby snuggles and skin-to-skin contact with Aiden as well as being productive at the same time. Surprisingly, you can actually breastfeed your baby whilst they are in tied in their wrap, now that’s multitasking right there!
There are definitely lots of choices out there now when it comes to babywearing to suit everybody’s needs and preferences. Babywearing isn’t for everyone and it shouldn’t go unmentioned that there are some potential downsides to baby wearing, such as the little one expecting to be carried all the time, but this can be monitored. I think that the benefits outweigh any disadvantages and I know that my little man loves it already even at this young age.
Are you a babywearing mama? How has babywearing helped you as a mother? Do you think you would enjoy wearing your baby in a wrap or a carrier?