I’ve always found baby wearing a bit of an odd term, it makes your baby sound like an accessory rather than your child. You wear a t shirt or jumper, you carry a baby. But whatever name you want to give it I don’t think we would have survived the first 3 months of Rupert’s life without making good use of slings and baby carriers. Below is a sample from my Instagram feed to give you an idea, I think you’ll agree baby wearing for dads is an essential:
Rupert like many small babies didn’t like being put down (and why would he when he’s used to being in his mummies tummy) and if he did go down happily there was a high risk Matilda and Henry would say hello to him. Which would be fine if it didn’t involve poking, kissing and strangling cuddling. Nothing nasty of course just being enthusiastic 2 and 3 year olds.
So there’s a practical reason for embracing baby wearing but for me there’s also a very personal reason; it’s the best opportunity I get to bond and cuddle with my son. Clearly I can’t help feed him and with 2 other children my main role in the first weeks is to ensure the house is kept clean and that we all eat properly etc. In this crazy time it’s not always easy as a dad to get quality time with your baby which is where baby wearing comes in.
We’ve now been through a number of different carriers with the 3 children and I have a little idea of what works and what doesn’t work, for me at least. Today I’d like to share a quick review of 2 of my favourites from a dad’s perspective. My one piece of advice though is to try a few different ones out for yourself. We’re all different shapes and sizes so what works for me may not work for you.
I struggled with our Babasling a little when we had Matilda and that put me off using it with Henry, but the lady of the manor has always liked it so I decided to give it another go with Rupert. Now I absolutely love it, it’s perfect for wearing around the house and when you pop out to the shops and know you’ll be lifting him in and out a few times. Not sure I’d use it to go and do a long dog walk though as it goes over one shoulder only and personally I prefer to have the weight spread over two for those type of walks.
What I really like is how easy it is to just slip him into it as there are no straps to fiddle with or clasps that do up behind your back. Some carriers have felt more like a straight jacket than a baby carrier. As their are no straps we’ve been able to transfer him from sling to car seat and back again without waking him which is a god send when you have a small baby.
I use this sling all the time at home when I need to carry Rupert and get him to sleep but also need my hands free. He falls asleep really easily in it and I can then get on with getting Matilda and Henry fed and dressed with two hands free to help them. It may mean Rupert ends up with the occasional toast crumb on his head but I’m sure the butter is good for his skin.
For longer walks I tend to use the Ergobaby for the reasons mentioned above, it’s great for spreading the weight across your shoulders making it more comfortable for extended use. There is a newborn insert for when the baby is really tiny and you can wear on your front, side and then back as your child grows. We still use this for Matilda and Henry when they’re being particularly lazy or you’d like to finish your walk not at toddler pace.
It can be a little fiddly getting it done up, particularly when you have your child on the front, but gets easier with practise. I used this an awful lot when Matilda and Henry were 18 months – 2 years as they were walking but really not much distance. I’d put it on without any child in and then whenever they got tired they could just jump up on my back and have a rest. I can remember Matilda falling asleep on a number of occasions like this while out on dog walks. The carrier has a hood that clips up and supports their head if they fall asleep which is a great feature.
I also tested the travel version of this carrier a while ago if you’re interested, same design just more compact and can be folded into a small bag. Review is here.
What about you? Do you baby wear? What are you favourite carriers?