Baby Wear, But Where?
You’ve done the research, you’ve purchased your baby carrier wrap, you’ve practiced putting it on and placing baby safely inside – now what? Where do you use your baby wrap? Where will you take your sweet, adventurous little one? What are some useful places to use your baby sling carrier?
1. Shopping for groceries
One of the hardest things to do as a new parent is run errands such as grocery shopping. Grocery shopping can be especially difficult with newborns because they are not physically strong enough to sit in a shopping cart. Some moms can do their shopping using the storage compartment underneath a stroller, but if you have a large grocery list to get through, babywearing can be a simple solution! Caregivers can easily wear a baby while pushing a shopping cart – and this gives baby the added benefit of experiencing all the sights, sounds, and colors of the supermarket without being exposed to too many germs!
Parents can enhance baby’s experience by pointing out and naming different foods, letting baby feel the temperature fluctuations between the different aisles of the market, and hear the many sounds of customers, employees, and machines throughout the store.
2. Doing a mom and baby workout
Working out with a baby is tough, especially if your gym doesn’t have childcare available. Babywearing allows a mother to work out with her baby – and the added weight of holding baby burns more calories!
Here are some easy exercises (some include hand weights) to do while wearing your baby:
- Side steps
- Bicep curls
- Lateral raises
- Single-arm press
3. Getting household chores done
Balancing household responsibilities such as vacuuming, washing dishes, sweeping, and doing laundry can be very difficult during times when the baby is more clingy than usual. Wearing your baby allows you to work through your to-do list efficiently while helping baby feel safe and nurtured.
When doing chores and wearing a baby, always follow safety precautions! Make sure your baby is very snug and secure in the carrier – he shouldn’t bounce or flop around too much with your movement. Take extra care for any movements that cause you to bend over. Never use chemically-laden cleaning supplies near your baby, and be aware of anything that is too hot within the baby’s reach, such as a dishwasher or dryer.
4.Going on walks or hikes
Some babies do not enjoy being in a stroller. They want to be closer to a caregiver at all times, especially in outdoor environments. Try taking your baby in a walk around the neighborhood while wearing him or her in a carrier. Some parents even enjoy going on hikes while wearing their babies!
Wearing baby during walks and hikes allows a baby to experience the many sights and sounds of nature. Your baby can enjoy watching cars zoom past, listen to the rhythm of birds chirping, observe people interacting with one another, and looking at all the different colors and shapes of houses, buildings, and plants.
Again, always take special precautions when engaging in any kind of rigorous physical activity while holding a baby. There are many different styles of baby carriers, and some might be better suited for long walks or hikes. Many parents prefer a backpack-style structured carrier for hiking with an older baby. Always make sure your baby is securely seated in a baby carrier before you begin exercising!
5. Accompanying older children with tasks
Babywearing allows parents to interact with older children while caring for a new baby. Having a new sibling can be a challenging adjustment for children, no matter what age. Younger toddlers and preschoolers are often needier and have a harder time than older, school-aged children – nevertheless, babywearing allows parents to divide their time equally among siblings.
Younger children might need help getting dressed, going to the restroom, doing an art project, or turning on a movie. Older children may need assistance doing a homework assignment, preparing a snack, or picking out an outfit to wear. Parents can multitask and wear baby while accomplishing all of those tasks!
6. Playing at the park
Smaller babies who don’t yet crawl or walk can still enjoy the park from the comfort of a caregiver’s arms! Babywearing presents a simple solution to exposing the baby to the sights and sounds of the playground. Babywearing is also a great way to accompany an older child to the park while still attending to an infant’s needs.
7. Soothing to sleep
Some days are tougher for a baby to fall asleep. They might be teething, sick, or going through a growth spurt, causing bedtime to be extra stressful. If your baby is having trouble falling asleep, try wearing him for a few minutes and see if that works! Many babies, despite how fussy or unwell they are, will quickly drift off to sleep as they rest peacefully against a caregiver’s body.
Babies need lots of extra cuddles and warmth sometimes. Wearing baby in a soft carrier such as a ring sling or a wrap carrier can be very soothing and helpful for the baby to settle enough for a peaceful rest.
8. Cooking a meal
Tired of unhealthy prepackaged snacks, fast food, or protein bars? It can be very difficult to find time to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal as a new parent, especially during phases where the baby is extra clingy.
Babywearing makes cooking easier by allowing the baby to be part of the process! Babies love to experience what their parents experience, and often times it can be very unsettling for a baby to be set on a play mat, stuck in a swing, or gated in a playpen while their mommy or daddy goes into another room to prepare a meal. Try placing your baby in a carrier while you prepare a meal. Chances are, he or she will appreciate being close to you and enjoy experiencing the different sights, sounds, and smells involved with cooking.
As always, when cooking while wearing a baby, take extra safety precautions. Never have knives, scissors, or other sharp objects within the baby’s reach, and always keep baby away from a hot stove or oven.
Babywearing can be done in so many ways, in so many places! Where will babywearing take you? 😊