inspiration from a small farm with a big heart

Wearing Babies

When Carter was a baby I thought baby carriers were the car seats that came with our stroller travel system.  In fact, he spent a lot of time in his car seat.  Too much time in there.  With Elizabeth I did use hotslings and carried her a lot more often.  Praise God that I have been able to fully experience the benefits and blessing of wearing baby.  Lilah loves to be close to mommy and her carriers make it possible.  

My favorite all time carrier is the Beco Butterfly.  We have been able to experience the world as a family thanks to this carrier.  We go places and mom and Lilah participate!

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Family Mission Trip

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Dancing

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The Zoo

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Family Walks

Our latest family adventure was attending a reenactment at the Shaker Museum at South Union.  We were asked to be as authentic as possible and were given clothing to wear.  One problem, my beco butterfly is not exactly authentic.  So I did a little research and was surprised to find out that there is very limited information out there on wearing babies in America in the mid to late 1800’s.  What I did find out (without doing any extensive research) is that most likely American settlers didn’t wear their babies.  There are references in journals and memoirs from American settlers commenting on how strange it was that Native Americans strapped their babies to theirselves.  So what did they do?  Most likely babies spent most of their time in baskets (cribs) or were watched by siblings or older family members while the mother went about her work.  No wonder mothering has become so difficult for us.  The ancient tradition of wearing your baby was lost and figuring out what to do with baby was put in its place.  

So what did I do?  I basically improvised.  I used my peanut shell turned inside out.  

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It is not as easy to use as the beco butterfly with a near 20 pound baby, but it did work.  Carrying a baby on your hip all day is near impossible so we settled on the warm, fleece sling even though it wasn’t authentic.  But, we were portraying Shakers and they wouldn’t have had children anyway!

Wearing baby has so many advantages.  Lilah has been such a fussy baby that I am not sure how we would have survived without me wearing her close.  She feels safe and comfortable being close to me and dad (when he straps her on).  When the kids want to go on a walk we are not restricted to places that we can take a stroller.  Mom and Lilah can participate in everything that the rest of the family is doing:  gardening, long hours at the farmers market, long walks.  There really are no limitations for us.  Another huge benefit is that it is a great way to get your body back in shape.  Wearing baby uses your abdominal muscles in a great way, perfect for the Post Purdum period.  No wonder women in other countries are still wearing baby (and toddlers)!

 

Beautiful Photos of Ethnic Baby Carriers

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9 responses

  1. I love wearing Mikayla. We have a really nice ring sling that I would love to learn how to do different carries besides just the cradle position. She is too big for that now and loves to face out. Do you know how to use it for other positions??

    October 18, 2009 at 9:26 pm

  2. I love wearing Mikayla. We have a really nice ring sling that I would love to learn how to do different carries besides just the cradle position. She is too big for that now and loves to face out. Do you know how to use it for other positions??

    October 18, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    • claudia

      Hey Beth! I love my ring sling too, but prefer it in a tummy to tummy position when they are infants and hip carry when they are about 5 mos and up. (I don’t know if this is the formal name for it). I’d be happy to show you, but for the tummy to tummy place them in the sling upright with her tummy facing your chest. You can either cross her legs inside the sling or have them hanging out. I typically have them hanging out and so the baby is almost like sitting on a swing. Then tighten so you feel secure and pull the remaining fabric on the top up over her back (and even over her head if she is asleep or unstable).

      For the hip carry, you basically do the same type of upright position but the baby is as if you are carrying her on your hip. I hope this helps! Slings are great!
      You can go to http://www.mayawrap.com and see some other positions.

      Claudia

      October 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm

      • freshfloralart

        Claudia, if you get this can you email me at michelle.lifeisgood@gmail.com
        I’ll tell you why when you email.

        October 19, 2009 at 1:16 pm

  3. freshfloralart

    Thanks Claudia!! I love it that you were able to post before me and share your experience. I really didn’t have a great answer like you did too. We prefer the back carriers, but I am chasing around two other little ones. So it is great that you were able to pass on the wrap information. Now I am wishing I hadn’t sold my ring sling!

    October 19, 2009 at 1:15 pm

  4. claudia

    Hey Michelle! I think I am now addicted to your green smoothies! Thanks so much for letting me know about them. The kids even love them too (we call them green giant’s blood super monster smoothies). Even my poor eater Oliver gobbles them down once he is told they are green giant’s blood.

    I was wondering if the Beco Butterfly is very different from the Ergo. I love my Ergo for hiking ,but haven’t tried a Butterfly. Are they very different?

    I also wanted to let you know I felt inspired by your what’s for lunch post from the summer (which I just recently read). I want to try to feed the kids (and us) healthier. It is hard thinking of ideas, so your post was inspiring. I’d love any other ideas for dinners that are less meat focused.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Claudia

    October 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    • freshfloralart

      Thank you so much Claudia!
      We love the green smoothies too. They are so good and very addicting (but in a good way). And they have really helped me with the sugar cravings.
      The Beco is very similar to the Ergo. It has a little snuggler fit which Lilah loves but I would assume that some babies may not. And you can’t wear them out like in the Ergo. In fact, I think I will go back and add some links and the Ergo will be one.
      I really slacked on posting our food choices, but I need to do that. I have a couple in mind so I will get those up soon.

      October 19, 2009 at 1:23 pm

  5. I don’t remember which carrier my daughter has, but she said that one day when Evy was fussing, the only solution seemed in being close to mommy as she moved around the house, in the carrier.
    Wish these had been available when my girls were babies.

    October 27, 2009 at 1:12 pm

  6. freshfloralart

    storygal-
    Since writing this post I have been doing some research about why immigrants to the United States didn’t wear their babies.
    In a book from the mid to late 1800’s there are several references to native americans wearing their babies. But the references are made in women’s journals with a negative connotation.
    It makes you wonder why women thought pushing babies in a stroller was easier than a baby carrier?
    And they are so easy to make out of a piece of cloth. I have done that out of necessity a time or two!

    Thanks for sharing in our conversation.

    October 27, 2009 at 1:23 pm

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